Dear family and friends,
We have exciting news! We are leaving September 18th to spend two years doing volunteer service in Montero, Bolivia. This is a decision we have been thinking about for a long time and we feel that we’re up to the challenge and are looking forward to how this experience will strengthen and change us both individually and as a couple. In Bolivia, we will be working with Sacred Heart Sisters in the city of Montero, which is about an hour north of Santa Cruz. They have a whole compound there including a convent, volunteer house, technical school, orphanage, and kindergarten. Tom will be teaching at the technical school and providing technical support, and Laura will be taking care of the young girls at the orphanage and helping with the kindergarten classes. The girls at the orphanage come from the city of Montero as well as surrounding rural areas and have either lost parents or come from impoverished or abusive living situations. We don’t know any details about the students at the technical school yet. And to answer everyone’s question, no we don’t speak Spanish well but we will be attending four weeks of language school in country and relying on full immersion after that. For more information about our site in Montero, see the following links:
The two U.S. organizations that helped us find this placement and will be supporting us during our time in Bolivia are Salesian Lay Missioners (SLM, http://salesianlaymissioners.org) and VIDES+USA (http://www.vides.us/).
We would like to invite you to take part in this journey with us as much as possible and so we have created a blog which we will update frequently with pictures and stories and can be accessed at:
http://bo.teeks99.com. If you don’t want to have to remember to check the blog, you can sign up to get an e-mail when we make a big post, just put your e-mail address in the space on the right side of the page.
We also are planning to use Tom’s google number while down there: 314-266-8359 and we are both on Skype: Laurakent07, Teeks99. Montero is on Eastern Daylight Time Apr-Oct and Atlantic Standard Time Oct-April because they do not do Daylight Savings.
In addition we can receive mail and packages at the following address:
Hogar Sagrado Corazon
Montero, Santa Cruz
We would also like to extend an open invitation to anyone who would like to come and visit us during our time in Montero. We will find accommodations for you and set you up with some volunteer service around the Hogar if you would like.
Last but not least, please keep us and all the people that we will be serving in your prayers. We will sincerely miss all of our loved ones while we’re gone and wish you all a Happy/Merry Holiday/Birthday/Life Event for everything we will miss in your lives.
Tom and Laura (Riley) Kent