|Thanksgiving in Bolivia: Mr Potato Head optional|
On Thursday past, millions of folks in the good ol’ US of A took a day off, got together with family, stuffed themselves silly with megamart turkey and plonked themselves in front of the telly to watch some ‘football’, all in the name of Thanksgiving. Believe it or not, we too had a similar celebration, organised by token Yank missionary KC and our visitor, Rachel Peebles.
Except in this case the ‘family’ were the missionary team and the bird came, nay, ‘flew’ all the way from Cochabamba, a friend of ours from down there putting a special delivery together (in Bolivia, Air Mail means turning up at the airport and checking in your post). And the ‘football’? Why, Manchester City in the Champions League, of course.
What’s more, it was a national day off work! But for seasoned Bolivia-watchers, there’s no cause for alarm. Our dear leader, no friend of the Americans, has not all of a sudden prostrated himself before Uncle Sam’s copious La-Z-Boy reclining throne (with XL cupholders). In fact, our little celebration came 24 hours earlier, as we took full advantage of national census day, upon which everyone is required to stay at home and await the rat-a-tat-tat of the clipboard-wielding visitor. The rules were flouted somewhat, admittedly, as we all met at Kenny’s place (a mere crossing of the road for all of us anyway), but no-one batted an eyelid.
Best of all, KC, who has by now evidently spent far too much time around stiff-upper-lip British types, declared that going round the table and sharing what you’re thankful for, a Thanksgiving tradition, is one she doesn’t usually follow, and thus spared us men the sheer unmitigated torture of having to admit to the possibility of possessing feelings for one other. Phew!
The census made for a bit of stop-start week at work, where Amanda ploughed ahead in Audioology and I started planning both the end-of-year Community class party with Elizabeth, and a meeting we’re having at the church this Tuesday evening. Over the past couple of months, we’ve begun a sermon series on the purpose of the church and, more specifically, our church, based on the Bible’s teaching. Now that we’ve made decent headway teaching-wise, it is time now to get the congregation involved, and on Tuesday, having looked in-depth at the Great Commission in the last four weeks, we’ll sit down to discuss together where we’re getting it right and where we’re falling short.
Another upshot of the census was that our land application remains in a state of limbo, while progress on the house has been hit an unexpected hurdle in the shape of torrential rain, arriving on the scene way ahead of schedule, rainy season not usually getting into full swing until early January. A fair bit of work is currently required on the perimeter walls and in getting earth laid down in order to raise the overall height of the lot. And so, with the rain this week, delays were inevitable, given that Bolivians prefer not to be outside when the skies open. Unlike us Scots, who for 360 days of the year don’t have a choice.
- For the meeting this Tuesday, particularly that the church would ‘catch the vision’ for its own future and that this wouldn’t be just a missionary-driven enterprise.
- For progress on the house-building and our land application.
- For an enjoyable, relaxing day together with our fellow missionaries on Wednesday.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!
Craig & Amanda