Thursday, October 2, 2008
Alright. So I´ve been putting off posting a blog for the past few days, at first because I had nothing interesting to say, and then because I had too much stuff to say. But since I´m going away this weekend, I figured I should get everything out before I jet off to my "Spiritual Retreat" tomorrow. Where did we leave off? Ahh Monday, nothing too exciting happened, so I´ll skip that day. Tuesday, was a super long day. It was my first FULL day (aka morning and afternoon classes) since possibly my first week of school. I took advantage of being out of the house all day, and went out for lunch with Leah. I once again had that heavenly salad from Med.. Uuugh drooling just thinking about it. Well worth the 30bs. It was then back to school for the dreaded clases en la tarde. Chemistry, Philosophy and Biology. Not exactly the way I would choose to spend an afternoon. But we had another university presentation during Chemistry (I think they always schedule these presentations for this block) about some school in Cochabamba. The presentation was hilarious, and to top it off, I understood a huge part of it! It really made my day. Buuut then we get to Wednesday. The day from HELL for all white people in Santa Cruz. We went to school as per usual, and then found out that we all had to go to Migration, to get our visas all worked out. Now this was my first day, but some of the exchangers had been at this place twice before that week, waiting all day (5+ hours) in a hot room full of people. We waited in many lines, got some things checked out etc.. Some of us found out what we were missing from our packages to get our actual visas. At the moment, I think all of us are illegally staying in the country, since all of our temp. visas have run out quite some time ago. Anyways, Brodie was there trying to get her passport back, which she hasn´t seen in over five months. She ended up finding that it WAS there, in Migration (and whew not sold on the black market) but she can´t have it back. She switched host families, and all the information that they have has her OLD family´s names on it. She has to prove that this new family is her.. legal guardian of sorts, and now she´s probably going to have to get legally adopted by her present host family before she can get her passport back. Sarah´s temp. visa had something wrong with it, and some Rotarian tampered with the information on it.. so now it´s quite the possibility that Sarah could get deported. I don´t know what I´ll do.. And to top that off, she was told to take the blame for screwing with the visa. After spending the whole afternoon in the sweaty visa office, and finding out that my host dad filled some papers out wrong, we decided to leave and go out for coffee. There was supposed to be a Brasilian performer at a local café we usually go to. So a few of the exchange students got together, to meet up at Lorca, the café. There were only a few of us sitting there at the time, and we were chatting away in english, being completely oblivious. Next thing I know, I realize that my bag is missing from by my feet. I am usually quite diligent about keeping my eye on my bag, but shiiit let your guard down for that split second, right? We instantly realized that it had been the two men sitting right behind us. The café had been pretty empty, and they could´ve sat anywhere, but they chose to pick the table right behind us (uncomfortably close). They had ordered the cheapest things on the menu, and hadn´t even finished their beers when the rocked out of there. I knew it was them as soon as I saw my bag, and them gone. It hadn´t been more than a minute probably when I noticed that they were gone, so we ran outside to see if they were there (which of course they weren´t). Brodie and I took a little walk down around the corner, checking to see if it had been thrown anywhere, but we had no luck. We ran into a guardia, who is a man that stands in a certain area, keeping the peace. We chatted with him for a while, and asked if he´d seen two men walking past with a brown bag. He had, just moments ago. Yet, this being Santa Cruz, he said he could do nothing about it, not being able to leave his assigned corner. Brodie and I decided that it would be a bad idea for two little white girls to wander off down a dark street, so we turned back to the café. In the end, I had probably over $600 worth of stuff stolen including my camera (and 4g memory card), my ipod, my glasses, my wallet (with my id, $75, credit and debit cards) and a book I had borrowed from a friend. I got my cards cancelled within ten minutes and thankfully never got used. It´s really disheartening, especially knowing that the only things they will be able to use are the cash and the electronics. I had so many sentimental things in that bag, and it´s all just going to get thrown in a garbage bin somewhere. It frustrates me that I had to let my guard down at that moment, when I´d had so much crap on me that shouldn´t have been out downtown late at night... Yet, I know that there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it, and therefore C´EST LA VIE. I´ve gotten my things stolen before (I love Vernon with all my heart), and it´s very difficult to get over losing things.. But you need to remember that everything you truely need aren´t the tangible, materialistic things. I´m so glad my friends were there to support me, and didn´t let me flip out too much. Now, I´m fine with everything... and almost enjoying not having a heavy bag to drag around (hahah yes I´m just trying to be optimistic about it!). To top off the gringo hate of the day, another exchange student named Dalton came in to the café, telling us a story about how he´d been walking down the street and some man yelled at him "Get out of my country!" and kicked him in the crotch. Lowwww blow indeed. Moving on to todaaaaay, I got to go out with my councillors for lunch again! It was a lot of fun, and nice to switch up to awwwesome food again. They had some sort of spaghetti in a sauce with a ton of vegetables. JC (councillor)´s brother, from La Paz was visiting, and I had a good few chats with him about other cities in Bolivia. I was so proud that I could recognize his paceño accent (and the fact that I could carry on a conversation, at least with someone very talkative). I had some mate for the first time since arriving! I miss drinking tea.. Apparently I´m having a meeting on Monday with my councillor, my host dad and another Rotarian.. talking about family situations etc. I think I´ve figured out my problem is that no one really talks too much in the family, so I feel really alone. I have also figured out that I am horrible at starting conversations in spanish, but can have a decent conversation with someone willing to keep the conversation going, asking me a lot of questions. I´m better at answering :) Later this afternoon, we went to the police station to get some paperwork done (via typewriter), and then Brodie came over to make... the Bolivian version of rice crispy squares. They a) didn´t have white marshmellows, only pink strawberry flavored and b) didn´t have plain rice crispies, so we settled for chocolate flavored and frosted flakes. They were the strangest thing I´ve ever made. It probably took us longer to clean up than to actually make. Afterwards, we took them over to Melissa´s house, another exchange student that was having a little get together with food from the homeland (they actually said American food, forgeting that a few of us were from other countries). It was pretty much just a bunch of junk food like mac n cheese, cookies etc.. But nice to get to hang out, especially when there´s a pool. Well.. I´m tired, it´s late and I have school tomorrow. I´ve gotten out everything that was needed to be said, so I hope you had a good read. Until next time!