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Santa Cruz Ca.

Santa Cruz, United States


After writing my blog this morning I went to the western union to change my last euro's for dollars.....

Then I decided to hit the road...
Cruised towards Malibu stopped the car...


Walked up the beach saw some shark fin's therefore no one was allowed in the water...
Walked in the sea till knee hight and made some pictures of the lifeguard houses... returned to the car and started driving.. the weather became very cloudy.. after 15miles the roadworks began...

The signs said Route 1 closed for 1 week...
Therefore I was forced to take the highway 101.
This highway goes straight true the mountains and a part of the dessert..
I had the top down... Temprature was ok.. sun began to shine again..
My head began to burn... tried putting a t-shirt on my head but this did not help.. Therefore I had to pull over and close the top..

Then the roads got worse..
It good that I'm an expert in road rally....
Only Mr. State trooper did not like that!

"Sorry Mr state trooper.. I thought I was going 120 KM in staid of miles..:)

Could you please explane the road rules I cant seem to find them in my lonely planet.. :)

After making fun of Mr. State Trooper.. I asked him if he knew a good place to have lunch... and of course I'm very kind.. therefore I invited him for lunch...:) he said no thanks.... but after all my Bullshit he did not give me a ticket!!!!!

Stopped somewhere down the road for a burger...
Poppy's Diner...

Got a burger from a nice old waiters, she informed me that i was crazy thinking that i would make it to "Frisco" in 6 hours..

Some old guy in in the diner told me watch out..
The closer to "Frisco" the closer to disco...(?????)

(He explained that the people are crazy around Frisco)

The longer I was on the road the more I thought I was not going to make it before dark.. therefore I switched to plan B.

Take a dirt road to Santa Cruz..

After 30 miles of dirt... I arrived in S'Cruz
It did not look like a beach front city..
More like a ski resort..

Looked in my lonelyplanet and discoverd a motel near the beach and downtown S'Cruz.

went to the lobby, and asked their rates..
It was only 87dollar..
I Thought oh shit.. then this is a dump..
(My other two motels were two times more expensive)
I said, Ok I'll take it...
It is very nice!!!!

Ok now I'm going for some thing to eat..

Tomorrow i'll drive on to Frisco..
Cant upload pictures here...

Thanks for the comment's..
Ciao




permalink written by  Kristian Kossen on August 13, 2008 from Santa Cruz, United States
from the travel blog: Trip around the world
tagged SantaCruz

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Ken and the Boys

Cochabamba, Bolivia


Some people have asked me lately, "Ryan, how it is travelling alone?" I found it that awkward to answer. It wasn't because I had food in my mouth or because I wasn't wearing any clothes, but because I haven't considered myself to be travelling alone. When I look at it, I have always been with people. I spent a couple of months with a Cecilia's family, travelled with Harry, Jimmy, Jamshade and even Tony and Erna for a while, too. I'm happy to say, I haven't felt alone.

Since then I've been staying with Ken in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Lemme tell ya, it's more than hot in Santa Cruz. We've been steadily in the high 30's and broke 40 a few times. If I sleep past 8 the sun will shine on my mattress, making it impossible to sleep - not from the light, but from the sweat tickling me as it drips down. Plus, the parakeets have a screeching competition in the neighbour's tree every morning from 8-9am. I've found that to be the ideal time to eat breakfast. It works well for me because the sun is usually off my mattress by 9:30, so if I want more sleep the option is there. Yup, it's so hot that I had to shave and get a hair cut.

Anywho, Ken is a missionary from Saskatoon, who has a boys home that provides the opportunity for former street kids to attend university. Right now there's 9 boys (almost all 20 yrs old), Ken and I living at the house.

FRANZ educated me on the local politics. I understand that Cambas (lowland, eastern, jungle folk in Bolivia who are relaxed enough that they don't feel it neccesary to pronounce the 'S' at the end of their words) see Evo Morales as the antichrist, the second Hitler and Satan himself. They want more atonomy like what Canadian provinces have. The mountain dwelling highlander folk (mostly Quechua, but the name of them escapes me) see Evo as their saviour and the lone good guy amongst all bad.
Franz also beat me in a swimming contest, making me his cachiman. Since then I have been laying down the smack talk on my fusbol skills. After our game he'll be walking away with his tail between his legs, but we still haven't found a place to play. I spotted a bunch of tables in a plaza close to Ken's house the other week when I was walking around lost, but for some odd reason they were gone the next day.

SANDRO is incredibly short and eats his weight every meal, yet doesn't gain any weight. It baffles me. Not only is the the shortest, but he's also the oldest at 23. When I first met him I thought he was quiet and serious, but his high pitched laugh quickly proved me wrong. Throughout the day I'll usually hear Sandro constantly mumbling "mi cachiman", which more or less means "my servent". In my first day at the home that became a running joke that hasn't gone. These boys have been teaching me a bunch of street slang and the Santa Cruz accent, which is the last thing my broken Spanish needs.

DAVID and RONELO each have baby girls that they're obviously proud of - they've showed me their pictures. Ronelo emphasized that his girl got her good looks from him. He also likes to remind me that he's the best looking guy in the house. David, on the other hand, first told me his name was Brappy, so I could never figure out who David was. Eventually it was clear that David tried to tell me his name was Brad Pitt. heh heh, didn't work so well.

ANDRES was sick and quiet for the first week I met him. Then one day he instantly felt better and started teasing everyone constantly. Funny guy, but I don't know where he get's his energy from.
Last week a praying mantis landed on my leg. I only know those freaky bugs from nature shows when they fight each other to the death, so, naturally, I freaked out in a very manly fasion. You've gotta see them, they have huge pinchers!! Andres caught the praying mantis and chased me around the kitchen table reassuring me they are harmless. ...turns out he's right. I held it in my hand and it just relaxed. Regardless, I was happier with it outside.

YIMY (pronounced Jimmy) is studying to be an electrician. He also used to play soccer for a just-below-pro team here in Santa Cruz. He's a quiet guy, polite and confident. Actually, all the guys are very confident and most are polite too.

Like Sandro, JOSE MIGUEL comes across as serious, but in this case he actually is. A nice guy though who's been kind enough to come with me into town a few times to use the internet.

JESUS has been rather quiet and I haven't chatted with much. He has a son who is scared of white people.

I'm sleeping on the floor in RUDDY's room. Everyone else has 2 or 3 in a room, but Ruddy. I dunno if that has to do with good behaviour or what, but it works for me. He seems to have a healthy balance in his life. It's not rare to catch him singing or whistling while doing chores - sometimes trying to sing louder than the other boys. Plus, he's incredibly patient, especially with my Spanish and teaching how to play the sampoƱa (the typical reed instrument you'll hear in Bolivian or Peruvian folk music). Lately he's played a song or two in bed before turning the lights off. I honestly think it helps me sleep better.
Ruddy is studying communications to possibly be a radio personality or something in the radio/music industry.

Those are the boys. From what Ken tells me, the typical story of street kids in Santa Cruz is something like this: Their parents split with the mom taking the kids. She finds a new man who then abuses the kids, so they escape the bad scene at home for another bad scene on the streets. Many turn to drugs and alcohol to cope, which is funded usually by stealing. Some kids voluntarily show up at orphanages for a better way of life. For Ken's boys, this is mostly the story they have and some are still struggling to keep their past behind them.

With that said, these guys are now studying at university with all of their expenses paid for. They live in a clean home (and what a beautiful home!) which they help to maintain. But most importantly, they're quality people. It's been a privilege staying with them.

permalink written by  ryanmyers on April 6, 2009 from Cochabamba, Bolivia
from the travel blog: Ryan's First Sabbatical
tagged SantaCruz and Ken

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Email Extracts

Cochabamba, Bolivia


Sorry folks, I've been piss poor at keeping the blog current since I left Cecilia's. Almost my all time on the internet is spent replying to emails (corporate_junky@hotmail.com). I've scanned through my 'sent messages' and pasted stories from the last few months here in Bolivia. I'm a grammer geek, so square brackets [ ] indicate an addition to the original quote.

............

APRIL 8, 2009 to ERNA from SANTA CRUZ
I still haven't shaved since Huancayo or cut my hair since Canada [I buckled after a week of Santa Cruz weather, but got it back in Cochabamba!]. I gotta say, this is quite the treat!! I've dreamed about being this scruffy before, but never got to live it until now. And the humidity is definately helping my hair stay curly at a longer length. I don't think I could keep it this long at home.

Oh, and the weather here is much hotter than Lima. Bolivia is land locked, yet it is mucky and hot here cause it's only 400m above sealevel and in the jungle. And, I'm FINALLY reaping the benefits of living in the Andes for 3 months. When playing soccer with the guys [Ken's guys] last night, I could run as long and hard as them. Funny cause I'm not exactly in shape and some of these guys used to play for quality teams. Now I just need some coordination [any at all] with my feet and I'm good to go.

APRIL 8, 2009 to TARA from SANTA CRUZ
Sometimes it's frustrating [learning Spanish] because I learn the same word about 50 times (no exaggeration!). Often I recognize the words, but don't remember their definitions. Other times I understand the words, but not the sentences. Funny story, I was having dinner with a Kati in Lima when her friend joined us. Her friend was speaking talking about me in front of me, but I couldn't decifer exactly what she was saying. She finished by saying "No entiende mierda" (literally "he doesn't understand shit"), which was the only sentence I knew. That was about all I understood, so I said, "No, entiendo mierda". She was a little embarrassed.

APRIL 8, 2009 to TARA from SANTA CRUZ
I'm hanging out with 9 ex-street kids who had/have some problems - almost all are around 20 yrs old, so I hope I can be a good influence. Plus, Ken said he has 9 guys staying with him, so if I sleep on the floor (which I am), then what is one more?

I've only been in Bolivia for a few days, so it's hard to say exactly what the differences are. Plus, Santa Cruz people may be different from other Bolivians [They are!]. One difference is that people in Santa Cruz say "Bueno dia" and "Gracia", not "Buenos dias" and "Gracias" [Woowee, them folk are hard to understand!! Folk in Cochabamba are much easier to understand.]. I suppose they lost their S's a long time ago. And the cars honk less here [On second though, I think I've just gotten used to it]. However, I suspect that further west (closer to Peru and back in the mountains), the culture will be very similar to Peru.

APRIL 11, 2009 to TONY from SANTA CRUZ
I've told a lot of people down here how proud I am for you [for the Inka Jungle Trek]. Today we were at a pool with a giant mariposium (a ridiculously large butterfly and bird enclosure) with a tall look-out tower. One girl tried to climb it but her fear of heights had her drop on all fours and tremble. It really helped solidify how terrifying heights can be for some people. It also reinforced how difficult the trip must have been for you. Good on ya, pops!

As for down here, the other day I went to a slum home, which was the size of your kitchen. I gotta say, it was humbling. We made empanadas with them, which in hindsight, I think was more food than they had in their house. I played some soccer with the guys in the family and lifted weights with the dad! haha, obviously he was stronger! He also shared his story of how he got off the streets and how god has helped him out. He spent over 8 yrs on the streets before finding his own land and building his own house. Tough life. [my facebook pic is from here]

Probably the best part so far has been hanging out with the ex-street kids here. We call each other cachiman, which is their own slang and roughly means slave or servent. I suspect it's a little more rude, but who knows. Either way, they've been incredibly welcoming and patiently chat with me. The other day I had a long conversation about Evo Morales with one of them, which was a part of my choice to come here - to see how people view him.

Anywho, take care of your body, too pops! I've definately been getting my fair share of exercise. You wouldn't believe how much physical labour I've done down here. I've yielded machetti's several times lately. [Don't worry, I wasn't partaking in genocide, but helping out a grade 11 mission group from Saskatoon]

APRIL 13, 2009 to MEGHAN from SANTA CRUZ
I went to church for your birthday, which was awesome because there was lotsa singing and lotsa air conditioning. Santa Cruz is blistering hot! After that, the chaperones from the gr 11 class from Saskatoon had an Easter egg hunt for all of us, the boys and I included. The guys down here have all been extremely good to me - teaching me street slang and messing up my already not-so-good Spanish.

APRIL 29, 2009 to ERNA from SANTA CRUZ
Today was my last day in Santa Cruz. I leave at 6am tomorrow for Cochabamba. And yeah, I saw Che's moselium, execution site, last battle site and the location where his body was shown to the press. To be honest, the conversations I had on the tour were as good as the tour itself. I went with an Irishman and an Israeli and our guide was from Germany. The best conversation we had was in the hostel with the hostel lady who is from Cochabamba. [Woowee, was she passionate about her politics! Good to see.]

MAY 14, 2009 to TARA from COCHABAMBA
Funny enough, there's a bug here in Bolivia around Santa Cruz that'll bite you and half of your face will be paralyzed for a week or so. After that you're fine. Average Bolivian's don't seem to know this though, only doctors [Ken spoke with his doctor about this one]. So there's a wive's tale that if you leave the house just after showering in the evening you'll catch a cold cause of the temperature change. You gotta realize how rediculous that is - Santa Cruz is tropicly hot as hell. Their nights are at coldest 15 degrees and in freak insidences get down to 5, so if that was the case we'd all be permanently paralyzed in Canada!

MAY 20, 2009 to TARA from COCHABAMBA
And yup, things are cool down here. Tonight I'm gonna go to a show on how dada art influenced punk rock. [I understood the punk part cause I was famiar about it, but the dadism portion was a little tougher. I think he was arguing that dadism broke all rules of art, granting freedom to artists. Thus opening the doors for the possibility of punk. Personally, I think that's a far stretch and rather dadism is connected much closer to psychadelic rock (The Beatle's "Number 9") or experimental rock (The Velvet Underground's "Heroin") than punk. I think if there is a connection between visual art and punk it's more likely to be found in an art style like deconstructivism or whatever style is simple, yet strong.]

MAY 24, 2009 to MEGHAN from COCHABAMBA
I went to a pet market today. Outside the soccer stadium is a small market where you can buy fish, iguanas, cats, dogs and crabs. I'm not sure why you'd wanna buy crabs. You can get that free in most public washrooms. Anywho, there were tons of puppies that you'd wanna hug and kiss for hours. My favourate were the wrinkle dogs, hehe, they look so funny! [Notably I beat Flor at foosball with only my left hand - not that I'm bragging.]

After that Flor and I went to an artisan market. Honestly, the coolest stuff they had were plants. I suppose I'm not keen on buying trinkets. Just not my thing. But the plants are freaking cool. Most plants here are dirt cheap and the dirt is even cheaper!! Plus, tons of plants that we can only grow during the summer and inside can be grown outside all year round here. For instance, there are many poinsetta trees here.

Adam once told me that his dream home would be a penthouse and on the patio he'd have tons of pine trees with a fire pit in the middle. That way he could go camping on a highrise downtown. Cool idea, hey? Well, if I lived here I'd definately do that, except I'd have orange, mango, apple and avocado trees.

permalink written by  ryanmyers on May 25, 2009 from Cochabamba, Bolivia
from the travel blog: Ryan's First Sabbatical
tagged SantaCruz, Pets, Ken and ElChe

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Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala


Yesterday we arrived in Santa Cruz La Laguna. A small village off of lake Atitlan. While here we will be doing two days of professional development with the teachers here. The schools here are not very well developed and most teachers do not have more than a high school education. The teachers I am here with will be teaching the teachers reading strategies.

We will also be in the classroom with both the younger and older students. While in the classrooms with the older students we will be looking for 2 students to being to the US in Decemeber. I already have my picks... ;)

Working with these kids is so incredible! They are all so creative and very smart. They just need the tools to help them.

I will post more throughout the week!




permalink written by  gracegoestosantacruz on July 30, 2012 from Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala
from the travel blog: Waves of Friendship helps Guatemala
tagged SantaCruz, Professional, Students, Development and Atitlan

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