Sleepless and Stuck in Sucre

Trip Start Dec 10, 2011
Trip End Sep 29, 2012

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, June 10, 2012

Six months today I have been traveling. I have Salmonella, what a nice present and am currently using google translate online to translate my list of what I can eat and what I cannot eat from the doctor from Spanish to English for one whole month.  

I am in Ibis Cafe, one of my favourites on the square do great sandwiches and cakes (both I cannot eat anymore), the staff know me well here and I tell the lady who brings my tea over what I have got, she tells me you poor thing for one month, really? The list of what I cannot eat is far longer than the list of what I can eat. I cannot eat the following; hamburgers, pizza, fried chicken, drinks with gas, bread, milk, yogurt, lettuce, tomatoes, anything fried whatsoever, smoke cigarettes, drink alcoholic drinks, tap water, noodles, pasta, oranges, mandarins, lemon (any fruits with citrus), chocolate!!, fried potatoes, ham and pork. What I can eat is rice, chicken soup but without any fat, fish, jelly - really jelly that's not a food!, corn, bananas, apples and everything else if it is boiled!!
So not only will be I saving money but no doubt notching up a button hole or two on my belt and lose weight without even trying. However I don't feel too bad, shit happens. Few people asked me do I know how I got it? Well I felt sick on Sunday so it had to be something either Friday or the Saturday. Since I have such an interest in food I had even by luck wrote down which restaurants I visited and even what I ate. So it could have been the fajitas I took home from the restaurant I ate them in before and re-heated on Friday night, it could have been the passing of excretement from the children I have been working with, there's no soap at the place to wash your hands and their hands always basically smelt of shit. Lastly which is the one I truly think it was. The large amounts of water I indirectly swallowed while trying to swim in the public swimming pool. ´´Trying´´ being the operative word, since I had to dodge the boys playing and divebombing into the water and even once collided with them, this swimming experience was less than relaxing it was even a bit stressful. Anyway in the process I managed to swallow a couple of times the lovely water all the locals were swimming in and god knows what else. 

So for now I am  'Sleepless and Stuck in Sucre', there are far worse places I could be stuck.  I have already been here more than two weeks and visited almost every cafe, restaurant, park (more than once), chocolate shops (there are so many), large cemetery, the public swimming pool, library, vaccination centre, cemetry, view point way up over the city and a lot of internet cafes! The views from the mirador (La Recoleta) are well worth it and you can see all the hills around. I have also visited the Sunday market in Tarabuco, nothing to report here the one I went to in Raquira, Colombia is still my favourite so far.

This is also a great place not to just volunteer, and as I read somewhere else there are unfortunately, more oprhanages than you shake a stick at. It is also a great place to learn Spanish, lots of schools two I would recommend as they are non profits. The one I am at is called Fenix, they hooked me up with my volunteer project too. The other is called Fox and I have met a few people also doing Spanish and volunteering with them and they rate them. What makes it a great place to learn Spanish in my opinion is we are still at 2700 altitude, you have to take things easy here, the pace is quite relaxed, perfect for homework in the sunny afternoons. It's also quite inexpensive for language lessons I am paying 50BS per hour class private tutition, that is £5 GBP, well worth it and that also another reason is since Bolivia is generally cheaper to live it means you can stay longer and stick at your Spanish lessons for maybe a month, there's lots of homestays here too I was with one for a week and it was nice, I then went back to my hostel as it was closer my volunteer project.  
There's one contentious issue here in Sucre, I had noticed in a few places the slogan 'Sucre, Capital of Bolivia'. I thought well that's not quite right it's La Paz. Or is it? I happen to discuss this with my Spanish teacher and she got pretty emotionally charged about the subject. I even quickly scribbled down what she was telling me so I could get it right! She told me that as any of the guidebooks will tell you Sucre in old history used to be the Capital, however when elections took place and quite a protest from the people of Bolivia three years ago it was written into the consitution that Sucre is the Capital to keep the people happy. Go google it, look on any map, airport destination list, list of Capitals around the world, you won't see Sucre written there so for the international community we all know it as La Paz. This is the kind of bubble that these people are unfortunately living in, so people from Sucre are proud of this place and in particular when it was a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991. Now this means all buildings have to be maintained in the traditional white and I have never seen so many people sweeping streets as here and clearing the parks, maintaining the flower beds and lovely gardens. It's probably more because there seems to be a street parade every week I was here, one for Independence celebration, then another for military and this weekend it was dance crazy in the streets of Sucre. Got to love those Latinos. They love a good party. 

So I am going to stay here in Sucre, until I feel better to be able to travel again. Small problem that I overlooked though, is when I visited the hospital they asked me when had I arrived in Sucre. So I checked my passport, I realised I was only given a 30 day visa stamp I remember at the time I thought that was fine in fact but now I will be going over it for sure and I don't think it is a big deal anyway as another girl I met had the same and she said you just pay the fine for each day and it is pretty nominal, honestly at the moment that is the least of my worries. As right now have spent several hours on skype trying to sort out my next flight, as I extended it out due to staying longer in Latin America and well let's say it is not working out as I planned so who knows where I'll be next and when! 

I am also pretty restless at night since I got sick, I have severe stomach cramps even still with the antibiotics kicking in, I have a feeling of sickness, headaches and feel very weak indeed. I am sure this is because of the enforced detox from alcohol ;)  So eventually I am going to look forward to more sleep and food and drink I love again, but I think it is a little way off.  So this gives me more time to read, write and maked boiled stuff. 
I'll check in again if I have anything interesting to report, but I am afraid my exciting travel stories will be not so for a little while till I get to go see some cool places again. 

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