Sunday, March 30, 2014

Morning in Jironkota

We were slow to awake after spending the night on sleeping pads on the floor of the health clinic in Jironkota. I found I had missed a good party around the fire the evening before, but I wasn't too unhappy, and I found that throughout the week almost everyone took a bit time off to catch up on rest and sleep. Each of us missed something from our intense schedule. The sleep had felt so very good. And now I can say I spent a night at 4100 meters (13,450 feet)!

For breakfast we had Bolivian peanut butter sandwiches and fruit. There has also tea and coffee, the coffee being Instant Nescafe. I told the others that in the past few years of my international travels I have drunk so much Nescafe that I'm beginning to think it's good!

After breakfast we sang a song for the couple with us celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. We all almost ended up in tears over such an event. And Blanca, one of our Bolivian hosts had somehow used apples and other fruit plus a couple pieces of candy to make a very tasty cake.

The morning light was good for taking pictures.

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, the dark green areas are the agricultural crops.

Here's a house in the village of Jironkota.

I never inquired, but simply assumed that the rocks on the roof are to keep the roof from blowing away in the stiff winds that can occur at this altitude.

Sleeping at 4100 meters was not a task, but walking up a slight hill while doing some photos certainly reminded me of what was the altitude where I was walking.

Soon I heard someone calling my name and found I was invited to jump into the SUV and go see another village. This one was basically over the high ridge or by road perhaps 2 kilometers away. On our way we met a man walking with a young boy. I recognized the man as one of those that had welcomed us with music the day before. He explained his son was sick and he was taking him to see the doctor at the health clinic. It made my heart sing to know he had only to walk 2 kilometers, rather than about 40 kilometers as would have been the previous location, to get help for his son.

The mountain view on the way to this next village was really dramatic. And so was the view of the village.

And much to my surprise in this village everyone was getting ready for a market fair. Later we trucks heading towards this village, too, with people and produce.

People in this village had come up to the health clinic in Jironkota by 6:30 AM, before most of us were up and about, to find the Mano a Mano staff and ask for help in repairing an irrigation line. I have heard the stories before of people camping along the road for two days because they knew Mano a Mano staff would be coming by. The people in the Bolivian villages definitely are people who are not afraid to work and do everything they can to try make life better for their children.

Back in Jironkota I enjoyed seeing a herd of sheep approaching the village.

 And I learned sometimes you just have to wait to play futbol!

The remainder of this day centered on a celebration for the completion of the greenhouses which is the topic of the next blog entry.

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