by Amizade Global Service-Learning

Sept. 10, 2011   On our first full day in Cochabamba, the four of us in the group decided to meet up in the afternoon at a park to walk around some of the city. As I walked to the park, I passed a lot of houses. Walls to protect from robberies surround most of the houses in the northern part of the city. This is a bit upsetting because the houses are very beautiful, but the five-foot walls that are topped with electric wire, barbed wire, or even broken glass mask the view of them. A lot of people have dogs, and there are also a lot of stray dogs on the streets. Most of the time though, these dogs are calm and harmless and don’t even lift their head as people walk by.

My House

The park, which is named after Abraham Lincoln, is big and is weekend hang out for families and young couples. There were also a few newly married couples taking wedding photos. I met up with two others from the Amizade group, Mark and Quilla, but we could not find Steven. We went to his house. No one answered. I realized how much I needed and appreciated the most basic functions of a cell phone, which none of us are getting until Monday.

We decided to walk to the soccer stadium that way we would become familiar with at least one part of the city. There were crowds of people and busses parked near the front of the stadium. There were also groups of middle and high school aged kids in uniforms with instruments. Taking advantage of the large amount of people, there were people selling small things like sunglasses and flags and women selling drinks and snacks. We didn’t know what exactly was going on, so we just walked around the entire stadium to see everything.

As we finished walking around the outside of the stadium, we walked back up one of the streets we took earlier and stopped at an internet café. At this point, I had gone almost two days without a cell phone or internet. It cost 3 Bolivianos an hour to use the computers, so I got a much needed hour of Facebook, email, and Twitter. I also made sure to take a look at the score of the WVU football game, too. After using the internet, we walked around a bit more, then headed back for our houses.