Have you ever had one of those unexpected moments when you talk to a child? Like "Why in the WORLD did they just say that?" Well, I had one of those said moments yesterday.

I visited Bolivia this past week, and was able to talk to one of my spotlighted kids, Brayan. He is a very shy and timid child, so he usually has a his tutor help him talk to me since he doesn't usually know what to say.

He told me that in Bolivia, particularly his house, is located in Cochabamba (if you would like to see what it looks like in Cochabamba, look below:)
This is what a typical day is like for people in Brayan's area. Parents work long hours for little pay. Just to put food on the table. What if you worked 12 hours a day just to put food on the table, to discover.... it wasn't enough? Sadly, many children are faced with this reality. To go each day wondering "Will I eat today?" Is something I never have to ask myself. Shoot, what i usually do is stare at a clearly overflowing refrigerator just to say "Man, there isn't anything to eat!" (hello, first world problem... my favorite term for when i am complaining) I see it. When a sponsored child literally clings to your letters because its the only ounce of encouragement and hope they have, it really gives you a perspective.

Anyway, back to my visit. He and I also spoke about his house. He told me that his house is made of brick. That is good for me to hear because that means its sturdy. One less thing poverty needs to have control of. I asked him if he had electricity in his house and he said that he did. But, when i asked him where he got his water from he said he got his water from a water cistern. Which if you don't know what a water cistern is, is like a big bucket with a filter. And they collect the water from the rain and through the filters, it is cleaned and purified and made so that its clean.

This is a filter that Compassion International gives to children just like Brayan that they use to get clean drinking water. I have seen these filters work. They will take the dirtiest of water and turn it into clean water. And the thing is, one of these filters gives a child water FOR LIFE! Children in the countries that Compassion works in don't have faucets that spit out cold and hot water. And if they don't have these filters, they have to drink dirty water. And and some people walk MILES for this dirty water. Yes, the ignorant person can say "Why are they drinking this water? That is stupid." But, considering our bodies are made up of 70 percent water, water truly is life. And if you saw a child who was thirsty but all you had was dirty water to give them, would you do it? And in our developed world state of mind, we can say "No! I would never give a child dirty water!" but, what if it was the matter of life and death? What if that dirty glass of water saved your child from dehydration? I have experienced being dehydrated, but when your so dehydrated that when you pinch your skin, in a normal person the tissues would be elastic and would be fine. But, if your severely dehydrated, it stays. Because the tissues don't have enough water in them to retract.

It really opened up my mind. I started talking to him about what he washes his clothes in. He washes his clothes in a bather. I am not sure what a bather is, but I will update when I have that information. He said he had a message for his sponsor, Kimberly Warren. He said that he viewed her as a beloved sponsor and that most of the communication was going to be through his tutor, Arminda. She is usually with us whenever we talk, which is great because it makes the communication more concrete. He said that he wanted to give me the answers to the questions his sponsor had asked. He said that he drew the drawings, and that his church isn't in the city but its in a neighborhood. He said that he is in 1st grade now, and that when he grows up, he wants to be a civil engineer. Which is a big dream for a 7 year old! But, the thing is, without me, he wouldn't be dreaming that big. Most people in his area are day laborers. My dad was a laborer when I was growing up. It was a thankless and worthless job. You had long hours and got paid very little. But with most people being illiterate, its the only job they could do. He said that his favorite thing to do at the student center is to sing. He loves to sing! He said his sponsor loves to sing too. It just makes the bond that much more closer. He said that he is thankful for God keeping his family healthy. He talked about celebrating Mother's Day with a rose and he shared a patty and a soda and gave his mom a strong hug.

That part hurt me. And made me sad. To think that for Mother's Day the best they could do was share a patty and a soda and give his mom a rose, really shakes me.

He shared that his dad's name is Pablo and he is 29 years old, and that his mom's name is Paulina and she is 32 years old. (young couple) and that his siblings are Sandra who is 9 years old. If you can recall from my first talk with Brayan, his sister Sandra was with him. I thought she was much older, I didn't think she was 9 years old! WOW! And he has a brother named Diego who is 5 years old, and he has a little sister named Natalia who is 3 years old and a baby sister named Florinda who is a year old. I like that I can tell that they had a kid every other year. I wonder if they will have one next year. :D

He shared with me that the 23rd of July they celebrated friendship's day and that the 6th of August is Bolivia's anniversary. He said that he was grateful for talking to me. And he gave me a bunch of hugs. :)

How's that for a conversation??

If you would like to sponsor a child like Brayan, there is a little boy that lives in the same country as him that would love to have you as a sponsor! Click the picture below to learn more about this little boy who needs a sponsor! And if he is gone, you can sponsor another child in Bolivia, that desperately needs a sponsor.
April B.
10/9/2012 11:31:22 pm

I enjoyed reading this entry. I hadn't learned about the Compassion filters before, so that was really interesting for me. Brayan sounds like a really sweet boy with a big heart! God Bless!

10/9/2012 11:50:08 pm

Really? Oh, man. I have some videos I will upload later that Wally took using those exact filters they are really neat. :) I will make a page just for videos. :)


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