Sunday, September 9, 2007

Vamos a bailar!

First of all, thank you for the phone messages! Mom, Jen, Dad...I got your messages. I don´t think it really works for me to message you back, but I appreciate the notes.

Dad- Got the messages, but I can´t use the ´net everyday so it takes a while for me to let you know I got them...sorry.

Jen- I have an address. Mom and dad should have it. Email me if they don´t.

Mom- The time here is currently 1 hour ahead of Chicago time. I´m not sure if Bolivians practice daylight savings. Anytime you want to know the time just search google for ¨current time in bolivia.¨ :) Yes, I sleep under netting and even have a travel net. The biggest threat here is probably Chagas, which in some respects is better and in some worse than Dengue. The food itself is good, but I´m not used to eating mostly rice and potatoes. We don´t have a whole lot of meat or eggs, and even fewer vegetables. The vegetables are available, but I get the feeling that people just don´t eat them. My family usually has bread and coffee for breakfast, soup for lunch, and rice, potatoes, and a bit of meat for dinner. There is also a lot of sugar in anything sweet. I´m not sure about the names thing. I constantly push my family to let me help out a little more, so that´s getting better. The grandma works like crazy and I´m not used to people taking care of me so much. I have a feeling there might be an animal in my future- sorry to disappoint.

So, onto the update. All weekend long there is this festival for the Virgin of Guadalupe. The community invited us to dance in the festival so we´ve been learning the dance all week and (literally) dancing all weekend. It´s been really cool to see all the different dances and to get to participate. Some dances we saw are the Tinku (a battle-type dance), Morenada (a dance from la paz that apparantly mocks the whites who oppressed blacks in the altiplano...or something), and our dance, the Llamerada (the llama-herding dance). I know there was at least one more, but I don´t know what it was.

So, Friday night we danced twice and then my family stayed to watch the tinku. Saturday we danced twice (mind you this is in between other dances) in the morning/afternoon. Then, an entire band accompanied us (dancing) down the (unpaved) streets to the house of a woman who invited us all to lunch, (fried chicken, rice, potatoes, and beer) live music, and some less formal dancing. Then we danced back down the streets to the court where we danced two more times before going home. Our costumes are great, too. The women have like a poodle skirt with llamas instead of a poodle, a blouse, a decorative hat, some rope-like thing to twirl around, and a llama doll to hold. The men have the same hat, a white shirt and white pants. Without further ado, I´ve got some pictures for you...

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The town I live in

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Llamerada Part 1

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket More Llamerada

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Can´t figure out what this one was...but it was my favorite

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Mystery dance cont´d

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I guess that´s about it for now. Please know that I am going out of my way to update this as much as possible. I love hearing you guys, so thanks for the comments/emails. :)


Jennifer Nelson said...

Is that you in the bright orange skirt, Legs???


Pictures look like tons of fun. You'll have to teach me the dances you are learning when you get back. Maybe I'll drag you to a belly dance class!



monelson6 said...

Sarita - I am so happy that you are doing well and enjoying it. I will send more emails, but don't worry about replying (just info for you). Love the updates when you can..



Mark and Betsy said...

Hey Sarah!

Lookin' good! We are going to try to get some lessons in about Bolivia this week and the Peace Corps so that next week we can write you. I need to double check your address soon-- I will send you an email to make sure that it is the same one the P.C. gave me.

Sorry I haven't been emailing you as much. I don't have a whole lot to say-- things are just going here like they always do.

You, however, look like you are on a fantastic adventure of culture and learning. I love hearing about it!

Ursula said...

hello Sarita.
We just love the pictures! We are missing you and we are very proud of you too. We want you to teach us atleast one dance. It lookes like fun!
Little Sarita-Lisa (Schmidt-Girl)

Kristyn said...

that sounds so fun! the dance pictures are beautiful. i hope everything else is going well. we find out our sites on monday and our swear in is in two weeks, so i´m getting nervous. keep updating, hopefully i´ll have internet in my site and will be able to keep up w your blog!

Laura Nelson Kelly said...


So proud of you! You said you would do it and you did!!!

What an incredible experience. Love your blog, the title and the pictures. Amazing how many things we have in common regarding interest areas, favorite books, movies and music. Take care world traveler and peace maker, Cousin Laura