On All Saints is a big celebration en Bolivia. One day before, so Tuesday, the 31.10 people bake creativ bread. Often shaped like a ladder to make it easier to reach heaven or like a horse to carry the things of the deceased. But one can form their Bred as they wish. At the Centro Social we made bread too. Amongst others, I made a turtle, a star, a music note and a dragon. It was super fun.
During the Afternoon one could go to the houses that had a black-purple garland on their door. There one could pray for the dead and get some bead for it. But since it felt kinda strange we quickly stopped doing it.
On All Saints Day the graves on the graveyard were decorated and tables with gifts were set up. Bread, cake, fruits, sweets and sometimes also soft drinks and toys. For praying at a grave one got something of the table, mostly bread. And almost everywhere one got a bowl with Chicha. That’s a kind of corn beer that is typical for this region. At close of day I had a sunburn, a bag full of bread (and one pineapple) and drunk a bit much?.
I am alone at the Centro Social since Sunday, the 10.12. Sofia, the other volunteer was only here for 3 months. And they are over now. At first, it was a bit lonely but by now it’s ok. I’m looking forward to Christmas, the cookies that have been baked already, and I’m planning my trip to the Salar de Uyuni on New Year’s Eve.
Also, since I’ve been busy, had a bad internet connection – or simply too lazy to write ? – I gotta update my blog. Which means writing a lot of followup’s (even some from October). I’ll try to write a bit more the next few days.
I promised some people a postcard but I haven’t seen postcards in my part of Bolivia yet. So now I’ll write it in my blog. This is a postcard 🙂
For: Giulia, Cecilia, Yasmina, Zuzanna, Kamila, Stefan, Lilla, Daniel, Verena, David
To: Italy, Germany, England, Hungary, Canada
how are you?
Bolivia is too hot for me by day and too cold during the night. I’m sick a lot and had to do a lot of stressful paperwork. Still, I love it here. The landscape changes very quickly and is definitely worth seeing. The people I’ve met so far are very nice and helpful – even without knowing the language I get by pretty good. Besides, I make pretty good progress with the language – so everything is fine. The food is with a lot of meat and sometimes simply godlike.
relaxed greetings from southamerika,
On Wednesday the weather went crazy. Well, more than usual. Although it is supposed to be spring, I feel like it is summer or winter here. During the day it is so hot that one should wear a head covering to avoid a sunstroke. But during evening, night and in the morning I’m very glad i have my pullovers and a hot-water bottle.
In the mountains was even snow when I took the bus to Cochabamba in the morning.
On Wednesday it was the same: cold in the morning but very hot around midday. Then it suddenly started to hail and to pour down. Pea sized hail was remaining on the ground. The water ran down the streets and the kids had snowball fights with hailstones. It was totally crazy.
I made pancakes today. It went great.
I’ve got to say I’m very pleased with the result. ^^
At around 18:00 o clock we arrived at Independencia and drove to the Centro Social, the institute where I’m going to live. Right behind the gates everyone was waiting for us to arrive so they could welcome us. After singing a song they came one by one to shake our hands, kiss our cheek and to scatter white and pink confetti (and even some flower petals) on our heads. It’s a wish for luck and blessing and is carried out during high days like marriages (sometimes they also use rice there), birthdays, welcome celebrations, a baptism and so on. The Centro Social has a wide field of duties, one of them being the boarding school I’m living in. It is an offer for families from the country sending their kids to school over here and is working together with the school complex Fe y Algeria (= faith and joy). The school complex includes a kindergarten where I work, two grade schools and the academic high school which is called colegio. Grade school and high school both have 6 school years. But they’ve actually only introduced compulsory school attendance 10 – 12 years ago. The kindergarten arose from the puerta abierta, the facility I’m activ in, during afternoons. Puerta Abierta means open door and the concept originated 1969 during the school strike when the kids were on the street for days or had to help out their parents on the field more than usual. Like the name suggests the children and adolescents are invited to come and play or just to talk. While the Puerta Abierta was open from 9 – 21 o’clock during the school strike, at the moment it’s only open in the afternoon after school and during the evening. The Puerta Abierta is another project from the Centro Social.
The kindergarten, which originated from the Puerta Abierta, is made of preschool compulsory children and is more similar to a preschool than a nursery school in Germany. At the moment there are 70 children in 4 groups according to their age attending the kindergarten.
Independencia is located on 2600 – 2700 high meters between Cochabamba and La Paz and has around 2800 – 3000 inhabitants. During school days, there are about 1000 inhabitants more because of the students coming from the countryside who are living here. Previously, the town was called “Palqa” (= road fork) but because this area especially stood out during the independence wars in 1825 the name was changed to “Villa de Independencia”.
Cochabamba is really big! I am here since Friday already but I still can’t describe it better. For Cochabamba I will create a few, smaller posts, I really don’t know how to write all my impressions into a single one.
Wednesday and Thursday was an introductory seminar in Santa Cruz (we already had 2 in Germany, each for a week) with other volunteers from the BKHW.
I didn’t really get any new information out of it, but because there were Bolivians who gave us some advice it was still helpful ?. The other volunteers are pretty nice, it was great :). The temperatures were with 34°C in Spring alarming. I’m already afraid of summer •~•. Thursday evening we left for Cochabamba by bus, where we arrived Friday morning.