Discoveries of a Wanderer

Discoveries of a Wanderer

Oh, the Packing List…

posted by Jana Melpolder

My head is spinning from all the items we can take with us to Bolivia. I’m looking at a list that suggests to take Aspirin, Melatonin, Neosporin – more “ins” than I can count. Don’t get me wrong, these suggestions are very helpful and I am very grateful for the list. But what do you really take with you? What can you pack for a journey that might change your life?


First off, from experience I know to pack light. This isn’t because of my own bountiful wisdom, but just because I’ve messed up so many times in the past. I’ve packed so much that I’ve had to give clothes away or throw clothes away. I’ve had to roll my suitcase through poor neighborhoods and feel incredibly guilty for showing others how much I have. At the end of the day, I’ve learned that the less you pack, the easier it will be to travel.



I’ll be going to Bolivia in less than a week so I’ll pack warm clothes, a journal, and clean socks (thanks, Mom!). Bringing what I need instead of what I want is a lesson that I’m slowly learning over time. But I”ll need to also be spiritually prepared for this trip – and that means packing a Bible, praying, and trusting that God will guide me on this journey.


So my hope is that God will help me bring some common sense to Bolivia – along with my dry, clean socks.


A Photo Tour of India

posted by Jana Melpolder

Check out the exciting photos of my trip to India from 2009. You’ll see the place that Ghandi’s ashes are laid to rest, a Christian church, a Jain temple, and other places that might surprise you. India is just a click away!


The Coast of Mumbai, India.
The Coast of Mumbai, India.




A Deeper Look at Poverty

posted by Jana Melpolder

What is the definition of poverty? What does it mean to be poor in today’s modern world of multi-car families and HD television sets? Does poverty have the same effects all around the world?


Apparently, no. Poverty can be easily recognized when you look at the pain-stricken face of a hungry child. Or at a despairing mother that can’t feed her children. But I’ve learned that poverty can go deeper. Much much deeper. And it can be hard to notice if you don’t know what you are looking for.


In Bolivia, the average annual income is $1,460 American dollars, which means that families tend to live on roughly $1,460 dollars per year. Children might not have enough food to eat or be given unhealthy food that doesn’t have the nutrients they need.



You might not see a pain-stricken face of a child in Bolivia: instead the reality of poverty might be seen in different ways. For example, when a child doesn’t have enough to eat (or highly nutritious foods), they will have difficulty paying attention in school. This can lead to lower literacy rates, math skills, and so forth. In time the cycle of poverty might not easily be broken.


It’s important to work towards the end of poverty in a holistic way (and with local community leaders). Knowing how to unravel the puzzle of poverty will help us to deliver sustainable methods in ending its cycle. It is my prayer that God continues to guide me (and the World Vision team) to understanding poverty in Bolivia and the world.


Check out how you can help end poverty in Bolivia.


Enjoy a Tour of Israel – Right from Your Own Living Room

posted by Jana Melpolder

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and I remember more than I have seen.”

-Benjamin Disraeli

Old ruins in the city of Beit She’an in Israel.


Check out an exciting virtual tour of Israel, the Holy Land!


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