Esta es la vida

Published: May 13th 2007
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Maricio, Diego, Carla, Cassandra, and Leandro in the small pueblo of Cotoca
Today is my 8th day in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The previous week has been one of the best during my time in South America. I had the really good fortune of being able to meet up with my friend Carla, who I began my trip with. Carla met and became friends with a group of artesanos here in Bolivia and has been traveling with them for the past month. It was great to able to tag along, hang out with, and learn a little spanish from these amazing people.

Artesanos are awesome. They seem to be part hippie, part backpacker, part circus performer, part artist. They make jewelery from simple silver earrings with exotic stones and feathers to the most complicated macramae jewelery you have ever seen. They become masters at juggling balls, juggling machetes, swinging flags, spinning a diabolo, and doing something interesting with any toy they can get their hands on. True bohemians. Most of them are South American. They use their arts to make money by performing on the street or selling the things they make. If you buy a 20 boliviano pair of earrings on the street from an artesano, that is the money that
Train stationTrain stationTrain station

We sat here in this place for 3 or 4 hours drinking beer and talking before we headed back to Santa Cruz
they will use to eat that day or pay their hotel for the night or for their bus ticket the next day. They do this to travel around South America.

I spent the week sleeping in, hanging out, learning to make jewelery, sitting by the traffic light while they worked, and trying to pick up a little Spanish. The second day I was here, we visited a small pueblo with a busy plaza and market. We walked around bit, ate and drank, and sat by the train tracks in the town. The rest of the week we spent at the ¨semaforo¨where the artesanos work and just hanging out in Santa Cruz.

Its hard for me to write about this week because I really didn´t see or do much in the normal sense of the words. But I am so excited that I have gotten off the tourist track, even just for a week. It has made me realize how important that it is for me to learn spanish, because for me to know South America in any real way, I need to be able to speak to the people who live here.

With that in mind, I
Take a picture of us!Take a picture of us!Take a picture of us!

Well, they said in in Spanish. They really liked seeing themselves on the screen of the digital camera.
am off to Cochabamba where I hope to live with a family for a month in order to practice my spanish and do a little rock climbing.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Plants on roofPlants on roof
Plants on roof

Little trees growing on the terra cotta roof in Cotoca
Leandro y MaricioLeandro y Maricio
Leandro y Maricio

The machete jugglers, from Argentina and Colombia.
Working at the semaforoWorking at the semaforo
Working at the semaforo

Diego juggles and Cassandra swings. Well Diego is playing the drums here obviously, but he gets his own time in the spotlight.
Brazillian boy in the hotelBrazillian boy in the hotel
Brazillian boy in the hotel

The son of some artesanos staying in our hotel with Saga, Diego and Cassandra's puppy
Diego with underwearDiego with underwear
Diego with underwear

Diego wearing his girfriend's (a some of Carla's) underwear.
Los dos Hippies en el HotelLos dos Hippies en el Hotel
Los dos Hippies en el Hotel

This is what we, Carla and I, do a lot of the time here in Santa Cruz: macramae jewelery!

Or sloth, making an excruciatingly slow maneuver from one tree to another in the Plaza in Santa Cruz
Everybody, everybodyEverybody, everybody
Everybody, everybody

The gang, plus two I never met. Tori, Cassandra, Harjai, (crazy guy at the bottom), Mauricio above, Diego below, Carla, Leandro, other guy.

23rd May 2007

Tori! You look like you are having an amazing time in S. America!!! Keep up the great travel log, that way I can live vicariously through you crazy kids while here in pedestrian Buffalo. Big love to you and Carla!! MWAH!

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