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June 02, 2005
Jody writes:

See our Sucre pictures

We've fallen into a way of life in Sucre, having spent over a month here. We buy grapefruit juice off the guy in the square and homemade biscuits from the woman with crazy teeth in the Plaza. We take Spanish lessons in the morning, teach English in the evenings and spend nights drinking Havana Club rum with our friends in the hotel. So why the hell we're leaving this sunny paradise for cold, dirty La Paz I've no idea, but we can't stay here forever. Peru beckons and La Paz is the logical stepping stone. Besides, all of our friends have left Sucre now and one of the TV channels has started a Jean-Claude Van Damme season, so we think it's a sign to make a move.

Here's some of the things we'll remember about Sucre:

Teaching English: I've been teaching a class who are mostly around 15 years old, alongside their usual teacher, Delia. Last night was my final class with them and due to an unexpected phonecall from the airline, I didn't get to the class untill it was almost over. I arrived to find that they'd prepared a goodbye party, with pizza, coke and presents. The pizza was cold and everyone had started eating, thinking that I wasn't going to turn up. I felt terrible for being late, but really appreciated the surprise. Fox - the language school - prepared a great send-off for us, but Amy's going to write about that some other time.

In a class a couple of weeks ago, I introduced the term 'used to' to the students. During a discussion about music, I asked them to put it into practice. The conversation turned to Michael Jackson. "I used to like Michael Jackson's music, but not any more," one student said. "Very good," I replied. "Can anyone else add to that?"

Another student piped up and said without any humour: "Michael Jackson used to be black, but now he's white." "That's right. Michaeal Jackson used to be black, but now he's white," I repeated out of protocol.

Watching a Bolivian football match: Bolivia is football crazy and I was expecting a roaring mass of people to be gathered in Sucre's stadium to watch two of the countries top teams battle it out. The reality was a near-empty stadium, mostly made up of kids offering to shine shoes and women flogging peanuts, watching a bunch of amateurs limp around an unkept pitch. The grass was so long in places that I was surprised that they didn't lose the ball.

The world's largest dinosaur footprint site: Wooo hooo! Dino footprints! The site is in a cement factory, which means that the planet's single most important find from the cretaceous period is owned by some corporate swine. He only stopped his men from digging up the prints because the rock they're set in is no good for making cement.

We donned hard-hats and walked around the site, keeping our distance from the prints - not to stop us from touching them, but because heavy machinery was churning up the rock around them. "There are bigger footprints further along," our guide told us. "But we can't go down there today because the workers are blasting with dynamite."

Building a website for Fox: We spent last weekend throwing together a website for The Fox Academy - it's where we volunteered to teach English and learnt Spanish. Fox is doing a great job teaching Bolivians who can't afford to attend the wealthy language schools and their Spanish teachers are top notch, but the evil Latino Schools Sucre is stealing most of the tourists with their flash building. And they're probably spending the money they take from tourists on kitten-torturing factories, the bastards. (In short, we visted Latino Schools; they were rude, overcharge and don't give anything back to the community, so we don't like 'em).

So we thought we'd help bring down The Man and build Fox a kick-arse (if hastilly put together and basic) website: http://www.foxacademysucre.com.

Pollo Rositas: Surely the eight wonder of the world. How can one fast food restaurant sell the equivilant of a KFC bargain bucket for only 70p and still make a profit? The place gets so rammed that they need security guards to calm the crowds. An old American guy in our hotel loved the place and once told us that after a gallant struggle, he finally managed to finish a portion to himself: "It may have taken me three hours, but god damn it I beat that chicken."

Next step, La Paz: There are still protests in the capital, though we've been told that it's not as bad as the media makes out. Thankfully the gringo district where we'll be staying is protest-free and even in the main square, protests are apparently sporadic. The demonstrators blockade roads to gridlock the city, but they're not all that dedicated and sometimes start late after sleeping in and they usually take Sundays off (there's church to attend, you know). Thankfully, the Bolivian public make pretty laid back protestors, it's just the police have no patience for them.

Don't worry mums - it's still safer than London on a Friday night. (And we'll call in a couple of days).

It's likely that we'll fly from La Paz to Cusco, Peru, at the weekend. We have several friends currently in La Paz so we're looking forward to spending the next few days with them.

posted at 12:08 PM | link

3 Comments:

  • I am interested to read about Cusco. I will be there at a conference in September: If I can still get a hotel room (It seems like everaything is heavily booked already!)

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Jody and Amy have finished their 10 month adventure around the world, that began Nov 2, 2004, and ended Sep 2, 2005. They're back home in London now, doing normal things, like going to work and drinking tap water. You can see a map of what was their planned route, but we didn't quite follow it.
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