Yet again, the plans have changed. Due to some heart-breaking news from home, I (Karen) will return home next week, cutting short my time here by 2 months. It’s very hard for me to leave Sucre and the people that I have been so lucky to have worked with at BiblioWorks, but I also feel like it’s the right thing to do.
All in all, we spent about 2.5 months in both Argentina and Chile, 1 month in both Paraguay and Peru and, in total, almost 4 months in Bolivia. Truly, Bolivia is my favorite country in South America and with my departure just around the corner, I having been thinking about all of the things that I will miss here:
I will miss:
- The incredibly kind and gentle Bolivian people
- Mateo, Maritza, and Roxana and all of the amazing volunteers that I met at BiblioWorks. Truly a wonderful organization and I am so proud that I could help them in a small way.
- B&B Santa Cecilia – the nicest family in all of Bolivia. Thanks to Maria Juana, Osvaldo, Claudia and Maurecio for everything you did for me.
- Tarija – probably my favorite city in Bolivia and where our lovely friends, Sally & Duffy, live
- Women with long braids and bowler hats
- El Mercado Central, the juice bar, and the soup stations
- El Mercado Campesino and the chorizo sandwiches
- Fresh orange juice on the plaza
- The most beautiful children in South America; perhaps in the world
- El campo and getting off the gringo trail
- Random state holidays with marching bands and fireworks
- Saying “hola”, “chau” and “Nos vemos!”
- Being able to walk everywhere or, if it’s a bit too far, taking a $0.50 taxi or $0.20 bus ride
- A really decent bottle of wine for $2.75
- $5.00 haircuts
- OK, really everything that you can buy because it´s so inexpensive here
But, what I think I will the most is the incredibly simple way of life here. Yes, there is poverty and political and social issues. But, not getting caught up with the small stuff has been a good lesson for me and I hope I can learn to live a bit more simply because of my experience this year.
With that said, there are definitely things I will not miss:
- Street dogs
- Cars without mufflers
- Lack of pedestrian right-of-way
- Young children drinking Coca Cola because soda is cheaper than water
- Texting on my Bolivian old-school mobile phone
- Being so far away from my friends and family
So…it seems my list for what I will miss far outweighs the things that I won´t. I love Bolivia and I will return. I look forward to seeing my husband, Henrik, and all of my family and friends.
¡Chau y nos vemos en los estados unidos!