Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bells Will Be Ringing

It's common knowledge that Laura and I spent Christmas in Bolivia but here's a lesser known fact: Just as toilet water in China flushes opposite ours, Bolivians celebrate Christmas by carrying out the big to-do on Christmas eve. All the feasting, presents, dancing and family awkwardness is held the night before the big day. It really throws off the inner-holiday clock of a person used to gearing up for the 25th. It also makes me wonder if and how Santa factors in and if he doesn't, what the hell!?

Anyhoo, Laura and I spent Christmas Eve Day at the Guarderia with the kids you all so generously helped raise money for! I've been wanting to make baked apples for someone since last Christmas and conveniently there was a building full of 30 filthy children just waiting to have their minds blown with a cinnamon-sugar-apple combo. And they were already ridiculously sticky, for some reason, that day so I didn't feel that bad about the aftermath of the baked apples and their caramelized sugar syrup...whoopsies. They were unsure about how they felt about the treat but in the end decided as a group that they were in favor of the apples but still preferred strazaight sugar

Laura and I were invited to the family dinner along with a creepy German who came out of no where. We gorged ourselves on the traditional holiday meal, Picana, which is a soup with whole potatoes, whole chicken legs, whole steaks, and whole corn on the cobs. In my opinion the recipe is one of the worlds best soup ideas and I might even go as far to say it is a Christmas miracle...

In hindsight it was a really nice Christmas but also sent Laura and I spiraling down a funnel of homesickness and restlessness. We left Sucre shortly after Christmas, instead of staying through New Years, due to this emotional warping, contrary to what all our Bolivian friends were asking. The day we left, nay, the hour we left, the BIGGEST STORM rolled in! It was CRA...........ZAY! Sucre is so high up that you feel like a tiny molecule in the midst of a hurricane in a storm there. But this one was extra spectacular! Lightning, that seemed larger than life and three feet from our faces, cracked the whole sky and shook windows and roofs! A sheet of rain that looked solid as a curtain was moving across the hillsides towards us as the owner of our house was ushering us out onto the street to call a cab before the downpour hit and the streets flooded. We mad it just in time into the backseat of a cab with a driver who was 100% sure it wasn't going to rain. 3 minutes later the streets had turned to rivers, the staircases to waterfalls and we had pretty solid "We told you so's" going. Anyhoo, made it to the bus safe and sound. Please see the "Cool Infrastructure Evo" entry for details on our bus ride from Sucre to Cochabamba.

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