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
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
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…….