Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oftalmologia: Optometry


This has been a busy week of adjusting to life in Bolivia, living with 7 girls, and remembering all of the Spanish I’ve forgotten in the last 9 months. A busy week, but full of things and people I love!
While I'm here, I will be living with the girls in what is called House III of Casa de Amor.  There are seven girls, from the age of 3-9. I will be helping the tias (the women who work with the children) with basic things like getting ready for school, cooking, and cleaning. I will also be spending time with the children at the baby home, and the boys home when I can. I will also be helping take the kids to appointments, and other places they need to be. One of the little girls attends a special school  that is about 45 minutes away because she is blind, so I will be taking her to school three times a week.  I have loved spending time with the girls, and getting to know the other volunteers!
The view from my window at House III
Some of the boys at House II
On Tuesday I got a nice mixture of all of these things. After getting the girls ready for school, I went to the baby house. Three of the babies were sick, and I spent most of my time with them, but snuck away a few times to hold the littlest ones. As I was leaving the baby house, one of the tias in charge of taking kids to their appointments took me aside and asked if I could take one of our older girls to the eye doctor. I said yes before I could really think about what that entailed, and ended up with some vague directions and money for a trufie. (One form of public transportation here is a trufie, which is a van with a specific route.)

Since we had a little bit of extra time, another volunteer, Carlee and I went to a plaza downtown called Plaza de Colon and found delicious ice cream. (And it was two for one day!) I am so thankful for the friend God has provided in Carlee, and for her love of chocolate and ice cream as well! After that we picked up the little girl that needed to go to the eye doctor and got the trufie that was going where we needed to go. We managed to find the building, and I had my first experience taking a child to the doctor. I feel fairly confident with my Spanish around the house, but optometry vocabulary isn’t something I had worked on.  Somehow we managed, and it was definitely a new experience, and a great chance to spend some quality time with J. God is so faithful to provide opportunities to show His love to the people around me. In Bolivia it is even easier, because the color of my hair makes people wonder why I’m there. Every time I go somewhere with the kids someone wants to know what I’m doing, and I get to tell them why I’m here.
J, after our trip to the doctor
Thank you for your prayers and support, God is doing great things in Cochabamba and I am so thankful to be a part of it! J