After three flights and two nights in
mountains from the plane
hotels due to a missed flight, we finally arrived in La Paz last night.
We took it easy, and spent a lot of time sleeping, drinking mate de coca, and adjusting to the altitude.
mate de coca (coca tea)
Today we are feeling a lot better, but we still get winded going up the three flights of stairs to our room. Our hostel is great, with wonderful views of La Paz and the new teleferico from the two balconies( I got my hair cut while looking down at the city from one of them.) .The teleferico is a cable car that goes from El Alto, the city above La Paz, to La Paz. Two or three of them exist now, and there are more planned. From my bunk I have good views too, including a view of Ilimani, a snow capped mountain above La Paz.
teleferico above La Paz
I am so happy to be here, and can’t wait to run around and explore without having to go slow because of the lack of oxygen. Nights are chilly and I think we are all appreciative of the down comforters the hostel has. I miss everyone, but am having a wonderful time.
We have spent the last few months packing up the house to rent and saying goodbye to friends and family before heading to La Paz, Bolivia. We did this for a year once before – in 2007-2008 – but it feels a little harder this time. The difference is clear: in 2007 we had been in Bloomsburg for eight years; our kids were 5 and 1, and Anna had only been to preschool. Now we’ve been here for seventeen years (minus time away), Anna and Zeke are 14 and 10, and we’re deeply rooted in the greater Bloomsburg, Millville Meeting, and Greenwood Friends School communities. We’ve moved into town, and so we see lots of friends much more often. Sure, we had friends nine years ago, and many of those folks are still friends, and those connections are deeper. What I’m getting around to saying is that it feels like we are leaving more behind this time, and we fully realize that a year is a long time away.
But it is worth going. I’ll be teaching analytic number theory at the Universidad Mayor San Andres, the public university in La Paz. Anna and Zeke will be enrolled in school. Leticia is adept at finding adventure. We’ll be joined by Tenaja Henson, a friend through Quaker circles and a recent high school graduate who is doing a gap half-year before starting college. That takes us to December. What the rest of the year holds has not yet taken shape.
So, before we leave, I’d like to say thanks to our community here in Pennsylvania. Knowing we have you to come back to makes it easier to say goodbye.