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.

5 comments:

Anne and Her-man G. said...

Hi Lisa! We've been visiting your "blog", and are we ever happy and excited to read and see what a blessed, happy, and sometimes scary time you are hsving. Praying for your safety, health, and wisdom everyday! We can't wait to hear how you made out on your visit with your uncle George. What wonderful fellowship you must have had on your buggy ride with your cousin, would a car ride not have gone much too fast and too been too short? Reading your blog is so heart-warming, Lisa! Thank God for this type of technology! We love you, Lisa! Praying God's continued blessings as you live, travel, and fellowship for Him! Praying you'll come back safely, we can hardly wait to get together with you! (uncle) Herman & (aunt) Anne

Lisa's Pic's said...

Well, I have made it here to Santa Cruz. I arrived here last night and have stayed at the home of missionaries Jake & Dorothy Fehr. What a wonderful time we had visiting and talking about God. :-) That happens to be one of my favorite topics to talk about. :-)
I had a very restless sleep. I woke up many times during the night. I know God is working on things here and has me here for a purpose - I do not want to fail in the mission he has sent me here to do. I have been praying lots during the night for wisdom, discernment, and guidance from Him and for Him to give me His strength and courage to be who He wants me to be here and do what He wants me to do.
This afternoon, I will be going out to Dave & Lisa Janzen's home in the country after doing some shopping with Dorothy this morning. Then tomorrow I will be travelling on train with my cousin Tina, to go and find my dad's brother George near San Jose. It is a 5 hour train ride and we will be staying there the night and coming back the next day. I am so looking forward to that. Tina has been excommunicated from her father's colony and so it means so much that she will be taking me there. The colony will accept her since she will be bringing me to see her father - so this visit has much more to it than just me going to see him for my dad. God is at work and He has a wonderful purpose to this.

Thank you for your prayers for me here. The bugs are bigger and it is hotter and so I've been praying for God's protection here.

I had a wonderful time in Tarija!! What a beautiful city! It was sooo good to spend time with my friend Colleen and her family. It was hard to say goodbye. It is so neat now that I have seen where they are and what they do, when they talk about their mission and the people, I will know who and what they are talking about and will be able to pray even moreso because I have experienced it with them. Thank you God for that wonderful opportunity!!

I had been working on another story of Touring the countryside around Tarija but I had trouble loading pictures so that will have to wait until I am at home to finish that.

Thank you so much Uncle Herman for your great encouragement comment left on this story. That made my day when I read that! God bless you greatly for the impact you have had on my life and you too Aunt Ann, I will not forget you. I thank God for you many times. :-) Thank you so much for your prayers and please continue to pray for me. I can't wait to share with you what I have experienced here. :-) Love you lots!

I must go now. Thank you again for reading and for your many prayers.
God bless you all!
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Lisa we are so happy that you have experienced Tarija with our children..We are praying that God will give you the words to your uncle and his family.. Words that only Christ can give you at the right time.. Say a big Hi to Dave and Lisa and Jake and Dorothy from us.. We always had such good times there when we visited them.. May God be your strength is our prayer..

Lisa's Pic's said...

It's my last night here in Bolivia and what an adventure I've had. I did find my dad's brother on a colony near San Jose - I went on a 6 hour train ride to get there so I got to be there for one night. I can write a book now - Planes, Trains, Buses, Taxis and Buggy Rides! WOW! What transportation I've been on. Being on that colony overnight was like going back in time - no electricity, no phone, horses & buggies, and outhouses. Very interesting indeed and an experience I shall never forget. I can't wait to get home to share pictures from that time.
I also too a 4 hour taxi ride to another colony to find my dad's sister Sarah. That was wonderful!! It was like I was visiting my Gramma who has been gone now for over 15 years. That was very special! But what a dusty, bumpy ride! I will be so thankful to be back in SK with smooth roads and no dust for a while until the snow is gone. :-)
I got some excellent pictures from my journey here - only 22 rolls of film so far and about 1,500 digital shots. Not bad for a 3 1/2 week trip to Bolivia hey?? I can't wait to get the rolls developed and onto my computer and on a disc.
It will be so good to be home with my family though. But I sure enjoyed one more day of shorts! I've been wearing skirts all week - which I am not used to wearing that much anymore back home, so today I decided I was wearing shorts so matter what! :-) And that I did! :-) It was another hot, muggy day here in Bolivia. It had been raining much during the night and most of the morning so by the afternoon, it was extremely humid and the air just stuck to you.
By the way, thank you so much Nora for your encouraging comment and for your prayers in regards to my visits with my dad'd siblings. It all went well and I felt much protected all the time and I know that is a direct result of all the prayers that were going up for me while I was away. Now I just need prayers answered for my trip home tomorrow that all the flights will work together well and that I will make my connections on time. Thank you all for praying for that.
God be with you all and we'll talk to you soon.
Bye for the last time from Bolivia!
Lisa

Lisa's Pic's said...

Well I'm.........not home yet. I made it to Miami but then I was unable to get to my connection fast enough so I have spent yet another night in Miami. After getting over the disappointment of not seeing my hubby (whom I miss horribly) and my kids (whom I miss very much as well), I decided to try and make the best of things and to continue to enjoy this journey that I've been on.
I got a hotel 1/2 hour from the airport with a free shuttle. It was fun to see part of the city, to see the lights and hear the sounds of a very big city very foreign to me.
My devotion the day before yesterday was about how God is in the intrusions of our life. He sure is! I know He is with me and He is looking after me! He does such a good job at that!! :-) I have complete trust in Him that He will get me home and that He has a purpose in mind, maybe not even for me but possibly for someone else, as to why I have had difficulty getting to Bolivia and now some minor complications getting home. Today I have yet another tight connection to make in Minneapolis so I pray that I will make that one and not have to stay the night there as well, but if I do, I'm sure God will look after me there as well too.
I so enjoyed my time in Bolivia and looking up my dad's siblings. I found out yesterday that my dad had to be taken to the hospital and that my mom is not doing too well. I trust that God will look after them as well.
I had a very good flight here to Miami - we flew over the Amazon Rain Forest again and touched down in Manaus, Brazil - that was good to see again. I understand that not too many missionaries have seen that because they have often travelled at night so I am fortunate. I sat next to a Mennonite man with 7 children travelling to AB to live - his wife had trouble with her Visa at the airport so she was unable to come with them. Last night there was also a person stuck in the elevator here in the hotel for quite some time. So, I have much to be thankful for - God is really looking after me through all this.
Thank you God!
Signing off again and thanks for your many prayers. Lisa on Thursday, Mar. 23/06
Hopefully the next time I update my blog, it will be from home!! :-)