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The Week That Was – Bolivian Blogs

Foreigners residing in Bolivia make up a good chunk of those blogging about the country. Some have lived in various cities in Bolivia for quite some time and others are merely passing through. Nevertheless, their observations and discoveries about life in Bolivia provide a unique perspective on a drastically different culture than they are used to.

Language intricacies seem to befuddle some, which is completely understandable. Naomi Prowse, who keeps the blog Nomes on the Gringo Trail, has a sense of humor when it comes to confusing several words in Spanish with significant different meanings. Instead of wondering how to cook “arvejas” (peas), she mistakenly wonders how to cook “abejas” (bees). After spending nearly a year in Cochabamba, the blogger who maintains the site On the Andean Side, finally gets the hang of some of the “unique features of Cochabamba-speak.” For example, diminutive endings such as –ito and –ita are tacked on to everyday words. He also tries hard to figure out whether “ahorita” (now) really means now or some indefinite time in the future.

As the Christmas season fast approaches, Donde Estoy? Notes from Bolivia, didn’t expect to see typical Christmas objects, such as artificial trees and a plastic Santa Claus adorning stores in Cochabamba. She wonders what other Christmas-related items might make an appearance over the next month. Other than the fact that Bolivia's Christmas holiday will land in the middle of summer, there may not be as much difference than originally envisioned.

Many ex-pats have spent time volunteering at local orphanages or working with NGOs in the area, but Andrew Glazer has been teaching college courses in Santa Cruz. His blog Los Glazers highlights some of the experiences in class, including many notable excuses provided by his students, cases of plagiarism, and teary-eyed students.

Other foreigners are knee-deep in activism. Jim Shultz of the Democracy Center announced that he went against his practice of not appearing in the media in Bolivia. Recently his campaign resurfaced because of the ongoing lawsuit against the city of Cochabamba by Bechtel, the multinational company involved with the failed Aguas del Tunari water privatization project, appeared to be ruled in favor of the company. Such a ruling would require the city of Cochabamba to pay 25 million dollars in penalties.

Finally, travelers visit Bolivia because of its economical prices, safe travel environment and its breathtaking sites. These travelers often post their pictures on Flickr, a central digital photo bank. Popular tags include Bolivia, La Paz, Cochabamba, Uyuni, Madidi and Chapare.

3 comments

  • […] Eduardo Avila of Barrio Flores has this week’s Bolivian blog roundup, in what I suppose I could call ‘The Special Sandalista Edition’ as it is chiefly focused on the writings of foreigners writing about Bolivia, and some of them, who shall be nameless, are knee-deep in Sandalista do-goodery that is utterly unsalable in their home countries. But that’s not the only kind of foreigner who blogs about Bolivia – there are all kinds – normal humanitarian workers, Lonely Planters, curious outsiders, people working in the country. For a Bolivian, it must be a really fascinating experience to see their country defined in so many different ways by total foreigners. He’s done a nice job putting it all together and it can be read at Global Voices here. A.M. Mora y Leon @ 9:30 pm | […]

  • En chile también está el ito-ita. en todos lados, te ofrecen un cafecito, o la comida está calientita. Los diminutivos….

  • Creo que los Mexicanos son los maestros del diminutivo.

    I think that it’s the Mexicans who have mastered the diminutive “ito” and “ita”.

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