You know things in Bolivia are bad when even my Nanny who lives in San Antonio, Texas, has heard the news.
Bolivia’s president, Carlos Mesa, has offered his resignation to the Bolivian congress. In a television address to the nation, he said that Bolivia could not go on “with this dynamic of madness, of the tribe, of the region. We cannot continue with this irrational logic.”
The “dynamic of madness” he is referring to is the unending cycle of protests and blockades sponsored by various political factions. These protests continually cripple the country economically. Mesa refuses to use force to stop them, though. His predecessor, Sanchez de Lozada, took the military tack, and 67 protestors ended up dead. The people rose against Lozada, forcing him to flee the country. Now Bolivians want Lozada tried for “genocide.”
After having found out that we would have to stay in Oruro an extra day before moving on, we decided to check out some local attractions. The first place we went was the mirador at the top of the Faro, a sort of lighthouse or beacon set on top of a huge rock near one of the edges of town. From there we had a spectacular view of Oruro. The city begins against several yellow-brown mountains, and then spreads across the plain below them. It was a long walk to get there, but from that high place we spotted some interesting buildings far off that we later walked past.
On Wednesday we were invited to eat lunch with Glennie and Marilyn Wry. They are my neighbors, physically. Their house is on the ground floor of a 3-story student housing building which is right next the the guest quarters where I live.
Upon arriving for lunch from El Jordán, Marilyn called to let me know that my dad had called Becky Turner. Apparently someone in my family saw a news report on CNN about flooding in Santa Cruz — so bad that the water had carried people away. They were afraid for me.
Thursday was an interesting day. First, the weather has been unusually mild the whole time I’ve been here. There were a few hot days, but overall I have to say the weather has been great. Today was especially mild, and it sprinkled a few times.
Thursday morning, Yoli and I had breakfast together and then I dried off the clothes I hadn’t finished yesterday. After that we were ready for our main activity of the morning: going to the market.