--A woman walked onto a micro (bus) carrying a fairly large, limp dog in her arms. Dead? Sedated? Sleeping? I guessed “sedated” and it turns out I was right: outside the micro window was a veterinarian’s office.
--As I sat in a trufi (collective taxi), waiting at a stoplight, I man came out into the intersection and started juggling knives. Good thing he left when the light turned green—someone might have gotten hurt.
--Our shower is heated by a coil inside the showerhead and there are exposed wires leading into it. A volunteer who no longer lives in the house said the showerhead caught fire once when it was turned on after not being used for a while. Thankfully, there have been no fires during my stay, but the shower has shocked me several times.
--Speaking of showers, the coil stopped working because it got too crusted over with minerals. My housemates mentioned that their showers were cold and, while I had hope that mine would be warm, the water was cold for me, too. So I bent my head over the shower and washed my hair. Then I took a sort-of sponge bath to deal with the rest of me. A couple days later, when it was time to shower again (yes, that’s right, I don’t shower every day in Bolivia) and I was going to go shower at the sisters’ house next door (it took a few days for our shower to get fixed), I woke up to find that neither house had running water! So…I boiled some of our drinking water from a bottle and, taking the pot of water into the bathroom, proceeded to not only bathe myself, but wash my hair and shave my legs. By dipping my head into the pot, I could get my hair wet, and by dipping my washcloth in the pot and squeezing out the water, I could get pretty wet overall. That “shower,” in fact, was the best one I had had in Bolivia before the showerhead was fixed!
|The Cochabamba version of the Hard Rock Cafe|
--One of the girls at the home I work at came up to me the other day and asked, in Spanish, ¿Qué significa “super hob”? (What does “super hob” mean?) “I have no idea,” I answered. “Where did you see that?” I asked. Well…the girl led me over to a poster on her bedroom door on which there was a sticker, in English, that said “Super Job.”
--On one of my first dancing days at the girls’ home, I brought a short, black chiffon skirt that I sometimes wear in ballet class over my tights and leotard. One of the girls found it in my bag, took it out, and proceeded to wrap it around her waist. “Bonita!” I said, and then went back to dancing. The next time I looked over at the girl, she was heading downstairs to show off the skirt to the other girls and the women who work at the home. Problem was, she had taken off her pants, and chiffon is see-through. Another girl saw and yelled out “Es transparente!”, but it was too late--the skirt-donning girl was off, proud as could be.
--Today, 16 people headed off to lunch in one, small SUV (meant for five passengers). I was among them. :)
--Willa and I were heading home in a taxi the other night and the driver, apparently, got bored with our company, grabbed a music video DVD out of his glove box, and stuck it in a portable DVD player sitting on his dashboard. We all had entertainment on the way home!
--A lot of stray dogs roam the neighborhood and Cochabamba, in general. If they get aggressive, just pretend like you’re going to throw a rock at them—it usually makes them go away.
--Some people in our neighborhood get rid of trash by burning it in little (unattended) piles by the side of the road.
--A lot of the girls at the home have significant communities of large lice living in their hair. Such an infestation, I have been told, is something that a lot of Cochabambinos just live with, in part because lice shampoo can be hard to come by and/or expensive. A couple weeks ago, one of the women who works at the home sat down with each of the lice-infested girls and bottle of rubbing alcohol. Her goal: to kill the lice with the alcohol and comb them out. She began this endeavor as many events with alcohol begin: with a toast. “Salud!” she said. “The lice are going to come out drunk!”