today has been all sorts of crazy. no pictures for me to upload though because i am too lazy to transfer them to my laptop to then put htem on a flash/thumb drive to then plug into the back of one of the desktops here to then upload to my site. i´m hoping i´ll have more energy tomororw and will make up for the lack of pics from today. as it turns out i think i only took pictures of the road block or blockade, not sure which is the right term.
blockade? yes. the most common way for the working class to protest is via road blocks. people for a certain cause will find ways to block major roads. my guide and colleage, erika cabrera, said that in the tropics called los yungas they use trees. here in oruro becuase there are no trees, it is all very flat and rocky, they use well rocks. this morning i got up at 5;30 to get ready to catch a bus at 7am that would take me from la paz to oruro. about 3/4ths of the way to oruro we had to stop because there were rocks strewn all over the 2 lane highway for a distance of about 2 kilometers. mind you this is the ONLY highway that connects people between la paz, oruro, cochabamba, pretty much the rest of hte country. so we were told that the bus company had a bus waiting on the other side of the blockade. i don´t know what happened to me but my body or lungs chose this time to have an asthma attack. we are at a higher elevation than in la paz, maybe 13000 feet or so. i totally freaked out the woman that is traveling with me - she did not let me carry anything else. i made sure to glare at the miners that i saw along the way as they were the ones that caused this blockade. half an hour later we arrived in oruro, what i have heard is now one of the poorest cities in bolivia.
it´s main industry is mining. we may be able to take friday off and i hope to be able to visit some of the mines or at least the entrances of mines. i have no desire to go inside. i forget what metals are found here, nothing too precious but maybe something like zinc and tin and the such. when i find out i´ll post it here.
i was just chilling upstaris in my modest but cute room, ooh i can take pics of that and post them, watching cable tv and watchd a news clip that said that all outbound busses from la paz stopped at 9am. seems like we barely made it out. if there is still a blockade on friday afternoon when i am supposed to head back to la paz then our plan is to take a 4 hours bus ride to cochabamba and then fly from there to la paz.
today is father´s day here. happy father´s day from bolivia. i have no idea why i thought the whole world had the same father´s day.
after settling in and getting lunch, most people go to restaurants and have set lunches, we went to a private clinic where i sat in a waiting area for 2+ hours while my colleague conducted a focus group. this means some kind of appetizer, some type of soup, bread, a main entree, and of course dessert. so far i have only been able to have lunches, no dinners. one of hte high altitude side effects is a slowing down of your digestive system so that if you eat at 1pm you still, if you are me, feel full at 8pm.
as for animals, so far i have only noticed dogs and flies. there are flies here! it was weird to see them. oh during the 2km walk through the rocks i saw a bunch of beetles but didn´t feel comfortable takng out my camera, well work camera, to take pics for jef. i have not seen any cats around. i wonder why. the dogs i have seen haven´t been in the best of shape, you can clearly see their ribs. oh duh, i forgot that on the bus drive i did see flocks of sheep and flocks, not sure if that is the word, of llamas! the sheep outnumbered the llamas though. and of course i could not tell for certain if the llamas were indeed llamas and not something else like vicuñas or alpacas.
something else i find interesting is the fact that in certain places you have to pay for everything. in the bus terminal in la paz, if you wanted to go to the bathroom you had to pay an attendant 2 bolivianos (omg, to shorten bolivianos, you write: Bs.), so yeah you pay 2Bs. and get a wad of toilet paper and a receipt! everyone is super concerned about receipts. receipt for toilet paper/bahtroom use?? i wonder if my company will reimburse me for that or if that is considered part of meals & incidentals? anyway, we also needed to pay 3Bs. to leave the terminal to board our bus.
ok i think this is getting too long. i hope to do a better job at figuring out the technology tomorrow and certainly will take pics of things other than my room.