Friends, somehow February and March ran away from me! I have certainly been busy, and this past week I was able to enjoy Spring Break. My roommate and I were just verbalizing our reality that tomorrow it’s back to work! These last few months – 4th quarter – are going to be a mad dash to the end. Learning last year the goodness of being present, I continue in that mindset, hoping to be alive to the things right in front of me. Here are some of my adventures since the end of January!
I successfully made it to my last Carnaval in this country. My friend Rachel and I headed out to the countryside with a Bolivian family to camp. We had a grand time. Some of the highlights were this AMAZING view of Illimani, introducing s’mores to these boys, football and futbol, and wayyy too many selfies.
The Friday right after our camping trip, I headed to Southaven, MS, USA for the Annual Leadership Conference for my organization. Our time was incredibly busy with meetings, interviewing new staff for the fall, and of course networking with other Principals, Assistant Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, and Directors across the world. I was so thankful for the opportunity to go, and truly enjoyed my time with others who have jobs like mine! I had the opportunity to present at our annual job fair in a Cholita outfit and even presented to the directors on a hot topic!
While I was in the USA, I swung by to see my beloved ex-boss, Scott and his family. It was so sweet to reconnect with them. Less than a day into my trip, Scott already had me pranking people and being silly. It truly was like old times, except on a new continent!
I jumped right back into the busy of our school. I don’t even remember what happened those three weeks before Spring Break, but they flew by!
I’ve also been busy finalizing plans for this fall. March 11 I accepted a job at Northshore Christian School in Everett, WA. I will be their K-8 PE teacher, and when I’m not teaching classes, I’ll be completing my administrative internship to finish my degree from SPU. I am continually amazed at the way God leads. I never would have guessed I would be teaching PE, but I’m excited about the opportunity to use things I learned from one of my favorite JU EDU profs – Mr. Haskins! I have such sweet memories with friends as we learned and discussed PE methods, and I’m looking forward to putting them to use, staying active, and minimal grading!
A week ago today, my friends Sam and Morgan and I left for Potosi and Sucre. Potosi was the richest city in South America a ways back. With the silver long extracted from the mines, it’s now a very small, quiet mining town. We headed on a tour into the mine, Cerro Rico. My heart broke yet again for this culture that is convinced that the god of the land blesses them. Turning off our head lamps and sitting in the pitch black in one of the mines, I couldn’t even see my hand as I waved it in front of my face. It is spiritually and physically a very dark place. As the guide ceremoniously thanked “Tio” the god of the underworld for blessing him, I prayed and begged for God’s light to truly penetrate and shine inside the mine. Soon after, we were on a bus to Sucre, the city in which Bolivian independence was claimed from Spain. This city used to be home to all government before transferring some of it to La Paz. We learned a lot of cool history about the country including how they chose their flag, where the typical ladies clothing came from, and saw some dinosaur tracks. This park is home to the most extensive dinosaur tracks in the world! Around 5055 individual dinosaur footprints of at least 8 species and 462 continuous traces are combined in a cliff of 1,500 meters long and 110 meters high, while remaining unscathed. Before you get too skeptical, because we live on a fault line, the cliff used to be the ground, and due to movement of the Earth is now a cliff! We also ate some delicious chocolate and enjoyed the sunny life a few thousand feet lower than we are used to. Upon my return, I also was able to enjoy spending time with families of two of my really good friends who are here to visit for Spring Break, and last night I hosted what has become a traditional “Bolivian Easter Dinner” with ham sandwiches and some yummy sides. This break has been restful and full of people and adventure.
As I gear up for the homestretch, I would really appreciate your prayers as I close out a 5-year chapter of life in La Paz and transition to Seattle area. Even though I have a job for the fall, there are a lot of other items that haven’t fallen into place yet, and I’d appreciate your prayers as I wait for them, specifically around housing for the summer (close to SPU) and fall (close to internship), a car, and of course community! And, as I have information, I’ll pass it along to you for what it looks like for you to transition out of NICS and HIS with me! Happy Easter from South America. He is Risen!