jueves, septiembre 29, 2005

Honk if you love sheep

Sheep and landscape
Originally uploaded by Ryan Greenberg.
One usually doesn´t have to part a herd of sheep to use the internet, but in Bolivia, each day is a new adventure. Farmers bring their sheep into the parks of the city to graze during the day. This herd was just a block or two from my house.

Mi familia

Mi familia
Originally uploaded by erostkowski.
So here´s my fam. From left to right: Corina, Katty, Me, Mariana, and Marco. Jorge (my host dad)and our pup La La are infront. Corina is an environmental engineer and visits the house often. She lives close by in Cochabamba. Katty is fifteen and attends the local colegio. Mariana is finishing up her tourism studies at a univeristy in town. Marco is currently looking for a job. He just spent the past week in Santa Cruz, a city about 8 hours away, trying to find work. The job market in Cochabamba and Bolivia in general is bad. Most of Marco´s friends have had to leave town or the country to find descent jobs.


Cacho- the best game ever
Originally uploaded by erostkowski.
Victory! Caitlin and I are the Cacho queens of Cochabamba (I dare you to say that five times fast)Cacho is the traditional game of Bolivia involving a leather cup and 5 dice. The goal is to get 4 of a kind of every number and then four other special combinations. You can go to any bar, restaurant or cafe any time of the day or night and find people playing it.

viernes, septiembre 16, 2005

¡Viva Cochabamba!

We arrived in Cochabamba at a great time. On September 14, every year, the city celebrates it´s founding by hosting parades, festivities, and concerts. I tried to take advantage as much as I could of the activities available. There were no classes at the Institute on Wednesday. Instead, the students gathered on the campus and played traditional games, ate food of the region, and tore up the dance floor.Josè Manuel, my new bolivian friend, and I went downtown afterwards to watch one of the four parades this week. I feel really lucky to have met him last week at mass. He has been showing me around the city, taking me to fun places, and forcing me to practice my Spanish (he doesn´t speak English, but we manage to get by).

lunes, septiembre 05, 2005

El Cristo de Concordia

View from El Cristo
Originally uploaded by erostkowski.
On Saturday, my Bolivian brother, Marco, and I took the teleferia to a high point in Cochabamba where a tall statue of Jesus watches over the city. (a picture of the statue is on my photo page). We were able to climb a narrow spiral staircase inside and peer out through the lookout holes. There is no better view of Cochabamba to be found. So far so good in Bolivia. Marco and Mariana have been taking me around with them. On Saturday night, I went to my first Bolivian fiesta. Mucho divertido. I feel that even in the past few days my Spanish has been improving just by being constantly around native speakers. Today was the frist day of classes. At the Maryknoll Institute, all the instruction in one on one. Each day, we go to class for four hours. Each hour, I have a new teacher. Then, after two weeks of the same four instructors, we switch and receive four new teachers. The setup seems that it will work really well. However, it´s amazing how exhausting talking in Spanish for four hours can be. I´m very sleepy. I think an afternoon nap is going to have to become a necessity :) Hasta Luego!

viernes, septiembre 02, 2005

Cochabamba, Bolivia

We arrived in Cochabamba last night after a long day of traveling. Our flight from La Paz (the capital) to Cochabamba was cancelled so we spent to the majority of the day in the airport. I found it to be good though, it gave us so time to relax before being swept away by our Bolivian families. The three children, Marco (26), Mariana(24), and Cathy (15) from my family met me at the airport. Everyone in the family speaks a little English, which proves helpful considering my level of spanish. The spanish in Bolivia is so much easier to understand than in Chile. I have acutally been suprised by how much I really know. The Quiroz´s house is located in a very nice area of Cochabamba called El Rosedal. The family is great and I am looking forward to spending the next few months here.