One week of Spanish classes down and we are both feeling a lot more confident. We have gotten around town fine with our Spanish and even survived a trip to Interpol (International Police) to get background checks for our visas yesterday. They have to send the paperwork to the U.S. so it takes awhile.
In addition this week we played walleyball (volleyball in a racquetball court) and had salsa lessons. With these two activities in addition to the 4-6 miles we walk a day I’d say we’re acclimating pretty well to the altitude.
The family we’re staying with had a party Tuesday evening so we got a real listening comprehension challenge early. They were barbecuing steaks and eating rice with milk and boiled potatoes (note we arrived at 8pm and they were just beginning the party that earlier we had heard would start at 6pm). There were about 12 family members sitting around the table and it was VERY difficult to follow the conversation but I managed to get a few words in here and there. We also got to try our first Bolivian alcohol that night. I enjoyed the beer from La Paz, Paceña which reminds me a lot of Budweiser. When I told the father of the family that he said, “Yes they are similar, but Paceña is better because it’s Bolivian.” And so I said of course I agreed but in St. Louis I’d have to say the other way around. We also got to try some red wine, vino tino, from a Bolivian winery called Kohlberg. I liked it a LOT. It kind of reminded me of a Norton only sweeter. I didn’t recognize the name of the type of grapes it was made from though.
Speaking of alcohol, those of you who were with us in Malawi will remember that there we had the pleasure of drinking Carlsberg, “Probably the best beer in the world.” Here in Sucre they have “Maybe the Best Bolivian Pilsner Beer.” Maybe? As if no one’s ever bothered to sit down and drink them all next to each other? But it could be the best, I mean maybe, it’s in the running at least, I mean who really knows? You’ll also notice in the picture below that they sell beer by the chop which amuses me also.
To boot, I’m sitting in a bar (with free wi-fi) whose slogan is “Probably the best bar in town.” We’re probably in the best country in the world, but then who’s really to say one way or another ?