Reflections on Bolivia

Posted by Cassie, August 12th, 2010

Non-litigious society: Bolivia´s motto is: ‘Fewer laws make fewer offenders.’ It definitely shows in Bolivia. It can be a little scary when traveling around the country. None of the boats have life jackets, and they do not look particularly sea-worthy. When crossing the straights of Tiquina, we could see the water through a gap in the boards on the bottom of the boat. You also have to be careful when walking around. There are suddenly big holes in the sidewalk where you could easily trip and hurt yourself. Construction areas are not blocked off. The Gringo Alley in La Paz, Sagarnaga street, was under construction, and there were people using heavy machinery right next to people walking down the street. On the positive side, anyone who wants to set up shop can just clear some space on the sidewalk and start selling, so it is really awesome to be able to buy anything and everything on the street. We saw a guy performing with balls of fire in the middle of a busy street intersection while the cars were stopped at red light. When the light turned green and the cars passed him, he asked for tips. You would never see anything like that in the US.

Crammed buses, micros, boats: No matter where you travel in Bolivia, it is guaranteed that every square inch of space in the vehicle will be filled with as many passengers as possible. Buses and micros will stop anywhere to pick up an extra passenger.

Fiestas: Bolivians definitely know how to party! The fiesta will most certainly not begin on time, but once it gets started, it will go on for hours. They have amazing parades with fancy costumes, lots of marching bands, and dancing. The parades in the US pale in comparison to those in Bolivia.

Fires: Bolivians love to set fires! They set fires anywhere even if it’s right next to houses or in the middle of the city. While we were on the Choro Trek, we were camping alongside the trail, and we suddenly saw a huge fire on the side of the mountain. When we asked someone about it, they said the people set fire to the  grassland to create better pasture for their animals, but the fire definitely seemed out of control. When riding the bus out of La Paz, we saw fires on the side the road right next to heavy traffic.

Animals Everywhere: Especially in the countryside, there are animals everywhere: sheep, llamas, mules, donkeys, pigs, and dogs. It is common to see people herding their sheep down the street or road.

Cheap: Everything in Bolivia was so cheap! You could get a huge meal for only a dollar or two! Even when we ate at nice restaurants, we never spent more than ten dollars! It will be hard going back to the US and adjusting the cost of things.

Print Print

Post a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>