We had a difficult but rewarding day yesterday. Sandy, Freddy's wife & the daughter of our next door neighbor in Seattle, established a non-profit organization, Smiles Forever, in Cochabamba 10+ years ago to help indigenous women become trained dental hygienists. We toured her training center, a Catholic home for abused & abandoned girls, & an orphanage with 181 abandoned children & babies. Her organization provides dental care to the Catholic home residents and is where she has found candidates for her 2 year training program. Besides being surrounded by these girls in desperate need of attention, we had an hour long conversation with the Sister that has ran this home for 20 years...the stories were societally revealing & disgusting. To say our emotions were touched would be a tremendous understatement. I have personally always struggled with various aspects of philanthropy...yesterday, I figured it out.
We then toured a huge open market including native crafts & a tramway ride to the huge Cristo(larger than the one in Rio) overlooking the city.
We were in bed by 9 PM, emotionally exhausted but wiser from what we had experienced.