Cochabamba and Holy Week

I arrived in La Paz yesterday morning at about 5 am only to find that every single flight to Cochabamba had sold out for the day. I got a cab with a great guy named Umberto who told me about his four daughters and 11 grandkids, how much he loved Evo Morales, etc etc. I made it to the bus terminal in time to get a 6:30 bus to Cochabamba, 7 hours and several frightening mountain roads later, I made it to Plaza Sucre where I met Jonathan and FINALLY got to take a shower at the Sustainable Bolivia main house. The whole compound is three large buildings, the art studio, patio and herb and vegetable gardens. We have a gorgeous view of the Cristo de la Concordia statue and easy access to pretty much everything great in the city. So far, so good!

Today one of our Spanish students, Ollie from London, and I went on a long ramble through town. It’s Good Friday and many parts of the city are totally closed down, but the market was largely opened and the streets were still packed. It is sunny and hot today, so we found a cafe to get a beer and rest. Since it is Holy Week, all alcohol sales are prohibited, but a apparently it’s a law that is widely publicized but not greatly enforced. In any case, Ollie and I had a wonderful conversation about neoliberal economic failures, the Euro crisis and the problems with higher education systems in our respective countries, three topics so depressing they are best discussed over beer, thank god we found some.

Being out and talking with people made me forget all my worries about not remembering how to communicate in Spanish. I am shocked by the amount that rushed back the minute I stepped off of the plane. We speak mostly English at the headquarters, but only Spanish with the Bolivian staff and it’s been very easy. I still have problems substituting Portuguese words to fill in gaps and sometimes my Brazilian accent affects words that have a ‘t’ or ‘d’ in the end (turns out ‘fuerte’ is NOT pronounced ‘fuer-chee’), but the differences are so minimal whoever I am speaking with understands what I mean.

But it’s sunny and perfect out, I feel like I am wasting daylight sitting in the shade on the patio, so this is all for now. Stayed tuned to photos and more visually-arresting content 🙂

-G

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