Aidan and I left Boston at around six in the morning five days ago. We took a flight straight to Panama City, Panama which felt extremely long to me. Additionally we were very confused because when we went to Panama this winter we were on the same time as them but this time due to daylight savings which Panama does not do (smart country) we were an hour off and thought we were missing our second flight… Our flight to Santa Cruz also felt extremely long and the inflight veggie meal was way less good but I was starving. We arrived at around ten in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and it was pouring rain. In immigration we were told that the law for tourist visas had recently changed to thirty days not ninety. ‘But we are here for longer!’ I sputtered. ‘The woman in the consulate in New York told me ninety!’ ‘Well she’s wrong’ he said casually. I was at a loss. Then he told me we could get free thirty day extensions twice at the government office in the city. Great, I told him we wanted the extensions and could he just give us them now? nope. Then I literally tried to bargain with him, ‘just sixty days please señor?’ He laughed at me and wrote down the address for the government office. Then he stamped my passport so faintly I could barely see it so I made him do it again before marching off annoyed. I considered changing the amount of days written in my passport with a pen but my mom reminded me that is forgery and stuff.
When you leave the Santa Cruz airport everyone presses a button and if it makes a beep you get your bags searched. Aidan was one of the lucky ones. After having a women blindly stick her gloved hand around inside his backpack for a while we went out to get a cab. I’m sure we were ripped off but frankly I wasn’t in the mood to bargain and also I had no idea the cost to where we were going. Once inside the cab cruising into the dark, wet, city we got really excited, we were finally here! We stayed at the Backpacker Hostel. The owner was a really sweet woman who met us at the gate and showed us to a small damp room with sleeping people in it. We walked past the nice pool that we would not be swimming in because of the rain.
In the morning after a simple breakfast we walked down the street to where we could catch a combi out to Samaipata. The drive to our town is super beautiful through mountains and other small towns. We arrived right at the plaza. I love Samaipata so much and was really glad to be back. This town is small and super cute. There are a fair amount of restaurants, a shady plaza, some small stores, a market, and dusty streets with cute homes.
Dave met us and made us lunch. His wife Kirsty had gone into the city that morning because their daughter Matilde who is only ten months was a bit sick. That night he didn’t have us work in the bar we just relaxed and saw how it all worked. We are staying in a room in the back of the bar which is actually pretty cool. We have a big loft bed and just outside our door is the steps to the super adorable rooftop terrace. Their house is also attached to the bar and we eat in there and stuff. Kirsty and Mathilde arrived in the morning. The baby is super adorable and I love her already. She has big blue eyes and she is super mellow. Kirsty and Dave are both really laid back and cool. Their bar is really nice especially for here in Bolivia and I’m quite excited to be working in it.
Saturday night was busy but it was cool to jump right in. The bar opens at five and they have a license to stay open until three but that only really happens on Saturdays. Nothing is computerized so we have a notebook where we write down what everyone has ordered. If it’s a local we write their name and put pink highlighter. Locals pay a different price for everything and often pay only every few days. We don’t have to worry about checking any ID’s. Dave says he knows the kids under eighteen and he stops them at the door. Sometimes little kids come in to watch the soccer on TV which is fine. There is a restaurant across the street with tasty food and people in the bar can order their food and it gets brought over to them which is really cool. Taking orders in Spanish is a little scary but it’s fun. I haven’t made a ton of drinks yet besides opening beers and pouring G&T’s but we are getting a cocktail lesson soon. We are allowed to drink while we work and we pay cost price for anything in the bar which is very little. We also actually made a decent amount of Bolivianos in tips which I wasn’t expecting.
During the day we’ve wandered the town a lot and hung out on our rooftop reading and stuff. A big bike race came into town on Saturday which was cool to see. Next week a rock band is coming to the bar. Soon we will go to the waterfalls and ruins and stuff. Unfortunately there is not really wifi that works well in town so I can’t post pictures or get texts and stuff very often. The internet cafes have internet slower than dial up I swear, actually as I write this I’m wondering how I will even post it but it’s pretty cool to be sorta remote. I’ll have good internet when I’m in Santa Cruz again. For now life is great in Samaipata 🙂 xoxo desde Bolivia
Well I would like to post another blog post but I haven’t even been able to upload the first one so I guess ill be posting a few at a time when I get good wifi. We’ve been here a little while now in Samaipata and feel pretty settled in. Working in the bar is fun and when we are not working we hang out a lot on our roof reading or take wanders around town. I also like to sit in the cafe on the plaza and people watch. I had good wifi once there and posted some instagram photos if you want to check em out (@maxineisland).
Watching Matilde is also really nice, she is seriously such a good baby and super adorable. Aidan has played poker twice now on Monday poker night with Dave and he is actually getting better at it haha. All of Dave and Kirsty friends are quite nice and we have been hanging out with them. Yesterday we made some stuffed zucchini to bring to a bbq but I forgot them in the oven for a while and took a shower and sort of over cooked them but everyone said they were good anyways. We’ve been watching a lot of Masterchef Australia and its been making me want to cook well.
Anyways what else, this town is super beautiful and relaxing and we just really love it here. Dave and Kirsty also have two dogs, a black lab and an adopted street dog that we play with. The other day Aidan and I hiked a little out of town to a nature reserve that has monkeys. One almost bit Aidan’s face when he touched it. There was also a parrot that says Hola which was pretty awesome. Oh and the band came to the bar which made for a fun night. I took covers at the door. I guess thats about it, Aidan and I will be going to Santa Cruz in the not too distant future to get our visa extensions so that will be fun we are planning to stay the night there and explore a bit. Besos for now, Maxx