Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sorry about the vague entry before. I was in the training center and we have 1 computer for 20 people to use in about an hour total. So, a few other trainees and I went into a larger ¨city¨to use the internet/have dinner tonight. It´s good to feel a little bit of freedom...

Anyway, I wanted to take the chance to tell you all just a little bit about my family. My "host parents" are 69 and 70 and live with their granddaughter who is 16. I think that one of my host parents´ children´s family lives with us, but I don´t see them enough to talk with them. There are also two of the parents´ sons who live with us (both are older than I). Other than that, I think that my host family is related to everyone in town. We have a small store on the front of our house. This is really interesting because people are constantly coming up to the front of it and yelling ¨¡vendame!¨ to call attention to the fact that they would like to buy something, then someone from the family goes in the store and does business. Our house is very large for the neighborhood and is centered around a large open courtyard. We have lots of animals; cows, pigs, chickens, a couple pesky roosters, 4 dogs, a pregnant cat, 3 green parrots, and a macaw (sp?). A cousin of the family has an adorable puppy that comes over a lot.

I´ve got to say, life has been pretty comfortable, although different from the US. I´ve only taken one shower since arriving on Saturday and it was from a bucket, but it´s just not a big deal. I could go on and on about the differences, but they all seem just fine to me. The weather here is amazing and the landscape is beautiful. I can´t wait to get pictures of my village up. (Keep in mind, this is just my village for training.)

Class is pretty strenuous, just because I don´t like sitting in class a lot. We have class daily from about 8:30-6:00. Luckily, my language teacher is awesome. And, once in a while, things get mixed up due to vaccination days. There´s nothing like free healthcare...I can´t say it enough.

So, anyway, here are some pictures that I do have online. Enjoy.

=) Sarita

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Sunrise over La Paz from the airplane. Note: this camera sucks and doesn´t do anything justice.

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Our hotel room.

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The training center; we go here on Wednesdays and it´s just a really cool place in general.

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More training center.

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Latrines at the training center. First time I´ve ever used a latrine without a seat. That´s going to take a bit of practice, but it´s not bad.

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View of Cochabamba from the PC Headquarters. The HQ building is ridiculously lavish in comparison with everything else we´ve seen, IMHO.

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Another view from the HQ.
Sorry, can't post much. Life with the host family is good; the area is beautiful. Just a quick note, if you send anything to me, please don't declare its value because I will have to pay outrageous customs and likely won't be able to afford to receive them. Also, send envelopes only and keep it under 4 pounds. Everything is good; I love and miss you all.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bienvenidos a Cochabamba!

We got to Cochabamba yesterday and are staying in a hotel for a few days. We went out for dinner last night, but haven't had much of a chance to see too much. We started at the training center today. The training center is pretty cool. It's semi-rural and the compound is surrounded by one of those cool adobe fences with glass and barbed-wire at the top for security. I hear it's mostly for looks and cultural-effect, but we've got a police/security (not really sure) officer inside the compound to keep everyone and everything inside safe. The only crime here was a guniea pig theft 10 years ago. We've got some farm animals and plants to train agriculture volunteers, plus some classes.

Today we had language, family, medical, and placement interviews today. We'll meet our host families on Saturday and I'm really hoping that I get a family with kids. I also think it would be pretty cool to be with some farm animals to learn how all of that stuff works. The guy who did my family placement interview today called me "Sarita" and I think it's the cutest name I've ever heard. Also, I confused "a dios" with "adios" in my language interview and everyone (including myself) had a good laugh at my expense. The nurse today took a look at my toe (which became infected back in Wisconsin) and bandaged it all up and gave me some antibiotics.

If you all are going to worry about anything, medical should not be it. The medical staff here is likely going to take much better care of us than I will ever take care of myself. Tomorrow we're getting a bunch of shots (apparently we have to get that new HPV shot too) so that should be fun. The food's been good (though I missed out on the cow udder) and the people have been nice. Personally, I think they are spoiling us. Guess I'll just have to wait until Saturday to see.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I am in D.C. for staging (pre-departure.) I am healthy, happy, and safe. I will be leaving for Cochabamba soon. If you would like my mailing address, leave a comment with your email address or email me ( and I will happily send it to you. Also, if you leave me your mailing address, I may just send you a letter from Bolivia sometime ;)