Mutualista

I have mentioned before how Jadzia is seeing Bolivia with new eyes. She is old enough now to appreciate some things about it. Though she may have been here and seen it all before, she doesn’t really remember it.

One such thing is the market. Santa Cruz has many markets. There is one within walking distance of El Jordán called Mutualista.

Bolivia has a world of smells. As you walk the streets, you might be inundated by the odor of sparks and metal as you pass a block of small welding shops. Walking in an alley you might smell garbage in the elevated trash baskets at each house, or sometimes just from litter on the street.

But the markets, to me anyway, have even stronger smells. Undoubtedly this is because of all the foodstuffs available, as well as the trash produced. There are vendors selling tons of produce, butchers with chicken carcasses split open so you can see the insides and decide which one you want.

And, of course, right around the corner are all the folks selling party favors and candy. And that’s why we went to the market. We needed a few cookies and trinkets to fill out the goody bags we planned to give out Tuesday evening at Jadzia’s birthday party.

To me, the market is a labyrinth. The central part of it is essentially a grid, but once you are inside, it can become claustrophobic. Many stalls’ inventory overflows out into the aisle or hangs out across the ceiling, whether it’s underwear or bright multicolored boxes of cereal.

Since we were at the market anyway and we had no supplies to speak of back at El Jordán, we decided to buy some spaghetti, tomato sauce, ground beef, and broccoli. They ground the beef for us right there, which was interesting to see.

Jadzia doesn’t have much to say about all this (yet anyway), but I can tell she is taking it all in as if it were a brand new experience.

About Josh Renaud

Josh Renaud is married to Yoli and together they have four beautiful niƱitos. Find him on Twitter (@Kirkman) or Google+.
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