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en la paz no hay paz (domingo, 10 octubre)

La Paz, Bolivia

Unfortunately, it was raining when I woke up, so I found a cafe where I got a soy latte and wrote in my notebook for a while. When the rain stopped, I found out information about Tiwanaku, but it turns out the bus for it left at 8am, and by this time it was past then. Plus, it was a kind of dismal, gray day to actually enjoy the ruins.

I went to La Paz´s famous Mercado de Brujas (witches market) where people sell traditional herbs and healing remedies. I talked to a guy working there who explained about the culture and what people traditionally believe. They believe the sun represents the male god and the earth represents the female god. They believe in something similar to karma, and they are very nature-based and respect all of the earth. They also believe that when people die, their bodies return to the earth but their spirit is carried to the sky. First the person´s spirit is put inside of a llama´s nose and all of the earthly things the person needs for the spirit world are packed on the llama´s back. Eventually the spirit is released out of the llama´s nose and carried into the sky by a condor. They don´t really believe this anymore, but it is a legend with symbolic meaning, and so today in society these beliefs are still respected.

After that I met another artist in the market named Fernando. We got to talking and he also told me about the Bolivian/ Quechua culture. It was really interesting, but then it started raining again so we went inside this coffee shop place to get some tea and talk where it wasn´t raining. It turns out he plays the quena (traditional wood flute) in this group, and they were playing at this place called Blue Note that night, so I decided to go with and listen. The conversation was so interesting and I learned more about the culture and a few Quechua words. Before we went back to Blue Note I went to this Arabic restaurant to eat falafel for dinner. The music was really good and I enjoyed listening to it. Their group consists of the quena, a guitar, drums, and a charango (a really small type of guitar like instrument). Listening to the music was really a lot of fun.

After the live music, Fernando, Will, and I went to a club where we went salsa dancing, which I enjoyed even though I feel like I have two left feet sometimes. I definitely want to keep learning the salsa though.

All in all, it has been an awesome day, even though I didn´t get to see the ruins of Tiwanaku. Funny how sometimes plans fall through but then something better happens.

permalink written by  Sara Florecita on October 9, 2010 from La Paz, Bolivia
from the travel blog: año de dos inviernos (Chile 2010)
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Sara Florecita Sara Florecita
1 Trip
8 Photos

-I am participating in the Inglés Abre Puertas program run by the Chilean Ministry of Education.
-Hobbies include travelling, writing, reading, learning Spanish and Italian, long-distance running, music, and art.
-I am a college graduate who is trying to find her place in this world.

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