Three days before the trip to Campo Bello school, we never imagine that we will go to soon. That Saturday, April 22, Brandtley, the chief pilot and Jenny his wife picks us up to go to church together, in the road, the men, Brandtley and Miguel were talking about the airplanes that cannot fly due to some government documents that need to be filed and approved. During the conversation I began thinking on the Project that months ago we began with the Campo Bello Indigenous School who has 115 students and they don’t have the resource to get the school supplies; we were visiting this community in December last year and we saw so many needs there. The school year began in February and I was afraid that this year we couldn’t go to bring help to the teachers and students.
We were happy that we were receiving donations for almost all the supplies, but we were in need of 200 Dollars more, for the big notebooks, dental supplies and transportation to the school from the city San Borja to Campo Bello. If the airplanes stop going to the interior, these students will not have the hope to receive their supplies.
With these thoughts in mind, I explained to Brandtley the situation. And He said, “the only airplane that we can use is the Cessna 340 and next Wednesday is the last day that it can fly. If you want to go to Campo Bello, we need to leave in three days, on Tuesday”.
Wow, only three days to prepare our belongings, buy the last supplies, schedule the meeting with the chairperson of the school and see if they were able for us to go, also we wanted to bring David the dentist that he could do free dental attention after we deliver the supplies to the children. “Ok, I said, I want to go, but we need 200 dollars more to finish getting all the supplies and I don’t have that money” And Jenny said: “don’t worry we will make the trip!”
Sunday we couldn’t do nothing, all the stores were closed and so Monday early in the morning we all went to the city. Jenny, Lara, David and myself, we went to buy the last supplies and some supplies for dental attention. The chairperson of the school said that will be perfect on Tuesday because Wednesday the schools of the district will begin a national competition among the regional schools and it will finish in the next week.
Early Tuesday in the morning, everybody was ready. We left Santa Cruz at 8:00 am and in two hours we were in San Borja (By land is a trip of 20 hours).
When we arrived in San Borja, we went to the market to buy some food for lunch and water. The weather was not good, the day was very hot and almost everybody said that it will rain soon. Lara with Jenny found a baby monkey at the bananas store.
Around 11:30 am we arrived to the school. Everybody was waiting on us and preparing all for the events of the next day with other schools.
The leaders and the teachers welcome us, was so good to see them again. The children were around us watching what we were doing, while we began putting all the supplies and the tables outside the school: the pencil bag, (with two pencil, an eraser, a scissor, two pens and a glue), small notebooks, big notebooks for the students and glues, rollers, paper color, flutes, pens, pencils, color pencils, markers, balloons for teachers.
With so much joy in your hearts, we saw how happy each child was when the teacher said their names forward to come and pick up the pencil bag and the notebooks.
The teachers told us that some of the children didn’t have any supplies and they have only one sheet of paper and a pen, that is all that they bring to the classroom. Also, the teachers don’t receive any help from the outside, they need to buy their own books, the children don’t have books and if a student doesn’t have the money to buy their school supplies, the teacher takes money from his or her pocket and buy the notebook and pencil for the student.
I was sad seen all the children with their clothes dirty, it shows me that maybe for their mothers it is not easy keep them clean, the families need to go to the river to wash their clothes.
This is one of the classroom, they sit on the floor with these rugs that are hanging on the wall. After seen this, I understand that is not easy to keep the children clean.
We decided to stay there until 3:00 pm and to do medical and dental attention and teach the children dental hygiene and give them toothbrushes.
But around 1:00 pm when we finish giving all the school supplies the children and teachers began to rain a lot. Everybody was scared for the rain and said that we need to go back to the city because when is raining any car come to the village. At that moment arrived a car, taxi, and the leaders encourage us to return to San Borja in that car. Was hard for us to decide, for one side, we want to do medical and dental attention, but for the other side, we know that we need to return to Santa Cruz that day because we cannot put the airplane at risk.
With our heart broken we take that car, we were happy for the children and because we accomplished the mission, but sad because we didn’t finish with all that we expected; with that thought in our minds we return to San Borja. The road was very bad, the driver was going very slow in the muddy road, but thank God we were able at 4:00 pm load the airplane and return safely to Santa Cruz.
We are glad that we had the opportunity to leave to these families a beautiful book “El Poder de la Esperanza” (The Power of Hope) by Julian Melgosa y Michelson Borges; Brandtley were visiting the nearby houses giving the book.
The people saying Goodbye!
We have so much to do, there are so many people, so many children and communities here in Bolivia and around the world that need help, our help! I thank God for the courage the he gave to all of us. You and I have through our talents, time, friendship and resources to reach and help others with the beautiful hope of salvation. Jesus loves you and us, and He loves with an incredible love all this Tsimane communities because he died on the cross for all of us.
Thank you so much for all the prayers and financial support!
May God bless you!
Mirta & Miguel