Posted by: powellsinsantacruz | March 14, 2010

strange becoming normal

Here are just a few of the things that when we first came here seemed crazy but now are just commonplace. We have probably mentioned some of these before, but I want to write them down before we stop even noticing that they are not ‘normal’.

Meals- in Bolivia you eat your main meal at lunchtime. At school people have massive soups, salads, main course and then a pudding. I’m still eating sandwiches. No one else does this. I mean no one.

Local shops- local or corner shops here are usually a front room of someone’s house that has lots of bars across. Often the shopkeeper isn’t inside but if you tap the bars or shout ‘senora’, someone will come and get what you ask for as you wait on the other side of the bars. You don’t pick up things yourself. They then pass things through the bars to you. These shops sell all sorts, bananas, milk, bread, etc. Our favourite one is really close to our house and the shopkeepers always give Chloe a sweetie. You also do not queue and quite often the shopkeeper will serve someone else in the middle of serving you. This is not rude, just quicker. You can buy milk and eggs in bags. Not the same one of course. 

Horse and cart- some people still use horse and carts. Our local milkman and fruit lady both come down our street making bizarre noises with a horn and amplifier and people come out with a saucepan for milk or to buy grapes or something.

Insects- Are generally just huge. And really noisy- there are millions of crickets and one particular insect that makes a sound more like a bird. Ants though are still the bane of our house. Get out of the kitchen!

Neighbours- This is not true of everybody and I think it depends on where you live, but we have some incredibly friendly neighbours. People are really willing to just chat, our local shopkeepers often are just sitting on chairs outside their shop and then our neighbours opposite us are probably are closest Bolivian friends. They have invited us round, given us lifts, explained many things to us and are really funny. They are great!

Buses- Or micros- Are actually minibuses. They stop any and everywhere, cost 15p, irrespective of how far you are travelling, can be really low for my height and often take whole families and their weekly shopping from the market. They are still quite novel for me actually. (Similar to buses in Africa).

Driving- We have written about this before. It is still crazy.

Dogs- Are everywhere. Most houses have them and on some streets they all bark at you as you walk past. They look manky in the main.

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Responses

  1. What a lovely picture you have painted with these thoughts & great to read your newsletter as well & see the pics. Lots of love from us both

  2. hey guys, sounds like you are really settling in well there. Ants are really annoying but you are in a hot country!! trials and tribulations!! photos look cool!! keep enjoying God!!

  3. Hey guys

    Thanks for making me, mart & my mum laugh yesterday! Love the photo above and really enjoyed being updated on the powells. We will be praying for you lots and lots!

    Vic

  4. A quick suggestion for the ants from my time on Lingira Island (you know where I mean!) put anything you don’t want ants to get to ie chocolate on a table and put the table legs in cups of water that way the drown before they start climbing up the table legs. Also worth killing a few by putting ant powder down round the cups. If you can get little foil cups these might be the best things for putting under the table legs. Good luck with the extermination programme!

    Love to you all from us. No kermit yet by the way we’ll keep you posted!

  5. Hello it is Toby here how are you? If you need any help about insects I can help you as I have a bug book wich tells you about them. I am going to snow tubing at 6 o’clock for the first time and I am nervest. Plese give a hug from me to Chloe.

    • Dear Toby

      We are well, thank you, but quite hot today!

      Since you asked I do have some questions for a bug expert like you:

      1. Where do snails like to sleep? I don’t know if they count as bugs but we have some giant ones that come in our garden at night, but we never see them during the day.
      2. What do ants like to eat? They seem to eat anything in our house.
      3. Why do ants make long lines- where do they go from and to?

      These are tough questions, hope you can help.

      I don’t even know what snow tubing is, I think I would be nervous too. Did you enjoy it? What did you do?

      Will give Chloe a big hug from you. Can you tell Abby and Noah we all say hello and give your Mum and Dad a big high 5.

      Love Ben.


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