Hello everyone, sorry i havent updated sooner, i have just been so busy. Last weekend was an experiance and half and so much fun.
However, before i start on that though, i forgot to mention another weird and wonderful, well not quite so wonderful encounter in La Cnacha. And it was with llamas/alpacas again. I just cant seem to get enough of those lovely animals! Anyway, a group of us went to La Cancha shopping and decided to explore a bit befoe we actuallydid the actual shopping part. Now La Cancha is HUGE and there is leterally everything and anything there. So we came across the Witches market. The part that sells interesting remedies for just about anything and we could have even got our cards read. The shock was that we came across hanging feotuses of llamas, dired out and just everywhere! We then came across them wrapped up in bits of cotton wool looking stuff, stuck on bits of paper, decorated with all sorts of things and money. The amount of stalls sellers laughing at the gringo's reaction was funny. All chuckling away to themselves. I found out in my spanish lesson that monday, its an old tradition of the Aymara people, to burn these as sacrifices, on the first day of every month. Not knowing what the smoke that was billowing out of every shop or home last month, now really explains the bad smell that was coming from them. (look at the picture of my friends in La Cancha and on the left hand side are the llamas, sadly i deleted the better photo of them!)
Anyway, moving on from the llamas. LAst weekend, about 24 of the volunteers went to Oruro for the weekend to see the carnival called la Diabala- the dance of the devils. Now if you are ever in Bolivia, dont ever ever go there, unless the carnival is on. It is a waste of time and there is nothing there. However, the carnival was so much fun. As you can see from my photos, the costumes were amazing. I dont know how long it took to make all the costumes, but at least 3 months, maybe even more. They were of all colours and varieties. And the dancing was amazing, all to brass bands and so well organised. I could probably sing you the tune that they danced to, as it was used by all, very infuriating, but very catchy and just mad e you want to dance. I think my favourite costumes of all, where the inca-like costumes, with large featehr headresses and spears etc. The other costumes were all very similar. The girls in little dresses with puffy sleeves, with swirly skirts and long boots with a huge heel. The men wore a shirt with puffy sleeves to, trousers and boots with loads of beels on them. This sounded amazing, them all dancing in time and to the rythmn of the music. All the costumes had intricate designs on them, normally to colours and loads of sequins and silvers and golds.
The only mission of the whole day was that you got soaked! Literealy, i thought it had been bad in Cochabamba, with the run up to Carnival here, which was yesturday. Buy my god, there was spray foam, which was so unamusing if you got it in your eyes. Loads of waterballoons, water guns and practically anything else that was liquid and lying around eg the can of beer that was poured into my hair. The amount of alcohol consumed by the locals especially, was disgusting, so sitting in the stands was a nightmare. There were constant water fights between the our stand and the opposite stands and also, just groups of people within the stands.
ANyway, we were there from about 10 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon, so managed to saok up the atmosphere loads. then a group of us went ot have lunch. We all went out that evening, and the carnival was even better then. Some of us then returned to get in a quick power nap before getting up at 3 again. We did this so we could go to the cathedral for 5, when it was the end of the carnival for saturday and they had to process through the chuch and be blessed. A bit of mixing of religions goes on, especailly as the catholic church doesnt really approve of the carnival. By then on that we were all shattered so went home to bed. I hate to thinkwhat the others felt, having stayed out all of that time, dancing with the crowds and the dancers. It must have been greta, but sadly my stamina didnt tkae me that far! Also, the amount of things that were stolen from the guys, was rediculous. 6 out of the 8 had at least one thing stolen, during the day or at night. I am very sorry, this probably hasnt been the best description of the day as a whole, but its quite difficult to explain and i would probably not do it any justice. I wil try and upload more photos soon.
After a crazy Saturday, 11 of the girls went to the loacl hot springs which was a lovely relaxing afternoon, and the water was fab. However, there was as much excitment going there as the day before, i think. In the bus, there were loads of people, so some of us had to stand up. 1 girl called amelia, nearly fainted and another, Rachelle, managed to dislocate her sholder, from hanging onto the rail on the roof of the bus. Luckily it popped back in, but we all thought that locals must have been thinking what the hell are all these gringos doing. Justa a simple bus ride and 2 dramas in 40 minutes!
This week has been good. On monday and tuesday, it was a public holiday, so i didnt go to work. And then on Thursday i was ill, nothing drastic i assure you, i love jelly so much, but it has made this week very short indeed. Yesturday was carnival here. Not quite so good as in Oruro and it was raining, which was a bit of a let down. Also the crowds seemed to be so much more viscious with the water ballons and foam than in Oruro.
Anyway, that is it. today i had a lovely realxed day by a pool and went in a sauna. i hope you are all well back in England or some far off distanat country that you are in. I do apaologise now, for evey single blog i have done. I think i have already said this, but i ramble, lots. I think you might have gathered that by now. Also, i never check my spellings or proof read it, too much of a mission. Sorry. Out of interest- can you see the photos properly, when i post them? Would be good to know.
Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxx