01.08.2010 - 15.08.2010 24 °C
I have now been in Bolivia two weeks. I have adjusted to the time difference. I have rubbed the rust of my Spanish. I have learned some new regional words. I have settled into my job, met some great kids, gone to the big city, met up with an old friend from Barcelona, ate some great food, ate some bad food, gone to the hospital, explored various pharmacies, and now, finally, have my own internet! Let the catching up begin!
This is my courtyard! I have a large, clean room all to myself, a fan and a screen. Also, really nice neighbors:
These are some of the kids who live in the other rooms off the courtyard where I live. There's one extended family in several rooms, and other rooms like mine are rented out. It's quite eclectic!
Weekdays, I work in the Sanchez family's house where the office of CISNE is located, around the corner from my house. Sonia and her son Papacho do most of the running of the organization. Papacho is a lawyer and he has made CISNE an official organization with the Bolivian government. I am writing a loan manual for the women, and a "campaign plan" for the organization so they can seek external funding, an English and a Spanish version! I have almost finished these things, and then we'll see what to do next.
The family are wonderful people. They have a lovely house, 4 kids (three adult sons, two are married with babies, and a 12-year-old girl Sarita), two dogs, a parrot and two new little kittens! The parrot loves the bigger dog and tries to bite you if you pet him, but hates the smaller dog, so you can pet her all you want.
As you can see, lots of living goes on outside here. Most houses are built around a courtyard with lots of doors going off into rooms. It's winter now, but not very cold (ask them and they'll say it's freezing and I'm crazy, but it's 60 or 70 out...), and so there aren't any mosquitoes yet, yay! For breakfast I eat sweet bread and hot chocolate called Toddy, and for lunch and dinner I go to a neighbor's house, Florinda, and she cooks excellent yucca soup, chicken soup, a sort of beef stew over rice, empanadas, fried chicken, cabbage salad...
It's hard to avoid all the water here and a few days ago I got really sick and ended up in the ER with an IV...but with a little Cipro all can be cured and today I got to see a friend I met my year abroad in Barcelona. Her name is Aida and she was in the same after school Catalan classes as I was because her family lives here in Bolivia but her dad was working in Barcelona the year I was there. We kept in touch via Facebook, and today she came to Montero where her family lives (she lives in Big City Santa Cruz) and took me to lunch at her uncle's house! It was incredible to see her again, and she's invited me to Santa Cruz next weekend to stay with her!