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Bolivia – a country full of beautiful nature and cultural diversity

My name is Anja and I’m 25 years old. Last summer I searched for a new experience. Together with Milonga I went to South America.

It was such a great time during my 4 week stay in Santa Cruz. After a 15 hour flight from Munich to Santa Cruz I arrived at the Airport of Santa Cruz. I was tired and full of thoughts – what will be happend, how is the family, can I help?

José the father oft he family welcomed me at the airport and all my thoughts were far away for a moment. We drived together to the house of my host family and all the family members were so warmly and open. So I had a great beginning in Santa Cruz.

The first week was a little bit challenging for me, because my spanish was not that perfect that I hoped it should be, but the family teached me and helped me in every situation I didn’t understand. I practiced a lot and my spanish went better and better.

During my stay in Santa Cruz I worked in a Kindergarten next to the house of the family. The kindergarten was built of the movement (focolare). It was so impressive to see. Reina, the mother of my host family, is the leader of the kindergarten. It is really such a great project.

In the kindergarten the groups of children are so big. In one group they have between 20-30 children. The first days it was really difficult to figure out with all the kids, but it was a good experience and the children are full of love and they looked for closeness. Everyday they welcomed me with a loud „Anja“ and also when I stayed in another group all the kids asked when I will come back to their group. It was impressive to see that the kids like you anyway, it’s equal for them where are you from or what colour of skin you have.

The kids loved that I didn’t looked like them. They loved my white skin and asked me everyday where I’m from, asked me about my family. They were very interested in me and my life. It was so touching to see how people can be opend hearted for people from another continent and country.

It was a really great time in Santa Cruz and also in Cochabamba, where I only stayed for 4 days, to visit the other volunteers from Italy (Chiara, Cecilia and Monica).

It was a hard and sad say-goodbye at my last day in Santa Cruz. I learned so many things about the different culture, to appreciate a lot of things in Germany, to be happy with simple things and to enjoy every moment.

Every day after my work in the kindergarten I was tired, but I also wanted to be with the family and to play with the kids of the family and I decided to stay with the family. I wanted to enjoy the moments with them, because maybe its a once in a life experience for me to stay in another family, and it was the best decicision I could do.

It was also impressive for me to see how little things children need to play. The grandchildren of reina and josé played every day with marble and they didn’t need more.

After my 4 week stay in Santa Cruz I travelled around bolivia and it was a present for me to see such beautiful nature, met different and interesting people and eat a lot of great food. I really enjoyed my time in bolivia and whenever I will have the chance to come back – I will do this for sure!

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