This blog was started a little over a year ago as I (Bryan) sat on the couch in Gordon and Niki Elliott's living room in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and started to journal my experiences from my first trip out of the United States. We have certainly come full circle as I am writing this new post from the exact same cushion on the exact same couch in the exact same house in the exact same city. There is one key difference between then and now. I am no longer chronicling a tourist visit, but now posting updates as a career missionary with the plan to live here for a few years rather than just a few weeks.
TOP 5 Initial Adjustments to living in Bolivia
1. HEAT. As Gordon told one of the Bolivian pastors when he commented on how much I was sweating, "Iowa es muy frio" (Iowa is very cold). I am also the only red head I have seen here so far. Red head = fair skin. PTL for sunscreen.
2. LANGUAGE. We will be starting Spanish studies with a tutor in just a few weeks after Easter and after we have settled into our new home. I am looking forward to hearing Dr. Bruce Moyer preach in Spanish in La Paz on Easter Sunday.
3. CURRENCY. The current exchange rate is about 6.9 Bolivianos to the dollar. Bolivianos don't switch over to bills until 10 Bs. so you tend to end up carrying a lot more change. Sadly, I already misplaced my coin pouch and found myself jingle jangling down the street yesterday.
4. SPORTS. I anticipated the lack of American Football and surrendered to the fact that I would keep up with the Chicago Bears online (if there is an NFL to keep up with this season....) As we drove back home from church today we drove past a large stretch of soccer fields, one right after the other, where games were being played on each. I played soccer in a YMCA league back in about 7th grade, but we didn't exactly play by ALL the rules. I really have to figure out this game.
5. CRITTERS. Molly spotted her first lizard in the apartment at the mission house, but sadly I could not find it later. I had my first, of probably many nights, trying to fall asleep while knowing something was still crawling around somewhere on a wall or floor or under the bed.
This morning we attended Trinity International Church which is the English speaking church that many missionaries attend. We saw some familiar faces of teachers that Molly previously worked with at the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center and that I met briefly last April. The repeated question was, "So are you back for good?" To which we answered, "Yes. For good." This has been the reality sinking into my brain since Friday morning at 5 AM when we arrived at the Santa Cruz airport and gathered our many expertly packed (thanks to a great father in law) army style duffel bags. Santa Cruz es nuestra casa. (Santa Cruz is our home)
Bryan & Molly
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