Why we’re here

In the gospel reading today, Jesus tells a parable in which a rich person leaves and gives three of his servants some of his money to take care of while he’s gone.  Two of them put this money to use and make more money for him, but the other one buries it for safe keeping.  When the master gets back, he’s happy that the first two servants have done something productive with what they were given.  He’s quite unhappy (wailing and grinding of teeth unhappy) with the third one who didn’t make anything of what he was given.

As Laura and I were talking about it at dinner, we were saying how this sums up a lot of our reasons for coming down here, and we wanted to share that with you, our loyal blog reader.

We’ve been given a lot.  We both came from families that were well off.  We were able to get a good education (again, thanks families!).  I had a nice, well paying job for several years, and Laura was able to get her masters and teach a bit.  At this point in our life (about two years ago) we stopped and looked at where we were.  We could have decided that we wanted to focus on our careers or start our own family. Instead, we decided to take what we’d been given and put some of that time, talent, and treasure towards loving others, people we’d never even met.

There are lots of ways we could have done this without heading to Bolivia.  Learning the language was important to us, as was serving some who had the kind of hard life that only a developing country can give.  However, that’s just the extra stuff.  We’re glad we’ve been given (and taken) the opportunity to take what we’ve been given and use it for loving others instead of just keeping it for ourselves.  And what we have received in return, the grace of getting to know all these wonderful children and people that otherwise we never would have known, has already been overwhelming.

Eggcelent Surprise

Saturday evening on my way back to the house from youth group activities, Madre Inez says to me, “Take as many of the eggs as you want and then you can send the rest here.”  And I looked at her perplexed, “what eggs?”  Then I got back to our house and saw three huge trays of eggs on our counter.  Apparently that afternoon a Señora from our neighborhood showed up at the convent with a huge quantity of eggs for the Sisters and said specifically that three trays were for “that nice white couple I always see walking to mass.”  We knew that people were getting used to seeing us around the neighborhood but never expected something as nice as that!  We were very honored to be thought of, so wherever you are Señora, thank you for thinking of us!  German pancakes it is this week!

A note about eggs in Bolivia: in the market they are always sold in trays of 30 like this which are stacked very high and never refrigerated.  You say how many trays you want, they wrap a string around the trays and you carry them home. If you want less than a full tray, they put the eggs in a plastic bag for you.  Eggs are then put in a pantry of sorts, equally not refrigerated, until used.  There’s no way to know how old the eggs are when you buy them (although they seem fresh since they still have poop and feathers stuck to them).  We immediately refrigerate ours and wash them with antibacterial soap*, but still only keep them for a week or two.   I have also experienced my first ‘bad’ egg here.  It looked normal on the outside but I did notice an odor before I cracked it.  It was completely brown, green, rotten inside, so gross.  Oh well, gotta learn somehow.

* learned just water, no soap is best, thanks for the feedback Grandma and Terri Berg.