Sugar sugar! Another white city....

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
my own room :)

Flag of Bolivia  , Chuquisaca,
Friday, July 30, 2010

I am learning so much. 
About life, about me, about people. Traveling alone is sometimes really confronting, but I experience that the less good moments are the ones that in the end really change  you, and when you can really learn and grow faster. But luckily there are a ton of amazing moments which make me enjoy every breath I take. But so both, are just really living :)

I stayed a little over 2 weeks in Cochabamba. While I eventually planned to only spend a few hours and head to the jungle for volunteering asap. But oh how wrong were my expectations...

Lizzy from CouchSurfing contacted me and I ended up surfing at her place for the longest I've ever stayed with someone. Her house was amazing, the bed very cosy, and the people so warm. I notice how much I enjoy people around me, as well as having my alone-time, but good conversations invigorate me. 
I had the pleasure meeting some other great people too. I met her daughter Melissa, great girl always smiling and very smart, and 2 people that also live in her house (she rents out rooms). Mario, an fascinating guy from southern bolivia, great to talk to about life. And Maria-Henia, an equadorian girl married to a german guy living in Swiss and now doing an internship about peaches in Bolivia (are you still following?). Talk about interesting encounters!
We ended up sharing many dinners and icecreams, and many interesting conversations, and all these people won a big part of my heart. I had a very hard time leaving, but felt it was time to go.
I really liked Cochabamba, it had a surreal mix of poor and rich, crazy painted bussed, and icecreamshops in every street (even more than 1), which just makes me feel happy :)
Cochabamba has the largest Christ in the world (yes larger than the one in Rio! :) ) which makes that I encountered many religious fanatics from the states visiting this town, and also the largest market, which is really impressive... They sell dried lama foetusses, monkeys, and whatever your hard desires (or just not). We did a great hike to the snow, hitching a ride on a local camion/truck in the back, together with a ton of locals and a iant barrel of Chicha spraying us with alcohol every now and then because of the (very) bumpy ride. Amazing :)
Now I am in Sucre and it's very different. Although Sucre is Bolivia's official capital, it is tiny, and very relaxed. Also very clean (finally fresh air! Cocha was very polluted), and white. All the houses in the center have to be painted white by law, which is what gives the town its nicktime of la ciudad blanca (just as Arequipa, but there it was because of the white stone that mosthouses were built out of).
I got really lucky finding a cheap and nice place to rent for $66/50euro for a whole month, although I'll probably pay a little more to have the option to leave earlier. But what a crazy price... A spacious room with bed and sheets, nightstand, desk and a bookrack, and a few bathrooms nearby. Across lives a couchsurfer (that's how I found out about this place), Franz, with 3 other people from around the globe. So I immediately have some options to hang out with people.

I signed up for more Spanish classes, but am noticing that maybe I had enough and now I just need to practice more in real life. I will take a few more and then just try to speak Spansh more in daily life...

Via the school I can volunteer too in the mornings. In Miski Wasi (means casa dulce, gentle/soft house in Quechua), a house for 8 to 15 year old girls, giving them the chance to get an education instead of working on the streets all day. They stay there in the week and go home in the weekends. I help them with homework and mainly giving them some personal attention (and hugzzzz, got to love spending time with kids just for that! :)), it's really great! They are amazingly independent and well-behaved. Wash their own clothes by hand, etc... . 
I want to find some simple english-songs to teach them while playing on my ukulele, any suggestions?

I also bought running shoes, and it feels so good! The weather is perfect here every day, 21 degrees and sunny, and there's a nice park to go running in. I know in the future it won't be so easy to find opportunities, but now I bought the shoes I hope I'll be lucky and run more :) Good for the body and mind.I will tonight also try to be a teacher assistent in English classes, we'll see :)
And there's so much more that could be added... like yoga classes or bolivian music classes. 

But I am not sure how long I will stay here... I always thought of staying a month here, but then Amit suggested to stay in Cusco instead for a month. So probably only 2 weeks. Although I love my room and all the posibilities around here, I feel the itch to explore more. After exploring this part of Bolivia I will be heading back to Cochabamba to finally visit Toro Toro, cause it never worked out... Or I got sick, or they had a bloody fighting festival which made all the busses full, etc. And now I'll be able to go together with some friends, always nicer :)

It is hard to decide what to do when, cause eventhough I have a lot of time, there's also a lot of things I want to see and do, and I find that staying for longer in a place feels really good too... I get to know interesting people, really experience life in a place for a part, etc... So I really have to weigh up everything to make decisions all the time. As I can only stay 3 months in Bolivia, this time around at least :)
And there's so much more I want to do... like still volunteering in the jungle (which would have to be 1 month), visiting the salar, che's memorial, santa cruz, etc... Man I don't have enough time! :)But first, enjoying volunteering and meeting people in Sucre for the next days/weeks!
Will be continued... again :)

Hugs to all!ML
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Lauren on

Glad to hear you're feeling good and lots of positive experiences.

Why do you feel such a time crunch? You don't have a return ticket... just go with it. go with your feeling, with your heart rather than with your head. I know it' a challenge. Something I easily get caught up in- not wanting to miss out on anything but sometimes needing to just stop and enjoy and not fit everything in...

Hope to talk soon : )

marie-line on

the rush because I will go to toro toro on the 20st... so have to puzzle how to fill in my time before that, and no clue what I´ll do after

ellen on

hei! tlijkt al stukken beter te gaan met je hé ! super! geniet ervan :-)

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