|adˈven ch ər|

• noun - daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm • • • • • • • • photos and a few reflections from my time in Bolivia • • • • • • • • click on any photo to enlargen

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I made a book! Ayni, meaning reciprocity, is a big concept in Bolivia especially among indigenous communities. Thus, whenever possible, our program directors encourage us to give back and foster a little ayni ourselves. Thus, for our Village Stay (in Tocoli) project, instead of writing a journal about my experience there, I made a book to give to the elementary school there. I think I was pretty clever, too, and made a copy of it before I colored it in so that it could be photocopied and made into a coloring book for the kids! 

The book is about Fiesta De La Cruz, a holiday celebrating the first Sunday of Lent. We were fortunate enough to partake in the day with many communities that had gathered together to celebrate; truly a beautiful event. The book is written in Spanish and Aymara, the language native to Tocoli. I wrote and illustrated the book, and Calixto (a friend of my academic directors and one of the priests) was kind enough to translate to Aymara. Here is the translation of the text:

  • Celebration of the Cross
  • Today is not the same as every other day. Today there are crosses in the street by the shops.
  • Everyone goes to the church to listen to the priest and to see the big crosses. All of the representatives from the communities are here.
  • After, we walk around the plaza with the crosses. It looks like a sea of hats to me!
  • We sing with the crosses outside of the church. Everyone receives a blessing from the priest, and all of the communities receive their crosses. 
  • Finally, we eat in the street with all of the other communities. The food is so yummy and the banquet is very fun!

Filed under Bolivia Tocoli Lake Titicaca Fiesta de La Cruz Fiesta children's book project ayni

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Bloqueo’d out of class

Bolivia is known (at least around South America, and in countries that learn about Bolivia in school, but I’m still not sure where that is) for it’s turbulent past and various social uprisings throughout the years. Cochabamba, too, has had it’s fair share of civil action, most notably the Water Wars of 2001, in which cochabambinos fought back against the privatization and consequent rate hikes of their water system. 

Today, there are bloqueos all over the city, meaning that all of the major roads leading in and out of the Cochabamba are blocked off by groups of people that have also probably put rocks, branches, and anything else they want in the street to cut off the flow of traffic. These road blocks come as a consequences of fighting between Cochabamba and Beni over city limits, only one of many of these types of fights throughout Bolivia at the moment. Thus, my classes are cancelled and I have been advised by mi madre boliviana that downtown (where my classes are held) will probably be mildly dangerous today, with a chance for some tear gas. We’ll see what happens!

Here’s the story!

Filed under Bolivia Cochabamba bloqueos peleas de límites no class