So many updates!

Apologies for the lack of updates recently! We’re moving into high season and our average numbers are going up along with all the work that comes with it! A kitten was sort of left on our doorstep last week. None of us want the responsibility of taking care of it, but none of us have the heart to put it out on the street. We’ve been trying to teach her to stay out of the house, but in the end, the kitten takes up a lot of time and energy that we generally need to take care of our guests and so on. Luckily a friend of ours will be coming to get her next week (fingers crossed!) and take her home with her. It will be hard to have to say goodbye to something so precious, but we also need to be able to focus on our work here as well as things get busier and busier.

The blockades around Bolivia continue. We’re not really sure if we’re filling up because some people have managed to get their way in, while others haven’t been able to or aren’t totally motivated to leave yet. In the end, we’ve been having lots of folks coming in and out on a consistent enough basis to realize that we still need to put better systems in place. Guests forget their things, have things sent to us before realizing that they will leave before the item gets to them, and so on. In the beginning we were able to send people their books, boots, chargers and so on back to them and do the extra things, but at this rate it happens so often that we’re having to learn how to just make a clear policy that we are understaffed and that we need to focus on managing the hostel and running the programs for the community center. In Bolivia, trying to send things on the buses and so on can get really complicated. Even more so with blockades and when one is on a deadline as people keep moving!

Lately we’ve also had quite a few people getting seriously ill. She was intending to stay for a few weeks and we were really looking forward to her joining our family for a while, but she also got very sick and had to go to the emergency room twice in the same week. So we have to say goodbye to Marie a lot sooner than we had hoped as she makes her way back to France early. Luckily, Luis came in just the nick of time, literally saving us as we took Marie to urgent care. They were both so amazing and fantastic to have around. In such a short time, we became so close that tears were almost shed when they had to go. Hopefully they will both be back again soon. Hopefully we’ll still be here when they do! With the blockades, we’ve had a bit of trouble coordinating volunteers, so with Luis and Marie needing to leave but unable to and other replacements trying to get in but unable to, we eventually at some point had 5 available volunteers with only 2 places for them! But things worked out just fine! And we’ve been so grateful to have more volunteers than too little. Every little but has helped us so much and we’ve been so grateful to have so many helpful, wonderful, and trustworthy people come into our lives here and join our family.

Now that we are adjusting to the consistent flow, we’ve been able to start organizing workshops for the rest of the month. We’ll be having a series of tango classes with our private teacher friend at the end of the month. Also, friends of Amanda will be visiting this next weekend for a week. One will be offering a workshop on meditation and the other a kickboxing class! One of the new volunteers will be offering an Italian cooking class this coming Sunday as well. He’s an Argentinian chef and will be teaching folks how to make their own fresh pasta and sauce! Some of our friends here have also decided to teach English classes with girls from the local orphanage this week. The girls are so sweet, as are our teachers!

Also, more good news is that we have finally found a plumber to start work on the water tank to make sure the showers stay hot the whole time! Blockades mean that there won’t be stuff for the kitchen upstairs yet. We’ll have to see how things work out with the transport taxes soon. At least the water tank will be coming soon. And hopefully a fridge. Everything else, we’ll have to update next week!

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