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.
All four of us from Amizade were on the same plane to La Paz, and we ended up meeting each other in line for immigration and customs. All of us were unsure about what to expect while actually entering into Bolivia. Even though my Spanish is pretty good, I was really hoping the immigration and customs officers spoke English; they never spoke a word of English to me. I had to use my Spanish skills right from the beginning.
Bolivia is celebrating the beginning of spring. In Cochabamba, the snow is melting from the peaks of the surrounding Andes mountains. The jacaranda trees in plazas, gardens and streets throughout the city are sprouting vivid purple blossoms that frame the sky. Later, the blossoms will drift lazily down to the ground to form carpets of rich purple. Bolivian children are tingling with the anticipation of freedom – schools will let out for summer vacation by late November or early December. So it is the perfect time to celebrate the Dia de Peatones.
For almost a decade, Amizade has partnered with CEOLI, a center that provides services to over 200 disabled youngsters in…