Greetings all. This week we finished School here at Familia Feliz. I gave my final exam on Monday, and most of the kids were gone by Tuesday. There are still 5 kids here that will be staying for the summer. My exam in math went very well! My exam was 40 points, and I think my lowest grade was a 32. So they all did very well! I was very proud. After that, on Wednesday, Chris, Samuel, and I went on a three day tour in Las Pamas. It was very good. The first day we drove about 3 hours up the road, and then 3 hours up the river. We put our stuff in our rooms (a shack with a mattress and a mosquito net) and headed up the river to see the sunset. After that we returned and went to sleep. It rained all night. The next day is was still raining, and in the morning we went out to look for dolphins. When we found some, we jumped in the water and began to swim with them. They were very curious of us and swam very close. I ended up touching on eventually! It was great. Then we looked at more wildlife and called it a day. The next day we went out to search for anaconda! We went to a boggy marshy area with tall grass and about a half foot of water. We began walking and searching. Finally we found one! Apparently it’s pretty hard to find an anaconda, so we got lucky! The guide wrestled it in a good position to take pictures, and we watched it for a while. Then as we were leaving, Chris and I went up and touched it tail really quickly just so we could say that we touched an anaconda! After that we headed back to the shack and packed up. The trip down the river was only an hour and a half instead of three because we were going with the current. Then we drove three hours back to Rurre, great trip. On Saturday, we had church in Familia Feliz, and it went well, pretty normal Saturday. This Sunday we took the kids again, so I am at the pool. The kids LOVE the pool. That sums up my week. I think I am staying at Familia Feliz next week so talk to you all in two weeks, thanks for reading, God bless!
Hello. I don’t have a lot to write about this week. In school, I reviewed all week for the exam they have this coming Tuesday. For work this week I was in Rurre a lot shoveling rocks build a base for a water tank. We are getting a well, and our goal is to put a water tank behind each house so each house can have a water reserve when our water supply goes out. I smashed my finger while working one day. I was shoveling one direction and another volunteer was working in the opposite direction and our shovels collided. It split my nail in half and ill probably lose the nail in the next week or so. But it wasn’t a terrible accident. One Saturday, I did the sermon. It went really well, and it was my first sermon completely in Spanish. I was nervous at first, but when I got up there I didn’t even have to think about speaking Spanish, it just happened. God was definitely helping me out! I couldn’t have done a 30 minute sermon straight in Spanish without His help. Then the rest of Saturday I just relaxed and rested. That’s pretty much my week! Talk to you all later!
Hello. I have had lots of encounters with creatures this week! One day after school, I was walking back to the house and almost ran into a big green snake. He was hanging out on our door-step. When I saw him, I jumped back, I wasn’t sure if it was venomous or not. His eyes were round, but I’m sure if that rule works in Bolivia or not. For all I could know, he could kill me in 10 seconds. When he saw me, he retreated into our house and into our roof. I went to ask a local Bolivian if it was dangerous or not. It turned out to be a harmless snake that eats frogs and other small creatures. So we just let him be. After that, in the afternoon, when I was resting in my room, I woke up to the kids screaming. They were saying “hay un lagarto de bajo de tu cama!!!” which means: “there is a lizard under your bed!” I didn’t believe them. And they weren’t talking about a small lizard like you see in the States. They were talking about a lard lizard, like 2 ft long or so. I was sure that they were lying, and just trying to trick us. But eventually we let them in our room to look, and sure enough, there was a large lizard underneath Chris’s bed! They poked him, and he ran out. We had a zoo in our house! Later in the week, we were missing a lot of teachers (for sickness, not showing up, ect), so I had to teach a lot of different classes. At one time, I was teaching a class with 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. For this class I just showed a video. I had no idea what to teach 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at the same time! For a short time in these past two weeks, we were out of water. So I had to take bathes in the creek! But one day, I was raining so hard, that I went behind my house and took a shower in the rain! It worked perfectly! I have been driving the truck into town more often lately. I had to drive some people into town in the big truck to run some errands, and then a couple other times this week for various reasons. Driving to town is a little nerve racking. The roads aren’t the best, and the truck is big! But I’m starting to get the hand of it! I got my first packages this week from my mom! They send some snacks and pictures. And PEANUTBUTTER!!!!! I’m trying to conserve it, but its already almost gone! Anyways, this week I finished off teaching new material in math. This next week I am going to review for their final exam. This past Saturday, we invited some of the soldier to come and spend the day with us, go to church, eat, ect. Ten soldiers came. They participated in church, and were very involved. Then later that night, we played lots of volley ball with them, it was very fun! That just about sums up my past two weeks. Talk to you all next week!
I forgot to bring my journal to town.. So I might forget some of the details of the week in my post. But anyways, school was good this week. I am still teaching decimals. We are working on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals. This week for work, we didn’t work on the trial much, we did a lot of cleaning up around familia feliz. This is a lot of trash and junk everywhere so we have been working hard to straighten the place up. We have about 5 burn piles I think.. It looks much better! Also, Chris and I have started a new rule: we are not speaking any more English. We hate English (for now). It has been working! My Spanish has accelerated a lot! So basically the only time I speak English is on Sundays… A funny story from this week: we were eating pancakes on morning, and the word for pancake in Spanish is panqueque. And something during breakfast I ended up saying “pancaca” which means: bread poop. haha! All the kids had a good laugh, but I will never forget how to say pancake in Spanish ever again! Anyways, this Sunday was the Sunday to bring the kids. I took them to the pool again, they love the pool. That sums up my week! I am staying in Familia Feliz next Sunday so talk to you in two weeks!
Hello all. This week started off with a quiz. I gave a quiz over decimals in my math class.. they did okay… But over all pretty good. I saw a lot of 15/20′s. The next day I showed a video in class as a slight break between sections. It was a perfect day to show a video because it was raining all day during class. Usually we cancel school for rain but it started raining after we had all already gotten to school. Anyways, the tops of the roof’s aren’t the best, so I had a line of rain in the middle of my classroom! But we made due. This week for work Chris and I starting building a nature trail around Familia Feliz. So far we have about 142m completed. It’s good hard work. I like trail-building much more than working in the garden. I have also been working on a scaled map of the property. I bought a GPS app that has been really helpful. I have been walking around, marking house’s and trails. One of the boys in my house had to go home (he is not an orphan) because of discipline problems. Here is an example. In our house, we have a no eating rule, because the bugs are terrible, and all the eating is done in casa grande anyways. Another rule: they are not allowed to come into our room. One day, Chris left the room for like 2 minutes, and Moises, the youngest, went into our room, stole Chris’s cookies, and he was found eating them inside his bed! So he broke 3 rules: no entering our room, stealing, and eating in the house. I am sad that he had to go, I’m sure his life at home is much worse than here. Another boy had to leave to for stealing problems as well. On Friday, there was no school and we had a parent teacher meeting. About 10 parents came, and we handed out report cards, it went well. None of the parents had any problems with my class. On Sabbath, we went to church in Rurrenabaque. Chris, Agustin, Sam, and I did special music. We merged three hymns together and I played my ukulele. Our song kind of had a island sound. I think they liked it. On Sunday, I drove the big truck into town for the first time (which was a little scary) but it went well. In the picture you see a small section of Familia Feliz. You can see Casa Grande (the big house). This is where the girls live and where all of us eat. The little house next to it that says “Mi casa” is my house. You can see the beginning of our trail (the brown trial the goes down from my house). The field you see is where we play soccer and volleyball! Anyways that’s my week! Thanks for reading!
Hello all. Sorry I wasn’t in town last week to update. It was my turn to stay. Last week was my turn to make fires. So I was up at 5:30 making fires every morning. That week was fairly normal. School went well, I started teaching decimals in 5th and 6th grade math. They are staring to catch on. It is a new concept for them though. Anyways, the Sunday that I stayed at Familia Feliz was pretty relaxing. I just got stuff done around the house and watched the boys. In the afternoon, I played a lot of volleyball with the kids. It has rained a little bit in the past couple weeks. We missed one day of school for rain. Yes, they cancel school for rain. Then, on Tuesday, we went to the birthday party of Sergio, the restaurant owner of Nargillias. He is Adventist. We were the first ones to the party (because time is not as important over here), and it was big! I was expecting a small meal at the restaurant. But it was under a big tent-like thing with lots of tables and decorations. A lot of people were there, and there was a live band! It was quite the highlight of the week for us volunteers. But these birthday parties go late! We didn’t eat until 11! And we left at 12, and they hadn’t even eating cake yet! But I’m glad to say that I’ve been to a true South American birthday party! One interesting story from this week. I was working with Sam and Agustin in the rainforest, getting some fruit or something for the kitchen. We starting walking off the trail, and I figured that they knew where they were going. After about 30 minutes, we didn’t know where we were! Everything looks the same! So we were lost for a little bit. But we eventually found our way to the chaco (a clearing in the rainforest) and found our way back. But it was quite the thrilling experience. Also, I saw a HUGE lizard this week! Like three feet long! Then on Saturday, we had some visitors, the pastor of a church in New Jersey and his wife. They brought little gifts for all the kids, it was really nice. Then on Sunday we had pathfinders and I came to town, and that brings me to now! Talk to you next week!
Very sorry that I haven’t blogged the past couple weeks! It has been a very busy couple of weeks. This blog is going to be a compilation of my past couple weeks. I gave my students their first test on fractions. I feel like it went pretty well. I have a practice test that was basically identical to the real test, except with different numbers. So, any student that paid attention did very well. The students that I noticed were paying a lot of attention got 100’s, 90’s, and 80’s. But the students that goofed off during class did much worse…like 50% and such…But the overall average was 77% which I guess isn’t too bad! Okay one crazy story from the past couple weeks: We were walking back from the Wednesday night worship and I stepped over a very poisonous snake! Sam saw it after I stepped inches from it in flip flops! They saw that this snake kills in one hour. My angle was definitely watching over me! A couple days later I started feeling a little sick but not too bad. That night we went out to eat for Sam’s birthday. I ordered the pesto (I will never eat pesto again, you will find out later). After the meal, I started to feel a lot worst, and later that night, you can guess what happened. No need to explain. Well the next 2 days were pretty miserable, I was sick in bed and my sickness moved to other parts of my body. But after the couple days of sickness I started to take Cipro, and within 2 days I was completely better. Never going to wait that long to take Cipro again! The Sunday after I was sick it was my turn to stay at Familia Feliz and watch the kids. Sam and I took all the kids to some river nearby to swim. I had no intentions on swimming, but I ended up swimming anyways. The water was very hot, like bath water. And very muddy, but it was fun. Later that week Chris and I went to help hermano Juan with some work at our water source. We had to carry bags of concrete like 2 miles. But the bags were like 110 Lbs! It was very hard and halfway through it started storming really hard and raining so we ran back to the car and drove back. There was lightning so it was dangerous to continue working. Also in these past weeks, Chris and I were assigned to a new house. So we now have our own house with three boys: John, Choco, and Moises. The next Sunday after we moved, I bought a plane ticket to Santa Cruz to complete my visa paperwork. The flight was very enjoyable and beautiful! I had a layover in La Paz, and I was cool to see. Once I arrived in Santa Cruz I met up with Miguel and Oriel. The rest of that day we did nothing. The next day I spent all day doing visa paperwork and that night we left in the bus for Trinidad. The next morning we arrived in Trinidad and found a car to rurre. The car was full of us three and three other random people. The worst part was that I started feeling sick right before we left for the 8 hour (ending up being 12 hours) trip. I threw up 2 times on the trip, there was a political roadblock that we had to wait for an hour to clear, and we got three flat tires on the way. One of the flats, we had to wait for the same type of van to pass by to see if they would be willing to loan us their spare, because we already had used ours! Anyway, it ended up taking 12 hours and was the craziest trip ever! It has been pretty normal since I have been back. Chris and I have been working hard to gain the respect of our three kids. There has been a lot of crying, missed meals, memory verses written 50 times, the other punishments. But progress is being made. On Saturday we took the kids on a hike, it was very nice. There was a small waterfall (like 4-5 ft) that we saw on our hike. This Sunday is a special day because we take all the kids that were good throughout the month to town. So today we took the kids to a pool here in rurre! It was lots of fun. The next week went by really fast! It was a pretty normal week. All was well in our house this week. Chris and I starting building a nature trail at Familia Feliz! Right now it is pretty short, but we hope to expand and make it longer. It is a lot of machete work though, because the rainforest is thick! But building trails is fun. We bought 300 oranges for our house this week. I have been eating probably over 10 oranges a day. We also bought 5 watermelons (they are coming into season here) and they are delicious!!! Anyways, sorry I haven’t blogged the past month. But that pretty much sums it up. I won’t be in town next week because it’s my turn to stay and watch the kids.