Amanda Dorough | She's Paying It Off

The Story of My Journey to Debt Freedom, One Tiny Step at a Time


Come On A Tour With Me

Holy Smokes! It’s almost December, where did time go?  I feel like I arrived in Bolivia just a couple weeks ago, not 8!

So, in honor of my upcoming 2 month anniversary I thought I would take you on a little tour of the building I call home, the HOH Guesthouse!

Admitedly, this building is pretty sweet.  If you were picturing a hut with mosquito nets and the like, well… that was my life in Cambodia on the World Race and while that’s ok for a month, 10 would be hard (although I would do it if God wanted me to).  So, I’m pretty thankful for the housing I’ve been given!

To start it off I’ll show you the view looking at the house.  Aren’t those mountains amazing?  The other day I was walking back from the Hospital, I stopped to look at the mountains and I just thought what an incredible artist God is.  So incredible that even the greatest artists on earth can only mimic his work.  Amazing.

The house is built in an H shape.  The right side is the “girls wing” as well as were the family lives, and then the right side is the “guys wing” and also holds our TV room and kitchen/dining room.

Walking forward, this is our little front porch and garden. Doesn’t it look inviting?  There used to be hammocks when I visited last year, but the hammocks gave way to tables.  Often times I like to just sit on the porch to do work enjoying the fresh air.

Go in the front door, hang a right and then a left and you’ll find my bedroom, which looks a little like this…

I’d been dying to try that heart shaped photo collage since I saw it on Pinterest.  I think it turned out pretty well.  The small ones will be coming down soon, to make way for a new idea I have, which I’m pretty excited about!

Then when you turn around you see this.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have two beds!  And no I don’t sleep in both.  So far, since I’ve been here I’ve had two roommates, although currently I have the room all to myself (yes!).

And no room would be complete without a bathroom, and in this situation the toilet and shower happen to be in separate little rooms, which is actually, really convenient.

Now, we’ll head out into the rest of the house.  If I go a little more down the hall we get to the big girls dorm room.  Right now there’s only on volunteer staying in it, but in the high season it’s packed!

Connecting the two wings of the house is a long hallway.

And right in the middle of the hallway, in the first spot you see when you open the front door, currently sits our Christmas Tree!

Get to the other end and hang a right and the first room you’ll come to is our TV room, which is also home to our wireless internet router, so we hang out in there a lot, as you can see my housemate Mackenzie doing in this picture!

Then , take the next door and you’ve arrived in the dining room!

And all dining rooms lead into kitchens right?  And ours is pretty sweet.  You can cook anything in there!

But the sweetest part about the kitchen aren’t the things we can make in it, it’s what I see when I open the door to the back porch…

Choco and Oscar!  Our guesthouse mascots, who are both technically still puppies so I’m lucky to have grabbed this shot!

So that’s about it for the tour.  There is more to the house, but you can only see so many bedrooms and bathrooms, and who really wants to see our laundry room?

So I’ll sign off from this post with one last picture, the view of the hospital from the guesthouse.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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November Newsletter!

This month I’m a little later with my newsletter than I wanted to be, but as I’m quickly seeing it takes a little bit longer to get anything done in Bolivia, a life I guess I’m going to have to get used to 🙂

And I’ve got some good news, I officially have less than $2000 left to raise!  Yay!  But I need to raise it as soon as possible, so, as the end of the year approaches and the chance to get 2012 tax deductions will soon run out, if you or anyone you know would like to get a tax deduction by donating to a good cause check out my link at the top of the page that says “donate” or send me a message and I’ll let you know how!

Now for the newsletter…

Just click on the link below and you’ll find it! (Or at least you should, I’ve having problems getting it to load right now, so if you are too please let me know!)

November Newsletter

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Home Sweet Home & The Story of One Nutty Travel Day

I made it!  I’ve officially been in Cochabamba for two days now, and man, it’s hotter than I remembered!

Ove years worth of stuff crammed into 3 bags and a back pack. No bad if I do say so myself.

Getting here was no easy feat.  The travel day was nuts to say the least and I feel like there are so many things I could tell you about it.

Like I could tell you about how we sat on the plane in Seattle for over an hour waiting for the baggage to get loaded since American Airlines only had one baggage crew.

I could tell you about all of the awesome people I got to sit by on the way down, from the two middle aged men I sat between on my way to Dallas, to the Microsoft marketing pro I sat by on the flight to Miami, we had some great conversations.

I could tell you about how both domestic American Airlines planes I flew on were nicer than the one to Bolivia.  That thing was seriously a dinosaur, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the oldest plane in the American fleet.

Last meal in the states. Chicken nuggets and a frosty. Yum!

I could tell you about how we had already taxied onto the runway for my flight from Miami to La Paz when the Captain came on the speakers letting us know that the center fuel pump had stopped registering so we had to return to the gate so that maintenance could look at it, and how an hour and a half later he comes on again to tell us they only had to flip a switch and the problem was fixed (ya right *).

Or how about the fact that I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on that flight that didn’t speak Spanish fluently, even the cabin crew was from Buenos Aires, so I found myself having to answer questions and give my drink/meal orders in Spanish a lot earlier than I expected.

What a beautiful sunrise!

I could tell you about how after about three hours of sleep I woke up to sunrise over Lake Titicaca and snowcapped Andes Mountains.  It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  God is an incredible artist!

Or about how on the “full” flight to La Paz the middle seat in my row happened to be open, allowing me to stretch out more (praise Jesus!), and how on the next flight from La Paz to Santa Cruz my whole row was empty so I was able to scoot over to the window seat and stare in awe at La Paz and the high Andes as we flew over them.

La Paz is at the top of the world, literally.

Oh, and then I could tell you about the point, in the Santa Cruz airport when I went to call my contact, Neco, and I noticed a long line at the American Airlines counter, then I heard a woman talking on the phone in english next to me (I wasn’t eavesdropping I promise!  I was just so caught off guard to hear english), she was telling her friend that there was some sort of *maintenance issue with the plane that they couldn’t fix immediately and the flight to Miami had been cancelled.  Ya, that’s the plane I just got off of.  Hallelujah that I made it to Santa Cruz in one piece, and my bags made it too!

Or how about the time I had to wait, with all my bags for 6 hours before I could check in to my flight to Cochabamba, which meant no bathroom for 6 hours, man that sucked.

But when all was said and done I finally made it to my new home in the countryside outside of Cochabamba.  It’s been a quiet weekend.  The first night everyone was gone except for Elma, Necos mother (Neco and his wife Rose are the guesthouse hosts).  She only speaks Spanish so getting settledled in was an experience.  Yesterday Neco, Rose and their two boys came back from visiting family, and sometime today all the volunteers should get back, so things should liven up!

Things are definitely different around here compared to last time, but I’m excited.  This year I’m going to be stretched a lot, but I know God has good things in store!

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October Newsletter!

I leave in 3 days, and my to-do list is still a mile long, yikes!  At least I can check Post Newsletter off the list!  Yay!

And just a disclaimer, one story in the newsletter is the same as my September newsletter, BUT this is because I didn’t actually get a chance to send that newsletter out to any supporters.  That’s the only overlap though, I promise!

Check the link below to find my PDF! (Don’t click on the picture, it’s only a screen shot and won’t take you to the newsletter 😉 )

October Newsletter

Oct. Newsletter


P.S. You may notice this months newsletter looks a little different than last months.  My mother generously offered to buy me Pages (the Mac equivalent of Microsoft Publisher) so now I’ll be able to make newsletters each month I’m in Bolivia.  Thanks mom!

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What Can $100 Really Do?


In todays society of big ticket purchases it doesn’t always seem like much, so what can $100 really buy you?  Well, lets see….

4 haircuts
2.5 tanks of gas
40 pairs of Old Navy flip flops
20 pints of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream
10 decorative pillows
1 suitcase
20 Starbucks frapaccinos
1/5 of an Ipad
200 packages of Crayola crayons

But these purchases all have one thing in common, they’re temporary.  Gas runs out, hair grows, flip flops break and caffeine highs wear off, these are just facts of life, but what if $100 could do something so much greater?  Something that doesn’t deliver temporary satisfaction but instead has an eternal pay off?

Nearly a year ago, during my third month of the World Race I had the privilege to partner with Hospitals of Hope, a rural Bolivian hospital near Cochabamba, a city in the Andes Mountains of western Bolivia.  Bolivia is considered the poorest country in South America, and with more than 80% of the children there living in poverty help is needed in every way imaginable, and that’s where Hospitals of Hope steps in, being able to meet the physical, social and spiritual needs of Cochabambas rural poor.

During my month spent with Hospitals of Hope God began to do a great work in me.  Beginning the race I doubted I would find a country I could love as much as Thailand but Bolivia surprised me with an instant connection. I loved the ministry, I loved the people, I loved the city, I loved it all.

As the month went on and my teammates began to count down the days until we headed out to our next country and our next continent I began to mourn leavening, tears flowing from my eyes the morning of our departure.

As the race continued on I couldn’t get Bolivia and Hospitals of Hope out of my mind.  As the months went by I prayed consistently for God to show me what his plans were for me after the race, what I should pursue with my life, and finally the confirmation came during a long bus ride in my beloved Thailand. God told me that he had given me a heart and passion for Bolivia and Hospitals of Hope for a reason, and that’s where he wants me to spend my next season.

So, in mid-September I will be moving to Cochabamba to begin serving as a long term volunteer with Hospitals of Hope.  I will spend the mornings running the hospitals coffee shop, Cafe Xelda, which reaches out to the local community, giving patients free coffee or tea, as well as allowing opportunities for prayer and relationship building with the patients and medical students.  Then, in the afternoons I will be journeying out into the greater Cochabamba community to help with clinics, at orphanages and to assist Hospitals of Hope volunteers in several other ministries.

I will stay in this role for at least a year, and then after that time I will reassess as to whether God wants me to continue building a life and ministry in Cochabamba or if he would like me to serve him elsewhere. I don’t even attempt to make plans anymore, I know he will show me what he wants in his timing, but between you and me, I think I could be in Bolivia for quite a while.

Now here’s the good stuff, what $100 can really do…

God has given me the passion to be his hands in the world, to go out and really try to change things, but my task is impossible without “senders,” people who are willing to partner with me on the home-front to make sure this opportunity for change really happens.

I need to have $7,500 raised or pledged by my departure day.  If I don’t have this amount raised by mid-september my departure date will get pushed back, subsequently forcing my ministry to be put on hold.

With every dollar raised I am one step closer to bringing the passions God has given me to Bolivia and one step closer to being a light in this lost place.

This is a situation where $100 can really make a difference.  If 75 people supported me with $100 I would be fully funded.  If 10 people pledged to support me with $75/month for 10 months, I would be fully funded, or if 75 people pledged to support me with $10/month for 10 months I would be fully funded.

It may mean sacrifice, but that temporary sacrifice has potential to do big things, the potential to change lives forever.

If you would like to support me you can do so in a couple of ways,
You can send cash or checks to:

Hospitals of Hope
3545 N Santa Fe
Wichita, KS 67219

Please make checks out to Hospitals of Hope. IMPORTANT! Do not write my name anywhere on the check, instead, include a slip of paper with my name on it in the envelope with the check or cash (i.e. For Amanda Dorough)

You can also donate online using a card here (Please specify that the donation is for Amanda Dorough), however if you do use a card there is a 2.2% fee that will come out of the donation.

If you would like to support me monthly (i.e $10/month, $20/month etc.) then please email and he will set you up!

All donations given directly to Hospitals of Hope are Tax Deductible.

If you would prefer instead to send your donation directly to me you can mail your donation to:

Amanda Dorough
attn: Bolivia
2212 165th Ave Ct E
Lake Tapps, WA 98391


I you have any questions or would like to learn more about my ministry in Bolivia feel free to email me at

And feel free to follow my life in Bolivia on my new blog and click subscribe on the lower right hand side.

Thank you and God Bless!

$100Clockwise from top left: The road in front of the Hospitals of Hope hospital building on the outskirts of Cochabamba (hospital is on the left); Inside of the HOH ER; English class at Cafe Xelda; Hanging out with the kids in the Pediatric Unit with Moviemento Sonrisa

$100Hanging out with kids and painting the school in Anacoriare, the small village the hospital is located in.