June 4, 2008

Casa de Amor

Hi everyone, I know that you´re probably all wondering what is going on here...

Last Tuesday I started working at a wonderful orphanage called Casa de Amor. Technically it is called Casa de Amor I because it is the first of 3 orphanages! Casa de Amor I is a home for babies from newborns to 3 years old; Casa de Amor II is for 3-10 year olds; and Casa de Amor III is just starting and is a little different because it is run by a family that has four kids but has a heart to serve the Lord and they are going to take any children from Casa de Amor I and II that need extra attention or have any special needs. I haven´t actually had the opportunity yet to visit home II or III but when I do I´ll tell you more!

Casa de Amor I is probably the most wonderful place I´ve ever been to in my whole life. It is not a typical orphanage at all. You can check out their website www.casadeamor.org to learn more, but it is a ¨home.¨ There are 3 bedrooms for the kids and a playroom/bedroom for the ¨Tias.¨ Tia means Ă„unt¨ in Spanish and is what the kids call pretty much any adult female who walks into the room, but there are always 4 officially employed Bolivian Tias who work 24 hour shifts. These Tias are absolutely amazing. Most of them, if not all of them, have their own kids and families yet they still love these children like their own. These kids receive hugs and kisses all the time, probably eat bigger meals than I do, and are constantly looked after and cared for! It is wonderful. I´ve started taking pictures, but don´t have very many yet so it will be a few days before I attempt to upload any...but when I do you´ll see why it is so wonderful!

So that tells you about the specific organization I¨m now working for...but in my free time I am also helping out the daughter in law of the Nazarene Pastor here. She is in charge of the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries child Sponsorship program here in Bolivia and therefore is in charge of translating all of the letters that North Americans write to the kids they are sponsoring and also all fo the letters that the kids write to their sponsors. So last night I spent the evening with her and her two wonderful daughters and then took home probably around 50 letters to translate!

There is so much more I could say, and want to say, but I also want to send out an email update so I´m going to leave you with this: On Saturday I went hiking in the mountains. The mountain is called Mt. Tunari and is WAY high up... I did not make it to the top, but I did make it to around 15,300 feet (which is more than double the altitude of Cochabamba, Bolivia). And then late Saturday night I experienced Sorocho, which is altitude sickness, and let me tell you it is NOT fun, but I´m fine now and still glad that I went, though I never want to do it again! Pictures soon to come!