Our team met up in the La Paz airport yesterday at 3AM. Didn’t get much sleep. Probably about 2 hours total in a 30 hour day just getting to Bolivia, but besides that the trip was fortunately uneventful (If you can say that traveling through 5 countries is uneventful?) After a couple of hours of sleep we met up with the local VIVA-Bolivian team (see www.redvivabolivia.org in Spanish) here in Cochabamba for an amazing lunch . I had a typical plate called the Pique Macho. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be “macho” and try one of their spicy dishes. It actually wasn’t that bad given that I only ate about 1/10 of the chili’s on the dish. The rest of it consisted of tomatoes, fried potatoes and marinaded steak (and other fun animal parts like tripe etc). Super delicious! We were told that Cochabambinos (those from Cochabamba) are known for their food, and we certainly were not disappointed.
After lunch we met up to discuss logistics and meet the Bolivian team that are working on issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention (actually this is directed by a group of children-more on that later), child protagonism (empowerment), shelters for abandoned children, Prayer focus, street outreach, child protection etc. All of these projects are focused on bringing a holistic Christian response to issues that children are facing in this materially impoverished nation. Ultimately the inclusion of children in the kingdom of God is the aim. Today (day 2) will primarily be nailing down our agenda and opportunities for connecting with the different ministries involved here. More later.