Author Archives: emilybarlow
Click below to read the newest edition of Behind the Scenes. Please keep praying, especially for the necessary teachers for next school year at Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center.
Behind the Scenes Aptil 2013
This was my favorite place. I wish I had gotten more pictures so you could see how beautiful it was. Like I said, Abby and I arrived a day early, but we spent most of the day resting. We’d venture out for a meal, walk around town a bit, and then head back. I worked with the hotel to get everything ready for the big group (also arriving at 3:30 am) and moved into a new room that I would share with Debbie. Everyone arrived safely, although there had been a few scary moments with some girls being followed to the bathroom and a boy’s backpack getting stolen. There were eager to tell me all about what I had missed of day 2 in Uyuni, but mostly they were just tired. So, we bundled them off to bed and told them to get ready to see Sucre later that morning.
And the Casa de la libertad, where the Bolivian Constitution was signed:
Not quite so historical, but interesting nonetheless, were the zebras that were directing traffic. Don’t ask me why.
That evening, before we left, we tried to see the fountain of dancing lights. We walked across town to a beautiful park with a very dark pond. The fountain was undergoing maintenance. Insert sad faces here:
And so our journey ends with us catching the flight back to Santa Cruz the next day and then sleeping as much as possible before school on Monday. Even with the sleep, we all were exhausted but happy come Monday morning.
We traveled by bus to Oruro and then by train to Uyuni, arriving VERY late and trying to get some chicken for supper. In the meantime, one of our students who had troubling breathing in La Paz because of the altitude was having more trouble in Uyuni. So Debbie and another student took her to the clinic to get some oxygen. After many phone conversations home and talking between us, we decided that I would take this student on to Sucre a day early in the hopes that the lower altitude would help her feel much better. Before we left though, we were able to spend a day in the Salt Flats with the rest of the class. The flats were so bright it looked like a snow covered paradise. The sky was crystal clear and the whole day was an adventure! To get the salt, the people will come and pile it up, leave it for a few days for the water to drain out, and then shovel the piles into the back of a truck.
It was fun to see the kids look for their “other” home country among the flags.
While we were on the salt flats, we had to try a number of different pictures. And I experienced my first ever jumping shot:
When it was time for lunch, our tour guides took us to a rock island and prepared picnic lunches on salt tables and chairs.
On our way back, Abby and I were able to stop and see a Train Graveyard full of rusted-out engines, cabooses, and other wagons. I would have liked to climb around, but didn’t know how safe the area would be.
Later that night, Abby and I boarded a bus for 8 hours, complete with kittens mewing. Neither one of us slept well, but at least we didn’t have any trouble. When we got to Sucre at 3:30 in the morning, a taxi driver took us to our hotel and a kind night attendant opened the doors and let us in. He carried our bags up the 3 flights of stairs to our room and then told me registration could wait until after I woke up. He must have noticed that both of us needed a good long sleep before we were able to function like humans. 🙂
More on Sucre in Senior Trip, Part 3!
From La Paz to Uyuni to Sucre, Debbie Miranda and I took 20 Seniors and a male chaperone all over Bolivia for their Senior Trip. We started on Sunday morning, April 7th by flying to La Paz. Some of us chose to get acclimated slowly while others chose to go rappelling off the side of our hotel. Don’t worry – those kids had parental permission, and we checked out the company’s equipment before any of our kids got near the ledge.
As we finished our time in La Paz, some chose to go paint-balling 🙂 Others of us went to the zoo and the Valle de la Luna. While the paint-ballers had fun, they didn’t have anything like the natural beauty that we got! The Andean Condor is Bolivia’s national bird – the Andes make a perfect backdrop, don’t you think?
More to come as we move on to Uyuni (Part 2)
So, I was sweeping the rugs and dusting the hardwood floors a few days ago, thinking about how much I DON’T like the vacuum. As the grumbling started, I remembered how thankful I was to be home for these couple of months. If running the vacuum is a part of me being a blessing here, then I’ll run the vacuum with a joyful heart.
Anybody else following the parallel? How many times are we called to serve in a way that makes us uncomfortable or feel incompetent. We might obey, but do we obey joyfully? Some times (possibly more than I want to admit) I try to call the shots, determine how I will serve, and when I will stop. What really needs to happen is a shift in my focus. Because of the privilege of belong to Christ and the blessing of His fellowship, I want to joyfully obey whatever task my God gives. I want to complete the task WITH Him, not just for Him. As a sweet friend reminds her granddaughter, we need to obey “all the way, right away, and with a happy heart.” May that be my prayer all my life!
I can’t keep my lives apart from each other, although they happen on two separate continents. In one, I’m an independent, responsible, hard-working missionary teacher who loves kids from all over the world. In the other, I’m the youngest of three “kids,” blessed to love and be loved, and making the most of the time I have with my fam. Typically I’m only home for about 2 weeks at Christmas, but this year, my second life was able to take precedence over the “summer” months.
This summer, I’ve come home to walk with my sister through her cancer journey. She was diagnosed in February and has already undergone most of her chemotherapy. I’ve been blessed to take her to the last two chemo treatments. Both times I’ve seen how much she cares about those who are caring for her. She’s interested in their lives and does her best to make their time together full of kindness and warmth.
As I watch my sister, both aware of her illness and how God uses it to point people to Himself, I know how blessed I am to be with her at this time, in this place.
I’m also able to spend time with some of my supporters this summer. I have to make good use of the time when we’re on the same continent, right? So, if you are around Indiana and would like to get together, please let me know! Since I’m traveling, email is the best way to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I’ve tried blogging for years and have never done well. Sometimes I think my life just isn’t interesting enough; other times I’m so tired that I just don’t have the energy to tell the world about it. But, I’d like to make a habit of blogging weekly (at least) to show how God is working in my life and through my life. Hopefully this will encourage those of you who support me to see how God is using you as well!