Category: South America

Blessings.

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• La Paz, Bolivia •

This time of year always reminds Puppydoc to be thankful for all those who have come into her life, past and present…to cherish the memories of those who have left and to treasure each moment with those who are here.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday week.

Neighbor.

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• Monteagudo, Bolivia •

Puppydoc, in her usual fashion, seems to befriend animals wherever she goes. This particular companion was one who lived adjacent to the hospital…and whom Puppydoc would visit whenever she just needed some time alone.

Isolation.

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• Monteagudo, Bolivia •

This is where tuberculosis patients, including little Luis’ father, were kept, quarantined away from other patients. It is quite different from the standard isolation facilities seen at most hospitals today, but this is all they had, and they made the most of it.

Outside is where little Luis played while visiting the hospital.

And Puppydoc did end up getting latent TB after caring for the patients, but she took medicine and is now all better.

Little Luis.

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• Monteagudo, Bolivia •

Meet little Luis– otherwise known as Puppydoc’s partner in crime. He was a regular visitor to the hospital, as his father had tuberculosis and was undergoing a long course of treatment.

Since the hospital was a scary place for Luis, we always tried to make the visit pleasant for him. In short, what began as innocent playing quickly escalated to mischievousness as little Luis and Puppydoc discovered the treasure that was the hospital candy stash.

As you can imagine, the supply rapidly diminished into their tummies.

But don’t worry; Puppydoc later replenished the stolen candy with a fresh stock of Dum Dums.

Promise.

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• Quillacollo, Bolivia •

…because sometimes, even during a storm, somehow we still know that everything is going to be okay.

Buddies.

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• Cochabamba, Bolivia •

Because sometimes, there are simply not enough words that can be said that will convey the same amount of endearment as…a staring contest.

Storytime.

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• Vinto, Bolivia •

After tea—and before little Esterita’s nap—she and Puppydoc would often enjoy a story together.

And for a second, they would forget their troubles…big and small…and just touch the stars…

Tea Time!

phoebe-esther

• Vinto, Bolivia •

When Puppydoc wasn’t working, she would step right next door to her home…the hospital guesthouse.

There, waiting for her, would be the afternoon tea…fully prepared and served by her host sister, little Esterita…

…and together, they would then chat about their busy day while they took their tea…with two lumps of sugar, of course.

Meet Mayra.

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• Vinto, Bolivia •

One of our littler and bravest guests, I first met Mayra when she was admitted to the hospital with cerebral malaria (a severe form affecting the brain) a month prior. Few thought she was going to make it, but as one can see here…she absolutely did.

From scared little girl to fearless survivor, she quickly became an inspiration to those caring for her. Bonding over children’s songs and Dum Dums (green apple was her favorite), our friendship grew, and she quickly became a ray of light in my day.

Here, she is pictured at one of her follow-up appointments with—what else—
—but a green apple Dum Dum.

Bridges.

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• Santa Cruz, Bolivia •

Because we all need to cross bridges once in a while.

Conclusion.

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Quillacollo, Bolivia

Now that Gabriel, Juan, Angelica, and Alejandra
have been properly introduced,
it’s time to say goodbye.

But I hope you won’t forget us,
nor the other kids at the children’s homes,
but that you will keep us in your thoughts and prayers
as we continue on this journey called life.

Alejandra.

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Quillacollo, Bolivia

Finally, meet Alejandra.
She sings in Quechua, has a beautiful voice,
and most likely will become the next Renata Flores.
But most importantly, green apple dum dums are her favorite.