Brandino’s Bolivia Blog

This blog is my view only and does the represent the Peace Corps or the US Government

Archive for August, 2008

Update Carajo!

Posted by brandperro on August 2, 2008

Yes, I am still alive. I gave myself un espaldarazo or pat on the back for the first update in two months. Yes I am sane, healthy and having a good ole´ time down here. Well I guess I should tell you a little about whom I have been living for the past three months. I live with a fairly modern Bolivian family Don Agapito, Dona Teresa, Christin 22, Ximena 15, Serigo 12.  Both of my host parents work in the health- care industry and have good stable jobs. Agapito is also a locally elected health-care official so every now he makes an appearance on the local news. Serigo and I always give him are hard time about this cause he gets so excited when he is on camera. He is hilarious, outgoing and very friendly that definitely helps with learning more Spanish. He recently just got his drivers license and treated it just like a teenager in the States. He would get up at five in the morning and practice his parallel parking until he had to go to work, then when he got back from work… more practice. Lately he has been washing or wiping down his car (Toyota Corrolla) about twice daily. I find this very very funny. Teresa is a little shy but also very fun but she definitely works a lot. Christin only comes home on the weekends because she is studying medicine in Santa Cruz. Ximena is fun and pretty much a typical teenage girl. Serigo is quite the hell razor and times but he is fun to play around with whether it is soccer or video games. Remember that both of my host parents work in health-care but they still do some interesting things. They will use the same bucket for mopping the floor and marinating meat in for a churrasco. It is well cooked meat but I think sanitation could be a bit of a problem… all else aside the meat is still incredible. I have access to their kitchen but I like to eat with the family for language skills and integration. We have chicken almost every night for dinner that they go out and get every night which is basically fast food but I don’t think they see the correlation. Once in every two weeks we will have chorizo (sausage) or pacamuto (beef on a stick). This is always accompanied by three carbohydrates… rice, noodles and either fried yucca or French fries, never any vegetables (I take vitamins and snack of fruits and veggies during the day). You would think that you would get sick of the same thing everyday but after three months I still crave dinner.  Most of the time we will eat the same class of chicken aka fried, baked, roasted, Japanese, lemon for about a week and then change it up… I don’t complain I love it! Lunch is a different story. Everyday at 12:30 a motorcycle pulls up with our food which is always different. They lady that prepares it is from Cochabamba and really diversifies the food. My favorite is peanut soup which is amazing. It is not by any meanings like eating peanut butter but it has a slight peanut flavor that is mind blowing. Everyday we get soup, rice, and a main dish. When people cooked for their host families in Coch and it did not have potatoes in it they would feel cheated or it would not qualify as a meal. I am starting to become like them! One time the lady substituted our rice for something else and I was a little let down… and thought that lunch just did not cut it. It was actually pretty funny when I realized it. My family also has a maid who is a nice lady and works half day only weekdays. She only does basic cleaning such as sweeping, dishes and laundry but still a maid.  Probably my first and last my still and joy… even in Bolivia. Even with all this they still have cold showers. I am actually getting accustomed to these showers, at first it takes the breath out of you but after that is quite refreshing, but that is definitely not one thing I am going to continue to do in the States. My work is going along fine at Muyurina and in a couple weeks I will be going into Santa Cruz with my counterpart to give a presentation to Peace Corps and other volunteers on the work I will be doing. Now most of my days are spent integrating with the students at Muyurina. Here are some integration tools that I have been utilizing. One…playing baseball with vegetables that the students grow in their gardens and a bamboo bat. Basically they just toss a small squash or a tomato at me and smash it to little pieces… sometimes in to a small group of students (very fun I recommend it to everyone).  Two… sometimes I have to drive the tractor around and I “accidentally” run over big rocks and hit branches that “came out of nowhere”.  Three… less interesting is just plain talking to them about whatever interests them… music, cars, girls, America, and everything else in between.  Even with all of those amazing integration skills I have a lot of time to relax. I bought a super nice hammock that will be well used after two years. Sometimes I like to go to the plaza and just chill with my PIL fruit (a juice drink that costs the equivalent of about 6.5 cents). I finally saw my first sloth a couple weeks ago. It fell out of the tree and was on the ground for a little while. Then they worker who was cleaning the plaza picks it up and then starts putting it back in the tree but first she let a little girl pet it first. I was have tempted to jump get on my knees and waddle over there just so I could pet it. The Spanish word for sloth is perozoso which literally means lazy. You can definitely see why when you see them in action, they move slow incredibly slow! Well that is about it for now. I will try uploading some more photos soon but if not just bug me and that will motivate me… they same goes with my blog. It seems to be put to the back burner a lot of times but I guess I could change that. The blog does not even start to explain my live down here so I hope you have all been saving up money for a visit!

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