Saturday, July 28, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
For the past 3 days I have been at my cousin's house in Mallasa. Had a great time! We rode his four wheeler up to this mountain area and rode around in the dirt. There was an amazing view. My cousin is obsessed with airplanes and Flight Simulator, so we spent a lot of time playing the game and downloading airplanes... it was a good time. As I write, we are preparing to go to a cemetery to visit some relatives, then have some ice crew, and go to a local botanical garden. Since I have limited internet, I have not been uploading that many pictures lately ( I have 150 MBs left). When I arrive home in 6 days, I will be posting my pictures like crazy, thanks to good old American wifi.
Posted by Christian Hodges at 12:51 PM
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Yesterday, July 10, we ventured downtown to visit my aunt Lucy. Downtown La Paz, or "el centro" is extremely crowded. Since transportation is a private industry, there are tons of different ways to go into the city. However, the government sets all prices for bus fares. It's quite interesting.
El centro really isn't that far away, but there are SO MANY CARS and SO MANY PEOPLE that it takes about an hour to get into the city. My papito says that all Latin American cities are extremely populated and crowded. We rode a bus into the city for 1.5 Bs, about $0.22. We were lucky to get seats on the way into the city. I'll explain later.
|San Francisco church|
|Lechon with potatoes and plantain|
|Me and mi Tia Lucy|
|My mom and Mt. Illumani|
After lunch with my aunt and her sons, (my mom's cousins) Cesar and Rodrigo, we went out for more Bolivian shopping. Before we left the apartment where I'm staying in Calacoto, mi mamita told me to not say a word in English or Spanish while shopping. If the vendors suspect you are a "gringo," or white from the United States, England, or any country that they expect you to be rich, they charge you much more for a product. I didn't take mi mamita's advice and spoke Spanish, and we did find some unusually high prices here and there- like a man who followed us on the street and offered a table decoration piece of fabric (don't know how to describe it) for 500 Bs, nearly $100! It was not worth that much, so we turned down the strange offer. The good part about the vendors making up the prices as you ask is that you can haggle the prices down. That's what me and my aunt did. I would ask, in Spanish, if a price seemed
reasonable, and my Paceña aunt (meaning a native from La Paz) would say how we could find the item cheaper, proceeding to ask the vendor to lower the price. It worked almost everywhere. We make a good team!
|A shop with various items on sale|
|Another shop with items on sale|
The way back to the apartment was much more... stressful. From the plaza of the San Francisco church we had to catch a specific bus going back into Calacoto. There were tons of buses everywhere. Luckily our bus was right there at the plaza. We had to run to catch it. Once on the bus, we realized there were no seats, which is totally normal for a busy Latin American city. This would have been fine, except for my height so I had to duck the whole way until I could get a seat. The bus, made to seat 29, had 60 people at one point (I counted!) At one point there was a man who PAID to ride the bus, standing on the bottom step hanging out the door of the bus, having to hold on for every little bump and turn. That would never fly in the United States. I know I felt every bump and quick turn/ stop, so imagine how the man hanging out the door felt. When someone wanted to get off the bus, everyone would have to get off to let the person go, since the whole aisle was filled with people standing back to back and side to side.
We got home, safely, an hour after we left the city. It was amazing- such a great experience. I hope we can go back soon.
Posted by Christian Hodges at 10:35 AM
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
My apologies that I haven't been able to upload the pictures from several days ago. I thought I would have wifi to upload pictures, but unfortunately I haven't been able to access a wifi hotspot. Currently, I am using a Bolivian company, Tigo, and one of their products for internet: mobile broadband. The mobile broadband is basically a USB stick that connects my computer to Tigo's 3G network. Unfortunately, I have a limit of 2000 MB. The MBs go very fast and the pictures take a really long time to upload. I promise that the next time I have wifi I will upload the pictures to the appropriate posts!
The pictures have been posted!
The pictures have been posted!
Posted by Christian Hodges at 5:55 PM
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Happy Fourth of July! Sadly, in Bolivia there was not much celebrationfor this American holiday. There were, however, fireworks in the early eveningwhen the sun set. Didn’t get any pictures, but the fireworks were very nice. Ithink I even saw some Roman Candles and other fireworks that are illegal in the U.S.
Today, we went to buy some movies at local stores. Movieshere are very cheap. A DVD costs 10 Bolivianos ($1.44) and a Blu Ray costs 20Bs. ($2.87). This is what one of the stores we went to looks like. The DVDs andBlu Ray discs aren’t in such great condition, so you can ask for them to betested out. In the picture, that is why there is a TV at the store. They haveall sorts of movies, old ones and new ones alike. All though all movies havetitles in Spanish, they almost always come in English as well. Every once in awhile, a movie you test out is recorded illegally in a movie theater. Thequality is so poor that you don’t want to buy the movie. It’s pirated movieslike that, that probably explain why the costs are so low for the movies. Allof the movies I bought are good quality; although, some discs might be copies.I’ll never know.