This month has been an amazing and exciting time of learning, adjusting, and exploring. I’ve felt so cared for by my new coworkers and fast friends I’ve made here already. I’m still in shock that this gets to be my life; living and working in a new and exciting country and learning from some truly amazing people.
My job is fun and exciting and although it can touch on some of the harder and darker sides of humanity, I’ve lucked out as the Communications Intern, getting to know my coworkers, decorating the office, taking pictures, and attending events, really learning about all the work IJM Bolivia does. I’m just in complete awe of these people and feel so incredibly lucky that they have invited me to be a part of their team for this next year.
A normal day in the office for me usually looks like a taxi or mini bus ride into the center of La Paz that costs anywhere from 2.60 Bs to about 7bs (under one dollar!). I usually arrive pretty early with the girls from my apartment and we all get to work on our different assignments. One of my absolute favorite things that has become a routine has been the cuñape runs we do mid morning everyday. Always around 10:15 I’ll jump up from my desk, run downstairs, grab Ellie and whoever else is interested, and we will head around the corner for a freshly baked cuñape (a Bolivian bread roll made of cheese and yuca flour).
The rest of the day is comprised of a midday all office meeting and devotional and then lunch. Most of the time the entire office will eat together in the back house, sharing food and laughs and talking more about our personal lives outside of the office. Us Gringas are usually made fun of for our “exotic” foods. An example of this was when we brought in fruits, crackers, and cheese to eat for lunch and the Bolivian staff kept giving us weird looks, but also complimented us on how healthy we were:
Depending on the day, I could either spend my time translating at my desk all day or running from place to place going to pastor’s retreats, social worker trainings, and client visits. It’s been so fun to find my place in the office and begin to set up a routine. I can’t wait to see how much more comfortable I feel a few more months down the line.
On the personal front, I’ve been truly surprised at how easy this transition has been so far. Of course I’ve had the normal bouts of missing friends and family and the sadness of a warm summer cut short, but I’m so enchanted by everything La Paz and Bolivia in general have to offer that these moments don’t end up lasting too long. My apartment is in a great location and my roommates are very quickly becoming close friends. Although we may be a bunch of Gringas living together, we definitely get our share of Bolivian experiences. Every Thursday we are invited to our friend Misha’s house for “té”, which in Bolivia is what they usually have instead of dinner, we sit together with Misha and her parents sharing tea and different pastries and practicing our conversational Spanish. We’ve also been so lucky to be invited to our coworkers house every Friday evening for dinner, which has been another wonderful way to connect with our coworker and her husband and kids and feel a little more at home.
So far I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Copacabana and lake Titicaca (there is a separate post about this trip here) and also explore some of La Paz slowly but surely.
I plan on posting an updated blog post at the end of every month! You can subscribe by email to this blog to get an email update every time I post if you would like!
If you are a praying person here are some prayer requests for the next month:
- Please pray for our Projects team here in the office who are doing work that’s never been done before attempting to reform the Justice System in La Paz to better serve the community and achieve justice swiftly and efficiently.
- Please pray for the office in general, in August our new Director arrives, which is incredibly exciting, but will also bring a lot of new adjustments and changes. Pray that these changes will happen swiftly and our new Director will feel welcomed and ready to lead this amazing team!
- And please always be praying for our clients. That we will be able to support them and help them find justice. That they will feel restored and know that they have advocates who believe in them.
Also, I am still fundraising while I’m here! I will link my go fund me here again, but any contribution would be appreciated so much. These funds allow me to be here and help with the amazing work of International Justice Mission in Bolivia and I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity and so thankful for all the support I’ve felt throughout this whole process!
Thank you for reading my quick little update and I hope you are having a lovely day and week. Adios!