So, I thought I'd go ahead and share a little bit about Bolivia, A few facts and memories and things I've seen, too. I hope they will help ohters who are on their way here know what to expect as well as to remember further on! So, heres a few things about Cochabamba Bolivia... As well as the mission here!
So first offf: Climate- So in Bolivia you have a mix of extremes. Potosi, La Paz, Oruro.. those are extremely COLD climates almost all year round (Based on what everyone tells me), Santa Cruz and Chapare, However, are extremely tropical and burning HOT climates. In Cochabamba, Your've got the most temperate of climates in Bolivia, Sucre as well, where it is not as hot as Santa Cruz, but not as cold as Potosi either. The only thing is, That the weather changes up on you so fast. It is easy easy to catch cold!
So,Tips for Cochabamba preparation, (clothes wise)
1. Bring a whole Ton of those little sweater type things... Light and easy to tote around (not very heavy) as well as a coat for when it's really cold. Light Jackets are a good idea as well.. as it is cold in the morning, Hot in the afternoon and Super Cold at night. In the morning you are studying, so you can sit with a blanket or a hoody on and you're all good. In the afternoon, it is Hot and you are not going to want to bring a jacket for the added weight and hassel of toting it along.. HOwever...It is a BAD idea not to bring one as you are going to get a cold and be in bed a few days for you laziness! : ( So... Solugion: Light Jackets and a scarf, and you're all good! : )
Eat the Food!!! and do not hold back in the Praise~ These People show their love and appreciation through food! They are also rather focused on FILLING rather than enjoying. Rather than asking you if you liked it for example they ask you if it filled you up... So you can imagine I suppose what he plate looks like... FULL! But, you must eat it all! So many times I hear of missionaries who have refused them! Don't be that missionary! Eat It! Even if it's hard, you don't like it, or you've already eaten in 3 other houses and you're about to bust....Eat the food they offer you! They will always give you the best of what they have.. and often the only food they have. These incredible people would rather go hungry a day, than to not offer you food! So make the sacrifice and make them feel THANKED!
Shoes: Buy your self 3 sets of GOOD shoes! Ballet flats, heals, or any sandal-type thing is just dead here in a week! We walk A lot!! Miles sometimes per day!!! Wimpy little shoes are NOT going to make it!! I suggest Clarks with a thick sole, a strap and roomy) Oh... color doesn't matter... they are always going to be covered in dirt anyway! (note from me the momma: She brought three pair of clarks 2 with the strap and 1 flat for Sundays and she says that she will use them her whole mission!!!!)
Skirts: Go for Color! We are still girls sisters! Even as missionaries... so buy cute skirts with lots of colors...but don't be too worried about them getting dirty....They Will... and you will have to wash them by hand...But its not really a big deal. Just ve aware that a lot of the lessons are given in the Dirt or on the side of the road. People often don't invite us into their homes. So white is probably not a good proselyting choice LOL!
Shirts: Light shirts are a good plan..In lots of colors to change up your outfits! Scarves are a good idea too... to be able to be able to mix and match. You will get bored with your clothes without them!
Hair: The water here is dirty and full of salt. It damages hari and dries it out. (everyone here uses lotion in their hair) Be aware of that and bring state-side stuffs to care for it!
Don't bring em. They hand them out here! However sheets (jersey material being the best in my opinion) are a good idea. The blankets here are thick and itchy...(good for cold nights) which means it's nice to have something between you and the blanket... and there are a few areas that are Hot at night time and you want something lighter.
You're gonna want a journal, a study journal, writing paper(for letters), a scrap book (If you're a scap-booker) and a notebook for memories (recuerdos) The mission here has a tradition where each missionary has a book of recuerdos... That is empty and they hand it out to important people to leave pictures, notes, info, and jokes shared! (I have two one for missionaries and one for members/investigators) It's kind of like a scrap book that other people do for you! : )
Bring coins with you from home! It's fun to trade and collect coins from around the world!
Memorize the scripture masteries! Helpful in so many ways and most of all... Be you! : )
God chose you for a reason! Trust in Him!
Love Hma Alford