Bolivia team - adventures in Sucre
The Bolivia team have been packing a lot into their few short weeks in Sucre...Spanish lessons are certainly not dull!
Monday revealed the real damage of the sun after the hacienda weekend, Caroline's refusal to wear sun cream was very much on display. We all managed to crawl out of bed to make it to Spanish where the beginner was hard at work doing grammar while the others decided it was a nice day for yet another trip to pancake shop- followed an intense Pan's Labyrinth! We then decided that a group hike up to the Christ Redeemer statue atop the hill above Sucre was in order, first signs of what the altitude had in store left us all panting. Gabe's weird but wonderful technique of hunting terrorists kept spirits high on the hike up.
After the hike we watched the Devil's Miner, a Bolivian documentary about child labour within the famous silver mine, Cerro Rico in Potosi. The mine is famed for having produced enough gold and silver to build a bridge from the Americas to Europe but having also swallowed enough lives to build a returning bridge back. It was an eye opening introduction to what will be our first stop after Sucre to say the least.
The Spanish lessons continued in the same vein, starting to feel like we are making progress. Tuesday afternoon brought some time to chill before the big table football competition, tensions were running high as a couple of big fixtures were drawn in the first round although no upsets occurred. Eshan used some clever tactics getting tournament favourite Emily drunk. Tactics clearly working as Eshan worked well with the on fire Orlando to take the win. After the competition the guys had a few drinks at the hostel over some cards. Having been told to leave the court yard of the hostel hunger got the better of us as we decided we should head out for some food- we found some top of the range dirty fried chicken.
After Spanish on Wednesday the entertainments group went to the black market on a secret mission, much to the suspicion to the rest of the group- all will be revealed soon. The cooking group picked up the food for the cooking class later that day. The ‘cooking class' was high jacked by a couple of teachers cooked what turned out to be a delicious pique al lo macho- although the volume of food was huge much to the satisfaction of the homeless people of Sucre. Florin followed with a couple of the teachers, while Eshan romanced Carla, his Spanish teacher.
Trust was at an all time low within the group as there had been some brutal murders in our ongoing Human Cluedo game, to accept the wrong item from anyone in the wrong place could well be your final act. As Jack found out having willingly taken a moist toothbrush in the laundrette from Emily! Having perfected our volleyball skills at the hacienda we went to play Wally with some confidence, it did not disappoint. A cross between volleyball and squash this traditional Bolivian sport is, in a word, chaos.. The game heated when Gabe accidentally hit Emily with the ball leaving her with a bleeding nose- all Gabe could muster in apology was a stifled laugh. After the game we went to a new bar called Locots where Hugo was simply not man enough to try the Julius Ceaser drink.
The following afternoons were marked by the all too hectic back-and-forth's to the market in preparation for Friday's barbeque. With Gabe's American Juicy-Lucy cheeseburgers and Saskia's Salsa Verde suspicious looking ingredients turned the stressful barbeque into a glorious feast. The courtyard transformed into dance floor and all the girls let off some steam to Hugo's alternative music. Little did we know that the burning drink that was circulating amongst the crowd was in fact traditional Sugar Cane Alcohol at 96.8%... This celebration was followed by a trip to a lounge-bar with all of the teachers. Much to the boy's dismay, the girls soon spotted a table of Bolivian boys and were quick to move over. Their limited Spanish seemed to improve their chances and slowly but surely they moved in pairs to the dance floor. The night ended with several broken (Bolivian) hearts.
The next day started around mid-day after some much needed sleep. Pete's enthusiasm about some random treasure hunt was not shared by all but once the ball was rolling everyone was all in. The tasks ranged from uncovering inscriptions above a grave to buying a tuna that was not a fish?? A few hours later (more like 4) the groups returned with some epic tales to tell. All shall be revealed next week when Pete finally reveals who won the mystery treasure.......
Project and Expedition updates from the field - some to show the great work which is going on at our projects in South America and Africa, others just to make us jealous we're stuck here at home!