Back to La Paz

I only have a week left in Bolivia. Time goes by so fast, man. I did the Red Caps walking tour and was given an overwhelming amount of information about the country. On this tour were a couple of travelers that I had actually met in Sucre, making me realize it is an incredibly small world.

We got to see the San Pedro Prison which is ridden in corruption. Prisoners at San Pedro have jobs inside the community, buy or rent their accommodation, and live with their families. This means that the richer you are, a better living space you can obtain. Cocaine is bought and sold through the walls of the prison, with police turning a blind eye due to the fact that they will receive a portion of the profit.

At the Witches Market, I learned that people can buy potions to make the girl of their dreams fall in love with them, or correct your boyfriend’s behavior. Human sacrifices are actually still made to Pachamama or “Mother Earth.” However, it is not okay to take just any person. Witch doctors go out to find men or women who are homeless, don’t have any family, and therefore, have no better purpose but to be given to Pachamama.

Bolivia has an interesting history of presidents and is currently dealing with a complicated situation with Morales. It would appear their president would much rather be a dictator, as he has continuously changed laws for the past couple of years to stay in power. He is also a bit crazy and apparently hates the U.S. because he has actually changed government clocks to go left to right so that he is not associated with Western culture.

We were given lots of fun facts about why the women wear the garments they do, the zebras that help people to cross the street and the protest of the ban of the Simpsons in Bolivia by Morales which eventually encouraged the producers to make an episode in their honor. I urge you to read about this stuff online. It is a fascinating culture that I have had the opportunity to be acquainted.

Back at the hostel things had started to liven up. Once again, I ran into someone I had met earlier on this tour named Christian. He also happened to be the bartender. After telling him I was from California, he exclaimed “Westside best side!” throwing up the W sign with his fingers. Drinks were on the house. (Haha)

I did karaoke for the first time tonight. Christian shoved the list into my hands saying I HAD to do it or he would kick me out.

I thought long and hard about what my first karaoke song would be. This moment would go down in history, obviously, so it was a crucial decision.

Finally, I stood up on the bar and belted out a song I knew my mom would’ve been very proud to hear.

The whole room sang along to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and for a second, I forgot I was the one holding the mic. It was honestly one of the most fun moments I’ve had here so far, and for 5 wonderful minutes, everyone was my friend.

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