First email home from Bolivia

19 Aug, 2011 | Eleanor Potter

^  The view from our penthouse window

Right, I have a bit of time now, so should be able to fill you in on the essentials!

As a general rule, everything here is pretty relaxed! The most common word in Bolivia seems to be ‘mañana’! I was delighted to get picked up from the airport by a taxi driver who only spoke Spanish, that was quite fun! The drive down from El Alto was amaaaazing, looking at the view over La Paz with all the lights on and everything. We got here and a fellow intern let me into the flat to crash gratefully on a bed for a couple of hours. There were various complications for the transport of other people – delayed planes etc, so basically the travel is all pretty hectic, but it’s a great feeling of satisfaction to arrive in mostly one piece (even if your luggage doesn’t :P)!

Anyhoo yesterday this nice guy who has been here a month took me and Kirsty (arrived when I did) to the supermarket – locating food was very comforting indeed. Us interns have been chatting and we all want to sightsee absolutely everything in Bolivia, so I may well be going to some awesome places - Lake Titicaca, Tiwanaku (ruins), salt plains and stuff like that. Some want to cycle down Death Road, do horse back riding and mountaineering too – in spite of the name, I am considering Death Road as they have PROMISED to ram the brakes on and crawl the whole way! I don´t want to be a big scaredy cat girl though, it’s just activities with death statistics always worry me a little :P We also went to the touristy market yesterday - my God is it hilly, and made worse by the altiitude!! Expect me to come back with lots of llama-based woolly items :P

A few of us went out for a drink in a bar in the evening, which was good for getting to know everyone :) We´ve got a couple of French girls, one from Singapore, a guy from Matlock (cross the Atlantic to meet someone just up the road, hilarious!), Kirsty is from Essex and studies at Southampton – it’s a great mix and all are really friendly ☺ We speak English together mostly, but a lot of Spanish when we´re out and about, which is good practice. The bar was awesome too, it had a log fire in it and scrap metal as decoration, and was blissfully cheap! As is everything really :)

As to work and stuff, again pretty relaxed, although everything manages to get done on time. We had a meeting in the flat, and basically we were told to get an idea, research the idea and write it up! We can ask for contacts and stuff, so that’s really helpful. We get our first journalism lesson on Friday, and Spanish lessons soon too which I’m really looking forward to as we’ll get to learn all the interesting little differences between South American Spanish and peninsular Spanish ☺

Wow, that’s a lot to write for having been in the country less than 24 hours!! That gives you a feel for what it´s like here anyway. Hope all´s well back home :) Oh yeh, last point - the kitty cats here are gorgeous, and drop almost as much fur as ours! But not quite :D :D Ciao, hasta luego!


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