We almost have a bathroom

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End Oct 15, 2010

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Where I stayed
Work away

Flag of Bolivia  , Chuquisaca,
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Time has been flying past, we have been so busy building our walls and bathroom that when we get into bed at night (or our tent I should say), we fall asleep within seconds. So I must apologise for the delay in updating, but you'll be pleased to know that we are back on the road now and things should soon get back to normal.

We have had a fantastic time on the work away project, made some great new friends and almost perfected our Spanglish. We are slightly more confident builders now and Jamie seems to have a talent for carpentry as he made our toilet seat, a funky chair and the lintels for the windows. I was getting pretty good at cutting out shapes on the jigsaw as well!

When I can eventually get photos on, it looks like we’re covered up because it was cold, no- the sun is fierce and it sometimes reaches over 30 degrees and our skin just dries out and burns non stop. We have total respect for the local builders, those guys work a long day every day picking, shovelling, mixing etc and they never tire or stop for a rest even though the climate is insane. They wear a football kit to play at lunch time- the highlight of their day, they also wear their work clothes over the top and usually a hat, and they still carry on picking and shovelling until the sun goes down. They were really friendly with us and always helped us when we didn’t quite grasp the concept, and they laughed at us in our gringo techniques and ways. June and Ed, the couple building the house are amazing people who have started an NGO in Bolivia, and want to create their little piece of paradise, and in doing so, question the Bolivian way of building and to inspire the locals to challenge the norm. So in a land full of identical rectangular houses, all painted white, they are building a huge circular house with huge windows of all shapes and sizes- including arrow slits, hoping to show people that there are alternative ways of doing things.

We have learned tonnes, not just the basic building techniques, but looking to the future and what we want to do with ourselves, the list is ever growing but we are starting to get a few ideas of where to start.

Dogs were a big problem, they aren’t like the cuddly dogs we love in the UK, the are left to feed and fend for themselves, so they used to come around our camp almost every night and raid our bins, bark a lot and generally pee all over our food containers. They are terrified of humans, rightly so as every time you go near one, more than likely, it’ll try to bite you, so we had to walk around with pockets full of stones to throw at them. Jamie’s aim was getting pretty good by the end. They would run out of range for us, but Jamie usually managed to scare them off with a surprise throw!

The land is covered in thorn trees, everything is sharp pointy and painful, and after sticking in our feet and splintering our hands, we took great pleasure in burning them on our fire at night. There are many different birds, ranging from parrots to huge eagles whose nests are the same size as a small building. All of them build their nests from the thorn trees, poor little chicks must get a shock on hatching. The thorn trees are also dinner for hummingbirds, they were too quick for a photograph unfortunately, but imagine the most emerald green teeny tiny bird just hovering above your head…magical.

There is a lady just down the dirt track who makes fresh bread- when she wants to, so most of our diet consisted of delicious bread straight out of the oven and into our bellies with homemade jam. Yummy.

We nipped into the city Sucre every weekend, there is a good cinema where we saw Inception, and June and Ed kindly let us use their facilities to wash and freshen up for the next week. Sundays were barbecue day where June would bring us lots of meat, Ed would spend the day doing odd jobs and we’d all get together in the afternoon for a glass of wine and a burger or sausages.

So all in all we have had a wonderful time, we have been very well fed and looked after and we are absolutely gutted we have to leave. Bolivia immigration has changed the rules so we can stay for no longer that 90days in a year. So that leaves us three weeks to see the rest of the country! However, we will definitely be returning in the future, we love the area, if only we could put it by the seaside, then it would be perfect!
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