Sunday, September 8, 2013


I'm currently sitting between stacks of papers, scattered toys, bits and bobs that have been pulled out of cupboards, and half filled bins of stuff....lots and lots of stuff. It's nice to purge. It leaves me feeling refreshed and unburdened.

I suppose we are coming to the end of a chapter...or maybe more appropriately, a pause of one. The countdown is on until our departure for Bolivia and I waffle between the feeling of excitement and utter panic. I know this is normal. I've done this before. But I can't help thinking that this time we're dragging another little individual along with us who is unable to choose this for herself. There are moments where I have to remind myself that this will be an amazing experience for her...for all of us. There are other moments where I know it.

So, what's our story, you ask? Duane and I have often talked about making international travel a part of what we do as a family...volunteer travel more specifically. Around Christmas we decided that there was no better time than now. One child, flexibility at work, limited expenses...we could do it! Now the question was where? We opted for South America simply to avoid jet lag for Amelia, and Bolivia was the country that came up. They have a very grassroots clinic there that provides prostheses to the poor for free. There is no where in the country for nationals to train in the profession of prosthetics and so everything they know they have learned on the job. Duane has the unique opportunity to work alongside two Bolivians and to offer further training, as well as to learn how prosthetics can effectively be done in a developing country. Amelia and I will learn Spanish, work on applying for our temporary residency visas, and make friends.

In just five and a half weeks we will leave our home, head to Florida where Duane will compete in the Bike Polo World Championships, and then carry on from there to La Paz, Bolivia. Our thoughts are scattered (as are our belongings at present), but we look forward in anticipation to this coming adventure.


  1. So glad to find a blog about your escapades! Love it!

  2. Looking forward to reading as your family continues this journey. Remembering the send off and the wonderings from past volunteer travels.. Know that your family is often on our hearts.

    1. Remembering too Alicia...maybe that's where some of my anxiety stems from. Glad you were there last time and glad to know you're here this time. Love you!

  3. Exciting Adventure and looking forward to hearing all about your experiences! Safe Travels and Good Luck Packing!

  4. Great idea to create this blog! We will be eagerly reading, & often praying for you.

  5. Duane and Jessica,

    Please keep us posted on your experiences. Am here in Santa Cruz working with on the KeenTo project designed to improve the efficiency of voluntourism and to make it more transparent. Do let us know when you are headed in this direction. Buen viaje!