I missed a lot of days but it has been a crazy few days this week.
Tuesday July 13th
Upon arrival to la cede in Loma Pampa Bismar’s mother waited for us. I knew things something was wrong.. as soon as we got off the bus she collapsed in our arms crying that her son had been killed. I stood back in shock.. no.. it was a lie..i had just seen Bismar on Sunday and told him to make sure he came to class today.. no.. As i held his shaking mom i cried with her and we cried together. I sat at la cede for hours on the front steps (getting a sun burn in the process) running over the last times i had seen Bismar, how i could have saved him if I just had bought him out of his ice cream so he didn’t have to sell that day.. why was i so selfish.. I couldn’t escape the toughts of him , seeing that he lives across from the cede. The children from my class came up to me and pet my hair and hugged me telling me they had cried last night. They asked when i was going to see Bismar.. I had to see him.. i couldn’t i wasn’t ready. I told them i was waiting for the rest of my group to arrive so we could all go together. Then a sheep came up to me, this sheep always hangs out around the gate of a house down hill from the cede. This sheep never moves from that gate and today it came all the way up the cede looked at me as i cried and baaed at me… and baaed and baaed until i yelled at it and pet its little head..then it went back to its gate. After that natasha arrived and we went to the wake… As i walked towards the doorway of the one room house where his coffin lay i lost my breath my throat got dry my eyes swelled with tears… it couldn’t be real. I walked in and turned cold..little Bismar was in that little white coffin.. I couldn’t do this..i walked to his mother kissed her two cheeks and handed her rice and hugged her. I walked over to his coffin and kept my head down and prayed and cried for him. Natasha, Jovana, Michele, Abby, Melina and I all held hands while Jovana led a prayer for Bismar. After I felt like i couldn’t cry any more… we decided to walk to the top of Loma Pampa…hence all the pics on my facebook. It was the worst hike ever..but worth it. We got to the top and just had a great conversation and it made me feel a lot better. We walked back down for lunch and cookies and we went back to the wake again when the rest of the students came.. i stayed on the other side of the room avoiding the grief of seeing the face in the coffin again. After we sat in silence in the cede and Pamela calls on me to comment on what happened how i was feeling..she must have sensed i was going to explode with emotion… I burst into tears and I could barely speak..in front of 13 of my peers.. Pamela and my professor..i couldn’t breath all i could do was look at the ground and sob and get in a few words about how life in bolivia wasn’t fair and how this is real life for so many children and it didn’t make sense to me for such a young kid to be taken so easily.. After we went to the funeral..it was not the precession i was hoping for.. i was standing on someone else’s grave..kids were peeing in the cementary there was laughter and loudness… no one was wearing black..a man was selling ice cream.. i looked around.. it seemed the Pro Justicia members and my group where the only ones crying and at the front in front of the grave.. People were offering coca and chicha to the dead bismar.. all while i drunk “priest” slurred worst of the “bible” from a pamphlet.. all the time bismar’s brother was with us. That was my culture shock..how lightly death was taken here.. how common..it made me sick.. after Bismar’s funeral i was exhausted but was in need of something to cheer me up .. Casa Blanca with the group was the solution ..they have great cappuccinos for only 7 bolivianos ($1).
Wed July 14th
The Christo statue that is always in my pictures..i finally climbed every step to it. it was over 1000 steps.. of agony haha But worth it in the end. Of few of my group members and I went up and were accompanied the whole time by a dog we dubbed Anti-CoCo (my neighbors dog coco walked us to the christo and anti-coco walked us there —anti coco had opposite colors as coco so he was dubbed anti coco). We walked around the Christo a while and tried to take AC (anti-coco) on the teleferico with us but he wasnt allowed… it was like a sad movie.. he waited on the edge and jumped 6 feet trying to run through the brush to catch us.. then we saw him start running down the stairs.. oh AC =[ I’m going back to find him! Goldstein made an interesting point about AC.. it was only 1 day after Bismar died.. and the dog went all the way to the Christo with us and we had to part ways.. we only knew him for a little while and then we had to leave him.. hmm interesting
Thursday July 15th
Paper mache with the kids proved excellent..we had flowers, buckets, balls and hearts created. The kids loved it and got very dirty. That same sheep who had baaed at me at Bismar’s death came back to bother me and try to eat my projects.. get get get i said to the sheep… but just like Bismar did, he antagonized me coming back every 5 minutes to try to eat the paper mache… Bismar is still at my classes..in sheep form.
Friday july 16th
Today was a scramble! We went from fundacion to discuss our projects for the big presentation of la cede next sunday to La Cancha. Last minute shopping and packing for Chapare! The bus ride was long (4.5 hrs) and as we got off the bus for the first time we realized we all had packed the wrong clothes… it was 40 degrees not an expected 80 with humidity… uh oh.. it was raining non stop and cold =[. We arrived at the hotel late, and had dinner. We all hung out until the wee hours of the night (2 am lol) and then we all (Carolyn, Evyn, Michele and I) grabbed a room and slept under the covers since there was no heat.. =[ meh. No hot water either.. oh well.
Saturday july 17th
Our Chapare trip was ruined by the rain..but that didn’t stop us! We went to la Jungla where we climbed up all sort of slippery rickety wood ladders and bridges..straight out of an indian jones movie haha. We did jumps (not really jumps its a platform that you are sitting on a wooden swing and fall and the swing catches you as you fall and you swing really far and high) from 4 Meters, 12 Meters and 18 meters.. We had criers, hyper ventalters, everyone was a screamer (including Guery) and then there was Guery and I who were laughing the whole time. We were standing together on the platform for the 18 Meter fall in the pouring rain laughing about how crazy it was that we were doing this and how cold it was..then i told him i wanted to go down on a bungee cord like a free fall or go sky diving. We were always the ones to jump up and down on the bridges and platforms like stupid people and die of laughter at everyone else lol. After we went to a restaurant…with no walls so that it was equally freezing.. yum haha. The food was good some sort of fish.. the bus ride back (5 hrs) was a lot of fun.. dancing, singing and laughing .. and CJ falling into a ravine mid pee on the side of the road.. sorry CJ it was hillarious hahaha especially because after Evyn got back on the bus and announced it and Rich and Chris ran out to “save” her and all the girls started screaming because they were mid pee .. CJ came back fine just a little shook up from completely falling in the dark..mid pee… hilarious.
Sun July 18th
So we went to Loma Pampa and sanded/painted. I had an interview with Prima (a young woman of Loma Pampa) and her “husband” (they are living together on the terms of marriage but are not legally married). They were really nice people and i am planning on seeing Prima again on Tuesday morning. No kids showed up for my class today except for my Abi =[ so i did the mentos and diet coke explosion for her to satisfy her science craving of the day (i know everyone has those). She really loved it alot! I promised to try for bottle rockets for Tuesday morning. We left Loma Pampa and i went home cleaned up and went to Brazilian Coffee for some great Sushi and a milkshake with Jovana, Natasha and Carolyn. After (Now ) i am at Casa Blanca (again) with Michele and Evyn. Today i realized how much i hate being different than everyone in Cochabamba. I’m happy im different and im mad at the same time… the next person that glares, stares, whistles are yells at me is gonna get smacked … not kidding! It makes me so self conscience i dont know why but it’s irritating.. i’m a human being.. not an alien! But that’s what i feel like in Bolivia everywhere i go, Loma Pampa, Chapare, Cochabamba Santa Cruz… everyone looks at me like im soooo different. The people of Loma Pampa are probably the nicest about it haha.. They just ask where i’m from and that’s it .. no stares no glares.. just smiles, hugs, Buenos Dias, Adios. The city people are so rude!