Friday, March 30, 2012


I had low expectations for dinner tonight at the airport (see previous blog).  I found La Carretera, a Cuban meat and three, and was I surprised!  No Manchu Wok here!  I stood there with my tray and silverware looking around at all the Cuban meat selections and various rice mixtures asking the workers, "What's the best?"  The lady responded to me in Spanish,  "Whatever you prefer, really, " with an unsure look.  Then the man to my right pipes up, "Do you like pork?"  I said sure and followed his lead.  I ended up with a fat-filled shredded pork mixture with some dirty rice (with black beans) and, you guessed it, fried plantains.  (Picture to come.)  Super awesome. 

So what are my expectations about Bolivia?  To be quite honest, I have no idea what Bolivia is like other than I expect that they speak Spanish.  What else?.... I think that the people will have dark hair and dark eyes and generally be more tan than I am.  They will be very friendly to me, a "gringo" as they say.  I expect most areas to be poorer than where I have lived and spent my life - gravel roads, no super nice shopping establishments or malls.  Somewhere there will be large markets with meats, vegetables, flowers, maybe hats?  I heard it's super sunny.  I know for sure it's at high altitude, but not sure what that means other than great mountain views maybe?  Hot water will be short lived if present.  And the food?  Really, I have no idea.  Maybe rice and beans?  Do they eat tortillas?  I don't want to be one of those people who think that every Spanish speaking country eats tacos.  Trust me, this is not true.  Not one taco in the country of Spain.  I know, hard to imagine, right?  They don't even know what tortilla chips are in Spain!  How bout that?!?!

And healthcare in Bolivia: again I have no idea.  Are there thousands of boxes of non-latex plastic gloves lying around for every patient encounter?  Sinks in every room?  Alcohol foam at every door?  Computers?  Hmmm....

Post your thoughts on this!


  1. Well, according to the Wikipedia page for "Health in Bolivia", I'd be preparing for some interesting differences....

    "In terms of key indicators, health in Bolivia ranks nearly last among the Western Hemisphere countries. Only Haiti scores consistently lower. Bolivia's child mortality rate of 66 per 1,000 live births is the worst in South America. Proper nourishment is a constant struggle for many Bolivians. Experts estimate that 7 percent of Bolivian children under the age of five and 23 percent of the entire population suffer from malnutrition.[1]"

    I'd assume that you'll see the "best case scenario" in La Paz.

    1. Child mortality rate of 66 per 1000?! Wow, it's amazing how blessed we are in the US.

      Cant wait to read more, Bek! Be safe!

  2. Boo, be prepared for anything. One thing that struck me as I was reading this was the question, "Has she ever experienced altitude sickness?" Rapid heart rate, nausea, dizziness-can strike you in the Rockies, so it very well may in the Andes. Last time for me, it lasted about ten minutes. Take things slowly the first day or so. Love and prayers.