The first is Konani, my first project site. There are two water wells: one is almost 20 years old, built by my boss’s family and the Methodist church, and still works pretty well. Ironically, the other is about 5 years old and has major problems. This project will repair the existing systems and possibly add a third well for the quickly growing town.
There is incredible support for this project within Bolivia, from the government and the church. This is a dream for development work! The funding will probably come mostly from within Bolivia; we may actually have to slow down the proposed incoming funding. Why? Because it’s so important to take the time to analyze and design correctly and carefully, as evidenced by the difference in the two existing systems in Konani. You can see photos here.
Here, the small community medical clinic has a water storage tank, but rarely any incoming water. They often have to carry water to the clinic from other places. Through this project, the clinic will have the clean water they need to care for their patients!
The second place I visited was a community at the end of a long dirt road, where the church has a medical clinic in mid-construction. Right now, the community has medicine supply and a nurse but only an old classroom to set up camp.
On the four hour drive there, we got stopped by a group of llamas. There was a family in the car teaching their son the names of animals, so he and I learned together how to differentiate a llama and alpaca.
The trip was multipurpose; we also went to a celebration to say thank you the local lay pastors for their year of service. In this new culture to me, there were uncomfortable moments like not knowing the “table” manners (though we we ate sitting in the grass), or when my new friends debated in Aymara (the main language) the cost of my glasses, or when I sat in a very wet patch of grass 🙂 However by the end we must have overcome some cultural differences; they told me how to say in Aymara “I don’t want to leave”.
The final place to tell of was a peña, a place of local music and dancing. I went on Saturday with two co-workers; I didn’t have my camera but here’s a picture that captures dress of the musicians (center back) and the atmosphere.
With coca leaves on every table, egg cartons on the ceiling to spread out the sound and keep the temperature moderate, and constant dancing by young and old alike, it certainly was a fascinating place.
Thanks for venturing to these places with me through the stories! If you are a praying person please pray for the health of friends and family, and someone here named Hyro who is in a coma. More on the prayer page.