Artes y Artesanias

Healing through the Arts

La Aventura Empieza en Serio (The Adventure Begins for Real)

Logo Sustainable Bolivia

Preparation for this sojourn began in earnest in January 2014 with an introductory course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and finished with a capstone course for MBSR graduates.  Along the way, I learned to appreciate each moment — for what else is real but the present?

I am now at Casa Principal of Sustainable Bolivia (SB) in Cochabamba where — having finally found a way to recharge my laptop — I will attempt to relate some of those “Now it’s really beginning!” moments since I left my home base in Lansing MI @7:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

  1. La aventura empieza en serio (#1)  Angie Schuyler, Housesitter/Artist in Residence @Estudio Artes y Artesanias, drops me off in East Lansing for Michigan Flyer commuter bus to Detroit Wayne Airport (DTW).  I am hungry, but cannot eat for at least an hour after the first of four capsules I should have started taking a week ago to fend off typhoid fever.  Then there are twice daily pills over the next 4-8 days in preparation for life @12,000′ above sea level. The contradiction of being old enough to know it’s important to take care of one’s health, but also forgetful enough to mess it up!  It is what it is and Que sera, sera!  I think I’ll take a nap.
  2. La aventura empieza en serio (#2) DTW to Reagan National Airport in DC….. to Miami… La Paz, Bolivia….with two-hour layovers at each.  Still hungry in Detroit, but too frugal to pay $11.00 for a yogurt fruit cup.  Remembering that awful airplane cuisine of my youth, I settle for a “free” glass of water en route to DC.  At least I can take the altitude pill.  Prices at Reagan National are no better than Detroit and I just barely have time to make my connection due to the extra security in an election year focused on fear-mongering.  More “free” water.”  Hungrier still!                                   Ah, Miami — I slip into a little restaurant and order jumbo shrimp cocktail!  Oh, wait!  That hour that we spent sitting on the tarmac while weather delays made a jumble of departures & arrivals!!! Not even time for a to-go order.  Even more hungry!               Wait!  Wait!  What is this?  They are delivering little plastic trays from which I may choose either meatballs or chicken.  There’s a salad of sorts.  A cold bun with butter.  A caramel brownie.  Airplane food never tasted so good!
  3. La aventura empieza en serio (#3)  Touchdown La Paz!  Tourist Visa (cost $160.00 U.S.) issued for 30 days. Will have to return monthly to extend at no additional cosfor up to thirty days. Since the weather issues used  up all my down time in Miami, I go in search of a Cambios (Money Exchange) booth. I had forgotten about SB’s advice to bring crispy new bills. Both the immigration guy and the lady exchanging dollars for Bolivianos (6.68 Bs to the US dollar checked every single bill  for evidence of use, billetes bolivianosincluding                        running a finger around all four edges for micro tears.



3 comments on “La Aventura Empieza en Serio (The Adventure Begins for Real)

  1. Jody Gostas
    April 10, 2016

    We found in Peru that a $20 bill would not be accepted because of a small (I mean, VERY small) tear on the edge. Now I guess I understand but was confused at the moment.


  2. Jody Gostas
    April 10, 2016

    So glad you are starting to feel better. Don’t expect too quick a recovery due to altitude but I’m sure you compadres will be telling you all about this. We even has some difficulty going from sea level to 6000′!


    • Sandra
      April 11, 2016

      My middle name is Take-it-easy these days. Even the slightest exertion is costly to my energy. I don’t think it’s the altitude anymore, however. The bruise from the second fall was very bad, but thanks to PT I am on the mend.
      That is, if spending two hours making a beet salad & lentil is to be considered getting better.
      Biggest frustration today was discovering that the washing machine got stuck partway through the cycle so there wasn’t time to get the bedsheets out to dry in the sun!


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