Thursday, 24 July 2008

He Llegado en Bolivia

I arrived in Cochabamba around one month ago and can´t say enough about Bolivia. Pictured here are some of the fruits of the land at the Saturday market a block from my house. Fruit and veggie quality is very good but consumption is currently being dwarfed by grilled meat due to good and inexpensive restaurants throughout Cochabamba.

Here are a couple of pictures of my house. I´m living in this place with another norcal native named Erik. A year ago Erik started Sustainable Bolivia, an organization that offers travelers (among other things) a variety of work and volunteer opportunities in Cochabamba. I got my internship with Aynisuyu through Erik and Sustainable Bolivia. If you´re interested in coming to Bolivia I highly recommend the organization.

A shot of Valle Alto, 45km outside of Cochabamba. Hiking around here is a bit tough, it´s between 9 and 10k ft above sea level, chewing coca leaves settles your stomach nicely. Weather is superb, cool mornings and nights and very warm during the day.

The organization I work with supports the construction of invernaderos, such as this one, in small villages in the countryside. A couple different kinds of lettuce and some papas. It was tough for me to stand up.

Visiting the house of una cholita en el campo to look at her garden and peach trees. Ate some great oranges and talked about an upcoming organic seed project.

Here´s Mari Vitoria, the daughter of one of my coworkers chowing down on an orange, ella es una maquina de comer. She´s starting to warm to me a bit, today she said goodbye to me and let me give here a peck, she still won´t ride on my shoulders though.

A shot of la cancha, the largest market in South America with toilet paper hanging from the ceiling. You can find absolutely everything here from tailor made suits, avocados, llama fetuses, haircuts, and ipods. You get lost everytime and everytime you find something new.

Giant bag of coca leaves which many people, especially los campesinos, chew here. It is quite mild and numbs your mouth a bit, kind of like going to the dentist minus the torture. Current President Evo Morales is a former coca farmer so policies dealing with coca and it´s various non-cocaine uses are big here in Bolivia.