Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Looking Back: Bolivia- Looking Forward: Peru

Many have you asked if I would be taking dresses again next fall to Peru.  Right now, I'm not sure. I did want you all to know that I knew I was in for a "job" of bringing and distributing the dresses, but I felt like I was up for the challenge. Every single thing that was donated to me, I brought. 

This  was all the items for donation. My personal bag was going to be carry on all the way. The week before I left I attended the Sisters Community church and briefly met the team that was going from there. They knew I had three bags and others were willing to check them under their name there would be no airline charges. Before we left I also let them know what was in the bags in case they were asked.

When we arrived in Bolivia everybody needed to have the bag they checked. Even though I grabbed all of my bags I had to find the person who checked that particular bag. We were told we would get to an area, show them our paperwork/passport and then would push a button, you would either get a green light or a red light, meaning your luggage would be searched. I got out relatively early, but almost everyone had an extra piece of luggage with lots of toys, clothing, soccer balls, school supplies. (there were about 45 of us arriving at the same time) 

This is where we waited for our group to get through. Both of the other bags of mine were searched. I felt bad because it added stress to the other people I didn't really know. (this was on top of 1 1/2 days of travel too) I was very stressed!

Someone from the group had to bring a flyer back to the airport and let them now about the mega festival taking place and that we were here only to give out all of the things we brought- not sell them.
This was us once we finally made it through. We are on the upper level of this bus- I'm sure the lower level was packed with luggage.
 This was in my room like this most of the time. Everything except the Bibles and dresses went to the "common" storage area that any team could take from every day. If you had personal stuff to hand out then you were to bring it to your room. Just getting it all to my room was good exercise!
 After breakfast ever morning we loaded up suitcases,  water, sound system and all freebies into a van. I was a team leader with 10 other people and we were together all week.(there were 5 teams total)  I loaded up a suitcase to bring every time so I would have the dresses with me when I needed it.
We did not have a passenger door for the front seat. See the green bag? That is in the front. (with the dresses in it) but it had to go up the stairs, then passed to the driver to put in that seat every.single.trip! 
In and out, in and out, in and out. If I knew the school was going to have 300 kids I wouldn't bring it in, but certainly didn't want to miss an opportunity either. I also  kept quite a few in a back pack that I took with me everywhere.
The arthritis in my back is sore now that I'm in cold weather but in Santa Cruz de la Sierra the weather was warm and I felt great. It was a lot of work, though. 

 Maggie was our guide for the week. She made phone calls and was usually the first into the schools to let them know we we here. She didn't speak a lick of English, but had such a wonderful heart. As you can see I gave her the bag when we were done with it. (We bought some things for our driver as well and put it in one of the other bags and gave that to him)

My opinion? All of that work was worth it, but I'm not yet committing to taking more than one bag next year.
Here's a reminder of why we did it:

Thanks again!!


  1. If you do take some count me in. I loved making them and think it is such a sweet charity for girls.

  2. Maybe cash would be better to help you with your mission? I don't know if you could mail things ahead... You are doing great work and I am just so proud of you!

  3. I certainly can see that it is tons of work - and I know what it is like having to get through customs in a foreign country. Not fun! Travel is hard enough with just your own stuff. We will all understand if you don't go with dresses next time.

  4. Love seeing the girls in the dresses. Quite a physical and mental challenge for you with the logistics of getting them into the country and the daily handling of them.

  5. Lori,Thank you so much for sharing.Seeing the pillowcase dresses on your blog gave me the nudge I needed to start making these for our teams to take to Haiti. Also this summer a friend of mine learned about these from a friend in Kansas. One day when she came to my home I told her I had another idea for Haiti, and she said I do too. What is your idea? And so we shared and now through our Sowers (quilting) circle we are organizing an all church sew day to make the dresses to send with our teams in April and August. Amazing how the Lord works. We already have an all church Sew Day to make school bags, and my goal each year is to make 100, and I've fulfilled that and finished 130 more for above friend that she lined, because the backing was rubberized and we didn't want that to be an issue in hot countries. Beautiful pics.

  6. It was such a wonderful thing for you to do. I know it was rewarding, but I am sure it was a bit overwhelming too. Please don't feel badly that you would like to scale it down a bit next time. We all appreciate all you have done!

  7. I will be happy to make dresses again if you need some ! Don't hesitate but I understand it's a very hard organisation !

  8. What a warm heart that you have! God's richest blessings to you on your next journey!

  9. Oh Lori! It sounds overwhelming. I loved making the little dresses but perhaps a donation of funds would be more practical.

    Or [I ve said before!] a quilt auction here on your blog, in the great historic tradition of charity quilt fund raisers?

  10. What a great chronology of the trip. And those kids are just adorable!

  11. Interesting to hear more of your experience. I admire you for all you went through to distribute those dresses.

  12. while its very nice you made/collected items for children. I see absolutely no reason to go to a foreign country to give items to children. do you have any idea how many children right here in the united states are beaten, starved, living in poverty every single day of their lives? yet we choose to go to another country and show them what rich americans have. why not look in your own community for families or children that need help. I bet you'll find them right on your own block or even living next door.

    1. It is unfortunate that you assume I do not look to help others in my own community. I live in the 2nd poorest county in my state and see poverty every day and do my best to help! Shame on you for making assumptions!

  13. the more important is to help, whatever the country..;In Europe, we are in crisis too and we have migrants to help...You made a good job!


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