Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Day in the Life of Carla!

I was privileged to be able to go to the pediatric hospital one day this week and spend some time with the next to youngest member of Casa 1! Camila is very close in age to our baby L. and a good 10 pounds lighter. She was born premature and was found abandoned in a busy part of the city. Jennifer got the call about taking her in on the day that we arrived here in Cochabamba last October! After the phone call, she spent about two months in the nutrition center and the hospital, before coming to live at Casa 1 towards the end of December. She is a fighter for sure. Very alert and curious about what is going on around her.

This time she was back in the hospital with a respiratory infection. When Jen sent out the e-mail that she needed volunteers to go and spend time with her, I really wanted to go, but with nine children in our house I am usually needed around here! I never said anything to Rudi about it, but when he read Jen's e-mail he volunteered Tia Techy and Emily to go. However, Tia Techy had left her Carnet at home and did not have any other picture I.D. with her, which is required to visit someone in the hospital. This left me to go (yah!), as we had already told Jen that we had the 11-3 time slot covered!

I braved my way in a truffi to the hospital, as I really did not know where it was other than some cross streets. Thankfully, I can finally speak enough Spanish to get around and made it safely to the hospital.
For the next three hours I had the most relaxing time, feeding Camila her bottle at feeding time, holding her up to the window and showing her outside. At one point she was getting a little squirmy, so I thought I would try laying her in her crib. She immediately started crying the moment she was put down. I ended up holding her the whole time I was there! Bummer!:)

I had lots of time to think and pray and just be quiet. What a blessing! I thought of the scripture in Matthew 25, that was one of the reasons that we came to Bolivia to do work with these children.
"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
What an honor to be able to give my time to spend just a couple of hours with a baby who has been taken in by Casa de Amor, when she was naked, hungry, and sick.

Now to change the subject, I have an adventurous story to tell about my trip home from the hospital.
Carlee Van Zyl from Boise, Idaho is here as Casa de Amor's latest volunteer. She took over at the hospital to be with Camila when I left to go home. She is not as familiar with the transportation and is still not super confident with her Spanish skills, so I told her that I would figure out an easy way home for her to get home. I spent half an hour walking around that part of the city trying to find, by reading their signs, a Trufi or Micro that I knew would easily take her past Casa 1. When I didn't find anything, I decided to go back to the hospital and just ask the Trufi and/or Micro drivers where they were headed, as they passed right in front of the hospital. Well armed with some amazingly delicious ice cream to bolster my confidence, I noticed that the sign on one of the large Micros said that it went within 2 km. of my house and passed Carlee's destination for the evening also! Perfect! After confirming with the driver that this was so, I settled down to enjoy the ride home and savor my ice cream as well. About 3 km. into the journey the heavens opened and it started pouring rain in torrential amounts. The roads were full of water within minutes and looked like small rivers. As nobody has defrosters in their vehicles here, the driver had to wipe the inside of his window every so often, as they got fogged like crazy. At one point he stopped the rig and went out and put laundry detergent on the windshield. He didn't have windshield wipers either, so maybe this helped the rain wash away better.(?) (Maybe one of you would know a reason for this?) I remember thinking that I was glad I was not in a much smaller Trufi. It felt good to be up in a larger vehicle (The Micro handles easily about 30 passengers or more in a pinch!). I really thought that when a Semi-truck went flying past us and sent a HUGE wave of water up and over the front and left side of our Micro. It would have drowned a Trufi! The passengers on the left side (thankfully I was on the right!) got slightly wet when the water splashed through the many cracks around the windows! All was seemingly going well, when the Micro began to sputter and cough and then finally come to a stop on the side of the still busy, very wet road. I wasn't sure what to do. Should I just jump off and hail another Trufi? For 15 cents I could afford to catch another one! However, I had somewhat bonded with the funny, super nice lady I was sitting next to. She was giving me a running commentary of her opinion on all of the turn of events! And it just felt wrong to abandon the ship after all that we had been through together. Besides it isn't everyday that you get to have a grand adventure! (I don't get out much folks!) After the driver checked the engine a couple of times and tried to start it a couple of times, while we all sat patiently waiting to see what would happen next, he finally hailed another Micro of his same type and we all piled off together out into the rain to run to the other Micro for our last leg of the journey. Of course, we didn't have to pay this driver since he was doing the other fella a favor, so I got to go home the rest of the way for FREE! Worth the wait!
Jen warned us that moving to Bolivia we had to be flexible. If you just go with the flow it can actually be kinda fun!!


  1. Carla I'm glad you got some quiet baby time all by yourself. Not so glad it was pouring rain the the micro had some trouble but at least Jen warned you before you moved! And at least you didn't have to walk the rest of the way!

    I'm glad God is affirming why you are there!


  2. Sounds like the perfect day, Carla! :)

    Thank you for sharing your calm baby time and your exciting travel adventure! Was the funny, super nice lady you were sitting next to giving you her running commentary of the turn of events in Espanol?

    I was glad to hear that you did not abandon ship and were able to save that 15 cents for another day!

    I love you and thoroughly enjoy your blog entries. :)


  3. What a great story! I had something very similar happen to me a few years back, when one of the dear K buses' engine died in a heavy rainstorm. He also hailed another bus so that we could keep going - now with wet feet from having waded through RIVERS of water in the street, haha! Thanks so much for going to be with Camila at the hospital. It is truly love in action. :)