S: Bolivia Trip 2010-1011 By: Sarah Opatrny
FC: December 19,2010- January 9,2011 | My Trip to Bolivia
1: Bolivia 2010-2011
2: My trip to Bolivia was finally here! It began on December 19, after departing from the Pittsburgh Airport. After much travel I finally was drawing closer to my destination. | The picture above is one of my first sights of Bolivia's beauty. Never in my life seen mountains like the ones in Bolivia. | After leaving Florida I was on Bolivian airlines (Top left) the rest of the way to Bolivia. This is where the cultural shock started for me. I felt out of place and lost being about the only person on the plane that was a non-Spanish speaker.
3: Bolivia | My first day in Bolivia was very challenging. I was jet lagged and running on no sleep. But the Bolivian culture was already evident to me. I was greeted at the airport with this beautiful bouquet (left). | When buying the night's dinner I didn't expect to find the whole chicken, including the head. It was not very appetizing to prepare(Right). | It was very warm and sunny most of the time. The exception to the sunny weather was when out of nowhere storms would suddenly come in. They were in the middle of their rainy season, but weren't having nearly as much rain as they needed. The rainy season is vital to the whole country.
4: Cochabamba,Bolivia | I spent my trip in the large city of Cochabamba. This city has a variety of wealthy people and also much poverty all mixed together. It was hard to walk down the street not wanting to give money to every women and child that was begging. | The ladies would carry everything from potatoes to their children in their sacks(top left). | . | I went grocery shopping at the Cancha (outdoor shopping market). I never felt safe going there, and much crime happens all the time while people are trying to shop (above right).
5: Riding in a taxi was my main way of getting around. Every time I stepped in one it was a new adventure, especially for someone who has never taken a taxi | The picture in the middle is something that controlled more of my trip than I would have liked. In Bolivia many times there are bloqueos because of things the government does. This one was because of gas prices.The bloqueos become very dangerous, and kept me from being able to leave where I was staying for a few days. | Many families try to make a living by selling goods on the street (above). | The traffic in Bolivia was always hectic. It took a very long time to get anywhere especially to the main plaza(left).
6: I had a unique experience to hear the former missionary Gracia Burnham at a small church named Amancayas in Bolivia. She to was there over Christmas break visiting some family.To the left is Gracia and an interpreter | This is a picture of the churches choir(left). Even though I did not know what they were singing, their passion for Christ was evident. | Gracia's story really taught me a lot and showed me what it truly means to be a witness for Christ. | Only a few days before writing this I met Gracia once again here in the states. It sure is a small world. From a little church in Bolivia that we both had never been to all the way to Lancaster. | Gracia Burnham
7: I got to see this new mission that is growing in Bolivia with aviation. It was so cool to see what God is doing, and how this ministry is growing. | Mision Aerea Boliviana | M.A.B. is a new mission school in Bolivia aimed toward working with flight students. It gives them a biblical knowledge as well as the knowledge of aviation and mechanics.
8: Sunday School Cochabamba International Church | I taught Sunday school in English along with a Spanish speaker to translate.This was a stretching experience and I felt like I had no control without knowing Spanish.
9: The church I attended has a Bolivian pastor, but is bilingual in every sense. Since it was Christmas time I taught a lesson on the angel that came to Mary and played games with the children. | Not only was the language barrier a challenge to teach these children, but I could also see the difference in culture when it comes to the classroom. It was evident in how many things I did not have in common with the children there, and how they understood things.
10: This particular orphanage is run by Christian Bolivian houseparents. . They attend public schools where they get a very poor education. The children were placed in a home that isn't overwhelmingly large like their class sizes. | Let's Learn English!
11: During my time at an orphanage I created a booklet to teach the children the English numbers 1-12. They loved this learning activity and enjoyed getting to use materials they would not normally use. At the end of the time we had a ice cream treat to top of the day!
12: Hands and Feet
13: Mark 16:15 He said to them," Go into all the world and and preach the gospel to all creation." | The children in Bolivia were such a blessing to me. It is amazing what happens when you are helping others that they actually help you.These children are so eager to learn they just need the tools to do it. | I am that much more thankful for the education that I received. It is my responsibility since I have been equipped with the tools, to go and teach others who haven't gotten the proper tools.
14: Ket | In the Life of a Quechua for a Day | ¿¿Imaynaylla karikushanki? | The pictures on the next page show some of the life the Quechua people lead. They cook in the ground or in their big adobe stoves. | The saying to the right is "hello how are you?"in Quechua. None of us could completly communicate with these people because of the language barrier.
15: The Vargas family welcomed us into their home. in the village. They live within the Pocona Valley deep inside the Andes mountains. | Even though they have very little, they did everything they could to make us feel welcome. They even provided a meal for us that they would normally only prepare for special occasions (top right).
16: Inca Ruins | On one of my last few days in Bolivia I took a 3 hour trip by car to Incallajta. which is an Inca ruins. The trip was so peaceful because we were the only people there. The sights were like no other. Incallajta is one of the hidden treasures of Bolivia | The ruins were even more spectacular before an Iranian man came in 1936 and blew them up looking for gold
17: Incallajta is located within the Andes mountains as a strategical set up in case there was an attack on the Incas. | On the way through the valley I had the chance to hand out bread to the mountain people.. These people hardly ever get bread and to them it is a luxay.
18: Hasta Luego, Bolivia... | My time in Bolivia was very eventful. It was filled with holidays, serving, seeing, sickness, adventures, fun, many emotions, and most of all learning. I saw so many things in Bolivia that I never would see here in the States. The way people lived in Bolivia didn't make sense to me at first, but then I realized every culture is different and we can learn from everything we see in life.
19: Hasta Luego means until we meet again in Spanish. Bolivia was a blessing to me because it showed me that even though people might not speak the same language God's love is evident in every culture whether you eat the same foods, dress the same way, or speak the same language! | I will be back!