torstai 7. kesäkuuta 2012

Bolivia growing on me

For several years, Bolivia has been a country I have longed to visit. The other place was Amsterdam but when I finally got there in December last year it was wet and cold and I got very sick. I guess I have to give the city another chance. Anyway. I made it. Greetings from Bolivia.

Bolivia is a country of many extremes. It’s the highest, the poorest and the most indigenous country of the America’s. There are a few big cities with modern amenities but the majority of the people live in very rustic and simple conditions, herding llamas and cultivating potatoes and quinoa. Most roads are unpaved and without signalization; venturing out to the countryside can lead to getting lost for several days.

Quechua and Aymara are the majority's ethnicity and first language. Spanish is learned in school. Most people here have very bad Spanish but also in general the Bolivian Spanish is weird, resembling Master Yoda’s speaking by putting the verb last.

The people give very much importance to their roots. Traditional hats, fabrics and skirts are widely used to identify the origins of people. Having a full set of teeth is a luxury, wearing proper shoes instead of sandals in this freezing climate isn’t really a necessity. A photographers dream this place is.

I have a few more weeks left here. Bolivia is a bizarre country, very different from all other Latin countries. There are several very touristy places but once you ditch the Lonely Planet, there are secrets to be discovered. An amazing country it is.

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