With only a few days left I find myself trying to absorb everything I see…every smell, every sound, and every emotion…in attempt to lock La Paz in my memory. Pictures just won’t do this 6 month journey any justice. They can’t depict the loneliness we felt for the first few months, the cultural adaptations we have all had to make (namely Amelia), or the incredible gratitude we have toward the people who have opened up their lives to us.
It is these people who completely changed our experience of this place…and for reasons unbeknownst to us allowed us to be a small speck in the grand tapestry of their lives. And so as we begin to pack up six months of life abroad, we also begin to pack up our experiences and sift through our stories, the changes we’ve undergone, and the impressions that Bolivia has left on us…that people have left on us. Even as I write this I feel disheartened at the thought of having to say goodbye. The difference being when we left Canada we knew it was only for a period of time. Leaving here is much more permanent. We plan to come back but we can’t predict what the future will bring.
Duane and I have been spending many nights talking about the things we are looking forward to, and the things that we will miss...I have compiled a list of both.
What I Will Miss:
- The ease of public transport here. You can catch a mini bus without having to wait for more than 15 minutes…there’s even one that goes directly passed my front door.
- The absolute elation at finding things we take for granted at home (ie. Organic vegetables, delicious burgers, flavorful beer).
- The stunning topography that never ceases to make me look a little longer. I’m often awe struck.
- Speaking Spanish everyday. It has been fun learning and watching Duane and Amelia learn as well.
- The fresh fruit. There is awesome fruit available all the time.
- The markets. No matter how crazy they are they are always fun.
What I’m Excited For:
- I can’t wait to actually be in a field. A huge field where I’m allowed to be, and that is not covered in dog poop. A friend and I got in trouble the other day for sitting on a small patch of grass to have a picnic. Dogs can wander freely, but not people. Nope.
- I’m excited to be in a house that is warm. I know many of you think we’re jerks for missing out on winter, but I guarantee that you were much warmer in your homes then we were. There were moments where I thought that I had never experienced the sensation of being THAT cold before.
- Duane and I counted all of the new businesses that have gone up since we left. I think we came up with 7. We want to try them all!
- Food has to be one of the main things I can’t wait for…thick, Greek yogurt, farmer sausage, bacon, hormone free meat, hormone free eggs, healthy food options, non-UHT milk.
- Looking forward to not being at altitude any longer.
- I can’t even express how awesome it is to KNOW that a business will be open when it says it will be, and that you can check the hours on the internet. Also, it’s so exciting that restaurants will be open before 7pm.
- Riding bikes. Seriously. I can’t wait!
So Saskatoon, we’ll see you soon! And it is with sadness that we say goodbye to all our friends here in La Paz. It has been a wild experience that I’m glad we’ve had. Chao.