Last Tuesday I started getting more serious about processing all the information I had gathered while conducting research for my independent anthropology project on the Kallawayas. So, after some brief shopping in San Miguel, I headed back to the gelato café to utilize their wi-fi connection. However, like most Internet connections here, it was painfully slow and couldn’t access some vital websites (like Facebook!). I returned home in the early evening and got ready to go out to Salsa night at Mongo’s - unfortunately my cousins had all been working hard that day and didn’t have the energy to go out dancing. Instead, I went over to Majo’s house where we watched The Departed with one of her friends (they were both taken aback by the excessive use of the F-bomb in the movie - after, I drew a map of the States, with a detailed New England so that they could understand my explanation of the Irish-Italian feud between Boston and Providence that is displayed in the movie).
The next couple of days were pretty uneventful. I mostly enjoyed walking around San Miguel and focused on typing up my pages and pages of interview notes. Thursday night, however, I made it out to Mongo’s again, where Majo and I danced well into the night! We also happened to meet two Bolivians who were also in a rock band in La Paz like Majo’s boyfriend Shaggy.
Friday night I was picked up by my cousin Javi to go to his friend’s birthday party. Although I was the youngest there by at least 6 or 7 years, I had such a blast meeting more of his friends and having conversations with some familiar faces as well. After the birthday party, we headed out to a bar Gitana. It was a fun and crowded place with live music, although the required age was supposed to be 25+ so again I was the youngster of the group. After Gitana, we headed to Soundbar for some more dancing. I had a great night, although Javi took off at about 4:30am with my purse containing all my money and keys in his car!
The next morning I went out with a friend to a cevichería to eat some ceviche, a delicious cold and lemony seafood salad popular in Bolivia. I returned home to catch up on some sleep. Saturday night, I met up with Majo and a group of her friends to go to another birthday party. It was outdoors in a festively decorated home, and the birthday girl’s band played later in the evening. Even though the crowd was actually my age, I felt like I got along a lot better with the friends from the night before. After the party, I went with Majo’s friends to another house. Apparently the house owner wasn’t too thrilled with the larger-than-expected group of kids that showed up to his party, so we didn’t stay long. In the taxi ride back, I called my other cousin Maria and she was at her boyfriend’s house with some friends, so I brought my crew there too. At Damian’s house we had a lot more fun, playing fun card games and talking a lot about music. We planned on heading out to a huge electronica party nearby, sponsored by the Bolivian beer Bock, but instead we picked up a couple friends, and in the search for our next destination, I suggested hanging out in my huge and vacant house. So, at 4am we headed to my house, and we played poker and rummy and listened to music into the early hours of the morning. Since everyone didn’t end up leaving until near 6am, I spent most of Sunday sleeping!
Sunday evening I went to a restaurant called Charlie Papa’s, similar to a TGIF or Applebee’s, and enjoyed a delicious Jack Daniels steak. Again, for the next couple days I walked daily to the popular Alexander’s Café to enjoy some cappuccinos and their more reliable Internet connection to get to work on my Kallawaya project. Monday evening Majo came over for a bit and we talked and watched some of the hilarious footage from my time in Charazani. After, I went to a delicious sushi restaurant with a friend, where I used my fine knowledge of Japanese cuisine to order our food. Tuesday evening I attended a mass in honor of the first year anniversary of the passing of my grandmother Aida at the Church in San Miguel, where she attended regularly her entire life. After, I walked home with Maria and my Aunt Maria Angelica to their home. There, Maria and I watched some TV and talked, and had dinner when her boyfriend arrived. Most of our conversation centered on the day’s occurrences. We watched the news coverage on the violent riots that broke out that day in Santa Cruz. The rioters took over several important parts of the city, including the telephone company Entel and even part of the airport, causing injuries to many policemen and civilians due to their use of fireworks, torches, and clubs. After he fell asleep due to his disinterest in The Hills - Maria made me watch it I swear! - I called it a night and headed home for the evening.
Today is Wednesday, and I’ve spent most of the day burning 20 cds for my Bolivian friends to remember me by. I just ran into my aunt at the café, so now I’m going to head to her home again so that Maria and I can find something fun to do!
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