Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arrival!

I have arrived in Bolivia! It seems rather crazy that three short weeks after returning from Europe, here I am in Cochabamba. I honestly thought I would be experiencing a bit more culture shock that I have, but my head has been whirling from so much travel that I think I still haven't recovered!


The rules are certainly different here, as evidenced by my trip through the airport in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. In 40 short minutes I was able to:
1. Buy a visa
2. Go through immigration
3. Obtain my backpack
4. Go through customs
5. Purchase a plane ticket to Cochabamba
6. Pay an airport departure fee (about $1.50US)
7. Pass through security (I didn't even have to remove my shoes!)
8. Board the plane. Crazy!

The third floor windows are my room

Plus, on the 35 minutes plan ride from La Paz to Cochabamba I was served a mini-quiche, apple juice and hot tea! All for no charge! I'm beginning to like South America:)

Upon arrival I was taken to my new home with the Arébalo family. They are all absolutely wonderful. Rosemary and Jorge already feel like surrogate parents, Andrea (daughter) is my new neighbor, and Dayana (daughter) and Coco (son) stop by regularly. My room is on the third floor and has a wonderful view of the city from the balcony.
This is the view from the balcony
This is where I sleep
Amanda - the sweetest dog ever and my newest friend!

Lunch is the biggest meal here, and I've already eaten so much I'm afraid I may weigh 500 pounds by the time I come home! My vegetarian diet has completely gone out the window - there is meat in everything - but I have yet to get sick, so no worries. Tomorrow I will start my work at CECAM, so I'll post more soon!

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