Wednesday, March 08, 2006
TOURING TARIJA, BOLIVIA
Life here in Tarija is very interesting to me. There are so many things to see, so many different people to watch, it is such a different and unique way of life than I am used to. I have so enjoyed watching the
children walking to or from school in their uniforms, the babies wrapped in blankets hanging on their mothers backs, the women dressed in the traditional dress, the young boys pushing their carts of goods to sell on the street, the seamstresses sewing on simple sewing machines in their small shops just off the sidewalk, the women with long long hair in braids hanging down their backs, the women who sell fresh fruit and veggies on the streets..... It is all so interesting to me. It is good to see so many people trying so hard to make a living, so many own a cart to try and sell something or fix your shoes, or backpacks....
One hike Colleen and I had gone on, we had climbed up a hill that overlooks the city - it had a strange looking statue at the top and a graveyard. This graveyard was your typical graveyard with the graves beneath the ground, but usually here in Tarija, the dead are put in cement boxes and laid on top of the ground. It will be interesting to see one yet. Down this one side
street, there was this couple sitting outside of their home and they just looked so in love. I had Colleen ask them if they would mind if I took their picture. The lady laughed nervously and straightened her hair. I took the picture and then showed them. In English, the man said 'thank you.' I really enjoyed taking that picture.
One time when we walked through the square, there were young girls with colorful dresses on promoting the grapes that are grown around the area. It is now grape season here and the grapes are ready to be harvested. It'll be interesting to go to one of these vineyards sometime this week. The square was also full of pigeons and small children running after them. You could buy some seed to feed the birds and it was so enjoyable watching the children run after the birds and making them frantically fly away. It was hilarious!! I could've sat there for a long time watching all the people milling around, talking and relaxing.
On the 7th, we had gone on a drive and a hike and God gave me some wonderful photos to take - many with my other camera so right now I can't put them on this ite because they are on film and I have to wait for another 3 weeks before I get them developed. This is a long time to wait for me to see these pictures. That is always a test of patience for me. :-) What beautiful country we were surrounded by. I just couldn't get enough of the beauty around me and was so extremely thankful for the opportunity to go on this drive and to see more of God's incredible creation.
On another drive we had taken around the city, we had gone to a beautiful garden which had numerous, beautiful flowers. We got many great shots. There was also a young mother with 2 little ones - they were precious. Larry asked her if I could take a picture of her children and she gladly agreed. Her little boy then called after us and asked us if they could somehow get a copy of the picture. Larry took this opportunity to tell her about El Candelero and she's going to come by there sometime to get this picture of her kids. We planted a seed - it was such a good feeling to know that God will be using this photo to introduce her to the Gospel when she walks into El Candelero. That was so cool!
Earlier in the week, I was asked to share part of my testimony at a prayer meeting at El Candelero on Monday night. That was very good for me - if was different because my English had to be translated into Spanish so that it could be understand by the people that were there. I always love to share what God has been doing in my life and where He has brought me from. It was very unique in this situation because Colleen and her family are people from my past that have had great influence in my life and have been a wonderful example to me of a Christian family and a true Christian friend. It was very good to share that with these people that Larry & Colleen are ministering to and sharing the Gospel of Christ - people that they are trying to reach for the Lord - people that they are doing the Lord's work for. I was honored to be a part of that prayer meeting even though most of it was in Spanish. It was not important for me to understand every word because God hears it all! It was a very unique, wonderful experience.
I was also honored to have a couple of my SK pictures used in church during singing - it really moved me to see my photos (God's photos) being used across the nation to help in spreading the Gospel and reaching the nations for Christ. It brought tears to my eyes because I had always had such a desire to serve God in any area I could with the gift of photography that He's given me. What a blessing it was to see the photos with Spanish praise songs up on the screen and hearing these wonderful voices singing their praises to God - it was beautiful! God was there! He was moving in that service and it was an honor to be a part of it.
Today, I had gone with a young gal, Nineth, from El Candelero and she had shown me around the city some more. She is learning to speak English so it was good for her to practice with me. We had gone to
a park near the airport - she said that was the airport for the rich and the bus station was the airport for the poor. That was funny. :-) At this park there was a large painted board picture/statue of
the Pope overlooking part of the city. There was a really nice park
for kids with a large dinosaur slide - my kids would've liked it. There were a couple of ladies selling some deep fried pastry type thing - it reminded me of a large rollkuchen from back home. When we were coming away from there, the side street that we were driving down had a group of small children playing. We stopped and they came running up to the car wanting me to take 'foto's' of them. The were so incredibly cute!! I got out and took pictures of them and they just giggled as they saw the pictures of themselves on my camera. They didn't want me to stop. :-) My friend took one of me with the group of kids - they were so sweet.
Another park she had taken me was on the other side of the city and overlooked a poorer area of town. This one was called Tarija la Linda and had a large statue of a horse and rider overlooking part of the city. At the time that we were there, there was a man cleaning it. It was very beautiful.
One morning, we had driven through a large marketplace in a poorer part of the city. Was it ever busy!! There were people everywhere! We hadn't gotten out of our vehicle, we just slowly drove through. I got some pretty cool shots though. It was all so interesting. It amazes me how many people will try their own businesses. You name it and they will try and sell it - from shoes, to clothes, to beads, to fruit, to drinks.....Many, many try to sell something. It is good.