How was Bolivia?

So even though we have 7 and a half months left here, I’m already dreading going home and hearing this question.  The problem is there’s no answer to it really.  I’d like to give an example of one of my mornings last week.

I didn’t get up and workout with Tom this morning because I had diarrhea all day yesterday and wasn’t feeling well.  When I did get out of bed about 8:30 my sore throat reminded me of this cold I’ve had for going on a month now that won’t go away.  The sun was out and it was already heating up so I put on my lightest, breathable clothes.  I needed to clean the house today.  Yesterday I had started but was thrown through a loop when I encountered a brown widow living under one of our tables.  Once the extraction/identification was finished I had run out of cleaning time.

So this morning, I put my clothes on quickly and decided resolutely I will get this house cleaned.  Just then I look up and see the trail on the wall.  I know that trail.  Termites.  I start investigating and find them eating one of my t-shirts.  I take the t-shirt out to the burn bin and alert Tom.  We clear out the closet and see that the damage is contained but they’re clearly coming from the wall.  I go and eat some plain bread for breakfast and de-spider the kitchen while we wait for Madre Clara to pass by so we can ask her if she has any pesticide.  She looks at it and blames it on our room being too humid, which it is, but we keep the windows shut during the day to keep the heat out/cool in.

Madre Clara says, “Oh yeah we have to fumigate in here.  I’ll have to go buy the chemicals, maybe tomorrow.  Laura can you bring the photos over now I want to develop them today.”  So our fumigation gets put off and I go over to the Kinder with Madre Clara to organize all her digital photos.  Madre Clara has a camera, laptop, fancy scanner but she doesn’t really excel at using any of them, so periodically I have to sit down and clean up the chaos left by haphazard usage.  Anyway I spend a good hour on that so that we can print the Kinder photos from “Children’s Day.”

On the way back to our house, I see a beautiful white and purple butterfly I’d never seen before.  I believe it was in the Papilio genus but I haven’t been able to identify it further than that. I also hear the band from the school next door playing “Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel.  Madre Clara told me they were practicing to play for the funeral today.  One of their third graders just died from dengue.

I get back to our house after 11am in time to talk to Madre Inez about the Children’s Day party I’m supposed to be help with the next day but have no information about.

Then all of a sudden it’s noon and I’m exhausted and still haven’t gotten the cleaning done.  We pickup some non-appetizing rice and undercooked eggs from the Guarderia to eat for lunch.

Bolivia is………. challenging, fun, frustrating, sad, inspiring, scary, different, exhausting, exhilarating, and yes sometimes even just fine.  Life here just is what it is.  You take it as it comes and try to keep smiling.  Isn’t that what we’re all just doing really?

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