It doesn’t feel much like Christmas at the moment because it is so hot (29 degrees)! Apart from a few lights in the plaza we haven’t heard anyone talk about Christmas yet. Which is a bit weird. This evening we are going with our drama group to perform evangelism in the plaza. We have been working with them since we arrived and they are so enthusiastic.
Although schools have now broken up for Christmas we were invited back to Centro de Amistad y apoyo to do a drama workshop. The children were quite timid to start with, but seemed to enjoy the afternoon. We are hoping to go back in the New year.
Last weekend we were invited to a “Rubbish Dump Lunch”… The church prepared a meal for all the people who work on the rubbish dump, sorting and sifting through the rubbish. They collect valuable items such as glass, plastic bottles and aluminium for recycling.There is an abattoir on the same site, no shade or shelter, and they have no protective clothing. After helping to serve lunch we performed a short drama and spent time chatting. One lovely lady told me about her five children and all thirteen grandchildren, names, birthdays, ages… Each person was given a nice shiny pair of brand new wellies as a gift from the church. They were so happy. It was like giving them gold! They left smiling, clutching their wellies wearing their bowler hats. It was such a privilege to be involved serving some of the poorest people in Cochabamba.
The visa saga continues. We had to send our marriage certificate back to the UK to be stamped at the Foreign Office. When it finally came back we had to go to La Paz to visit the British Embassy, to have it legalised and translated by an official translator. Eight hours on a bus cama (which is a bed bus… But if your thinking Harry Potter you’d be mistaken) we arrived at sunrise. There was torrential rain all day, rivers running down the streets. We managed to go on the new cable car from La Paz up to El Alto, which is on the upper rim of the altiplano. It was a pretty cool way to spend 30p in the rain. Our papers are now in the immigration office, after a nine hour queue and many frustrations. Not sure we can take the stress if we have to do it again.
There are lots of events in the pipeline. We start a new city wide drama course on Monday. We are going to be visiting a youth prison for short term inmates. A Swiss mission organisation have invited us to Ribbalta, which is in the jungle… Lots of spiders, snakes and very hot! They have offered to pay for our flights which was unexpected. They run a Bible course for tribal leaders for three months each year, they think that drama will be a great way to explain the Bible in a non- book culture. Five other members of Connexiones Entre Mundos will be there at this time helping with the course.
Our Christmas will be spent in Cochabamba with our new friends. (Thanks Elaine for the gravy granules). We will then travel to the rural area to serve a community from 26-28th December and deliver medical and basic supplies with the Belen church. (Bethlehem church).
Thank you for your support and prayers. Please leave a comment. We love to hear your news too. Thanks to MP and SP, PG, RJW and EW, JH for the parcels and for those which we know are en route. Xx