I'm in Samaipata, a little place with about four thousand inhabitants, beautifully situated in the mountains (about 2 1/2 hours from Santa Cruz). The days are usually warm and sunny, and the nights are pleasantly cool. It's quite a contrast if you come from a Western European country to the poorest country in South America. Some people here live in shacks that we wouldn't even use for cattle. A monthly income of about 100 Euros is quite common here. In this particular place, there is quite a variety of inhabitants: indigenous people, as well as foreigners from all over.
Since my arrival, I've been with the Mester family from Germany. Kai is the editor of our hoffnung weltweit ministry, and they have lived here for the past three years. After a few days of recuperation, I went with them on a long trip to the Iguazu-Falls in Argentinia. And if I say it was a long trip, I really mean it. We went by bus for over 30 hours, which included two nights in a row. Part of the journey was through unsealed roads in the semi-desert of Paraguay, and the dust of the road just blew into the bus. It was not pleasant, to say the least. So after this torture, I decided that I wouldn't do this a second time, and was thankful that I found a reasonably priced air ticket for the way back.
Nevertheless, the trip was really worth it. These waterfalls are rightly declared as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We both went to the Argentinian and the Brazilian side, and we were even able to take part at a moonshine walk at the falls. We were blessed with beautiful weather throughout the whole time.
Right now, I'm still staying with the Mester family, but in the next few days, I'm going to move to the project, which is situated outside Samaipata, about a 30 minute walk from here. We already got to visit the orphanage, and from what I can tell so far, the children are very affectionate. Also the agricultural project looks good. I'm going to share more about my work there in my next post.
And finally, here are some pictures of our amazing trip: