i however am not really bound by their stinginess and have asked my peeps at my organization if i can take this alternate route home. the main road between la paz and oruro is still blocked. it used to be that there were as many as 3 blockades along the same highway. now there is aparently only one but it seems to be a fierce one, there are no side routes you can take and busses are not able to make it through. my plane leaves saturday morning at 7am. i HAVE to be in la paz no later than friday night. because of their concern for our safety we are being forced to stay in oruro tongiht because they are certain everything will be magically resolved tomorrow. grrrrrr.
in other news, we finished our work today at noon. we had a marathon work session yesterday from 8am to 10:30 pm. luckily i got to sleep in a bit. and i was able to log onto a rural clinic´s network to get online this morning which meant IM chats with fiona and alexis. yay! i also managed to turn in my timesheet so i will get paid next friday. double yay, esp since it is my third check this month.
i have started shopping. i will seriously try to limit myself so i do not spend hundreds and hundreds like i have before. there are just so many great things to buy! i canot really go into details on my purchases because some of them are destined to be presents for some of you. needless to say, the items are so cool that if you do not like them i will gladly keep them. i try to keep that in mind when buying things. i will have to come up with some creative ways to package some of the items as they are rather large and/or delicate.
i continue to take lots of pics but it´s a big hassle to optimize them and post them so maybe while we are waiting to hear what my colleague´s organization says i can post some. i am amazed that the number of wild dogs here. it seems to be more than what i have seen in la paz. more than i have seen anywhere else in the world to be frank. a lot of them look so skinny. i feel so sad for them. i want to buy them little empanadas or salteñas for 2Bs. (one u.s. quarter) and feed them and pet them and play tug with them but i know that is special given the poverty that many of the humans endure.
i have discovered a wonderful new drink. mandarin orange fanta! (jef, please do not tell me you can find this in the U.S.) it is the best thing ever. it is way way sweet so you should certainly limit yourselves to two 500ml (damn metric system) bottles per day. i also had my first beer today. the label is hilarious - a king stradding a barrel. i will have to buy another beer at some point and take a picture of it. there are warnings about drinking in high altitudes, but the beer is pretty weak so i think i will be fine. oh the beer is called, damn i forgot. but it is not available in la paz for some reason.
one other interesting factoid, well two:
1. a lot of items are imported from neighboring countries. cars come from brazil and chile. doctors come from cuba (ok that is not neighboring). pickpockets come from peru (that is what my colleague claims). i of course assumed that everything here came from the U.S. we went to a shoe store and the brands there were: north star and KS. no reebok or nike or skechers.
2. there are very few street signals. of those that there are, half do not work. there are two lights, green and red. for 95% of the other streets it´s totally a game of chicken that determines who has the right of way. as a cab is approaching an intersection it will honk once, and only slightly slow down, to let others know that it is passing by. there have been 2 very close calls where there were accidents while we were in one of the cars. i must say though, the driving is better than in la paz. i am tempted to take a video clip of the driving in la paz. i think i am tough and i have had to close my eyes in la paz during a few scary intersections.
ok i think that is it. i am off to see if i can watch law & order svu in spanish. i forget the name, something like: ley y orden blah blah blah.
oh jef, a p.s. to you, on animal planet i saw a fascinating show about eagles. it showed eagles swooping down to catch flamingos!!!!! i had no idea eagles did that. but even more awesome was eagles fighting against eagles. well not really fighting, they get near each other, turn upside down, and then their claws become entwined and they do this horrible/thrilling spiralling downward dance. they also showed eagles capturing sea snakes. wow is all i can say.