I am ME!!!!!!!!!!!

FYI...I got my VISA yesterday (finally), so we decided we needed to CeLeBrAtE!!!!!!!

Got my Visa!!!!!!!!!

     Juana, Sandra, Nick and I have a list of places where we want to eat during our time in Bolivia, so we have been eating out and checking off these restaurants off of our list.  Today, we chose to get some Charque de Llama for a Saturday treat :)  The plate includes hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, corn with Charque de Llama and cheese on top!!!  You eat it with your hands...

Charque de Llama

     As we were finishing up our meal, a little street girl walked right up to us, put her silver tin bowl down on our table and looked at us waiting for it to be filled.  See her little tin bowl in her hands?  We filled it up as she sat there with a huge grin on her face.  As she was walking away, I asked her if I could take a photo of her.  She walked back over and let me take the photo.  Nick leaned in to get in the photo with her and her cheeks turned bright red as she grinned even bigger...she must have thought Nick was cute...you can see that she leaned towards him too :)  She was so sweet!!!

Little Beggar Girl

     After we were all full, we still had some leftovers.  We bagged them up and decided to go find the little girl to give her more.  I knew that she would be on the street somewhere right outside of the restaurant.  Sure enough, we walked outside and she was on the left with her mom and another child.  This city is FULL of beggars and homeless.  Every street has someone sitting on the ground begging for money, food, your water bottle, jacket or anything that you have that they think they want or need.  It is so sad because most of these people will spend their entire lives on the streets...these children grow up on the streets, playing and begging.  

Little Beggar Girl's Family
     If you are reading this and you have children, they most likely have a place to sleep, clothes, food to eat, clean drinking water and they probably go to school.  Can you imagine if your children grew up begging for peoples scraps and spare change, spending all day, every day on the sidewalk?  Can you imagine your children working to help bring in money for your family?  Many children make money by washing car windows at red lights at busy intersections, by guarding parked cars on the streets for a few coins, by pushing wheelbarrows of produce at the Saturday markets, etc.  While your children are having friends over to play Barbies, going to extravagant birthday parties, enjoying movies at the theatre, swimming at friends houses during the summers and taking naps, these children are surviving.  This mother sits on the sidewalk, taking care of her baby, while she sends her older child into restaurants to beg for food from strangers.  But, you know what???  This little girl never stopped smiling...and it wasn't a fake smile...it was a genuine, bright, beautiful, happy smile.

     I'm not saying take all those wonderful things away from your children, but I am saying that we don't need as much as we think we need to be happy.  Right now, I am grateful for the roof over my head, my own bathroom with a toilet and hot water, a comfortable bed to sleep in, money for food, clothes and so much more.

     I know that God doesn't make mistakes.  That means that I was born at the right time, in the right place, to the right family and I am who I am supposed to be.  But, every time I see people like this little girl, I can't help but wonder why God made me who I am instead of making me a poor, Bolivian beggar girl???  Although I will never know, I am forever grateful to Him that I am ME!!!!!!!!!

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