Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This blog soley expresses personal opinions and is in no way associated with the offical position of the Peace Corps.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Things you see walking down the street in Bolivia:
• Dogs
• Cows
• Dogs
• Flowers
• Cholita’s (see below)
• Dogs
• Beautiful views of the county
• Sheep
• Taxi’s (trufi’s) with 50 people in them driving 58 mph
• Dogs
• Cute, cute kids (little ones speaking spanish is just awesome)
• Dogs

What is a Cholita?
A Cholita is a traditional indigenous woman. The dress is a sombrero, a lacy short sleeved shirt with a sweater, a felt knee length skirt with a puffy slip underneath and sandals. They speak Quechua, Castillano (Spanish) and possibly other indigenous languages. The life of a Cholita is hard. She cares for her children, the housework, and the land. We have seen 80 year old Cholita’s caring 50lbs of potatoes on her back running uphill to catch to next trufi. These women are tough. We have a saying down here among our group, “its Cholita strong”. You will also hear us say, “Where’s the Cholita” when we have a physically tough task to do. We have only spent 2 months here, but in that time all I have to say is “you go Cholita!”

Snacks in Bolivia
When hunger strikes in Bolivia, what do you?. Well, if it’s after 8pm, you out of luck. Tienda’s close around 6 ish. Snack time down here in non-existent. When we get hunger pangs, usually we will grab wafer cookies (which has become its own food group for us), crackers, cookies similar to Oreo’s called ¨"cremocito’s", fruit, chocolate milk or juice in a single serving bag (you bite the corner off the bag and suck) or saltena’s. Saltena’s are original to Bolivia. They are like an Irish pasty but smaller. The outside is dough and the inside is potatoes, chicken, awesome gravy and at the bottom is an olive. These are tasty little treats that are sold everywhere.

Many views of Bolivia

The following pictures are from the last month of training. In the last few weeks, we have really seen alot of Bolivia. We visited the Cristo in Cochabama, visited the colonial town of Tarata. We also spent the last week traveling to Semipata, Pukara and Vallegrande for training. The following pictures are from our trips.

The sun setting over the Bolivian countryside.

A picture of Vallegrande

On the way back to Vallegrande from La Higeria the guys had to get out and clear some large rocks out of the way. Its pretty typical that there are landslides, especially during the rainy season. Yes, the road is meant for two cars and we were in a bus.

Us at La Higeria, the place where che guvara was killed. It is only 2 hours from out site and Mike will be promoting tourism for the Che Guvara trail.

A group of Bolivian youth sitting on top of a mountain. As part of our training, we helped these kids and a current volunteer maintain a hiking trail to incan ruins. At 10,000 ft its important to take breaks

Our group went on a hike during our time in Semipata. It is a one of the touristy spots where the amazon meets the Andes.

The views from the road, people in Bolivia farm on the side of mountains.

Mike with his birthday presents. A tradional bolivian hat chulo and a tradional handicraft.

The colonial city of Tarata. A person from our group will be working to tourism.

Mike and the Cristo in Coachabama. It is actually bigger than the cristo in Rio.

A cholita (traditional Bolivan wowen) looking down over Coachabama from the Cristo.