Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Daily Wanderings

[September 2-5, 2015] Wednesday - Saturday

We went looking through La Cancha for a variety of things today - a USB port multiplier so I can connect the USB hard drive and the printer at the same time, some paper for the printer, and one more clue about big shoes, just in case I need them sometime in the next 21 months.

We were successful with the USB port multiplier and the paper, but still get lots of grins when I mention my shoe size (48 for the record in Bolivian sizes).

While we were wandering through a different part of La Cancha, we found where the "polleras" are sold - these are the traditional skirts that are worn by the more indigenous ladies. Molly had been wondering where the ladies buy these clothes along with their tops. We'd found the aprons previously, but found a new, larger source, just in case she needs another one.

Polleras and tops at La Cancha.
[This is Molly - I want to describe these polleras and tops, it's hard to see in the picture. Usually the skirts are made of very nice fabric like velvet or brocade, something thick and elegant. They are usually a solid color. The skirts tie at the waist and come to or just below the knee with lots of slips underneath to help them stand out. Sometimes they will be longer and some of them are made of more slick, still elegant, flowery print with tiers. The tops are made of a sturdy, lovely lace. The design is a scooped neck, sleeves to the elbow, buttons in front and the length is just touching the top of the skirt. No matter how fancy, an apron is always appropriate. On our bus ride to La Cancha there was a beautiful Cholita. I would have loved to take her picture but I don't think she would have appreciated it. She had the smiliest eyes and her skirt was a beautiful forest green velvet with a lighter green lace top. She wore a typical white straw hat and of course an apron. I love the cholitas!]

Along the same aisle, we found braids that you could add, like hair extensions, so maybe Molly will get some of those, along with a pollera and go undercover with the cholitas!

We also walked through the area where animals are sold - dogs, cats, chickens, etc. All in cages. They wouldn't let us take any pictures.

We took a trip down to the Correo (Post Office) to test the notion of actually sending a letter. Molly wanted to send a snail mail letter to one of her sisters in California. So, we took a bus partway, and walked the rest.

The Correo is downtown, on the corner of Av. Ayacucho and Av. Los Heroínas. As we approached on foot, we noticed that all the traffic along Av. Los Heroínas was stopped. There was a gathering of indigenous folks blocking each intersection along at least three or four blocks, holding up signs demanding paving of streets in their area. I didn't recognize the area they were protesting for, but everything was quite peaceful. The section of the street where the Police station was, was included, and there were Police milling around, but nobody seemed overly distraught with the stoppage.

So, we skirted around the gatherings, just so as not to get caught up in something, delivered our letter and got postage (20 B's), left it to be sent, and got out of there via back streets as much as possible. We found some very interesting places to go back and investigate some other time.

We stayed home today, studied,  and basically just lazed around until our turn at the temple at 4:00.

My words of the day - escabullirse: to slip or sneak away, and acudir: to attend or turn out.

We went to the Feria this morning for fruits and vegatables, and think we may have found a bit better source for guineos. When I was here before, in Santa Cruz, we would often buy a whole stalk of these small, soft, sweet bananas. They were particularly good. But since we have returned, we haven't found any that matched my memory (OK, that might be due to my age). We've found some that looked over-ripe, but were hard and pretty tasteless. This week, we found some that looked appropriately ripe, and were softer and sweeter, but not as good as I remembered. We'll have to keep trying.

After our turn at the temple, we went out to dinner with all the other North American missionaries to a restaurant called Kansas. Molly and I learned from our previous visit, and just got one entree and shared it. It was very tasty - a chicken/bacon/ham dish with spices. Something along the lines of a Chicken Cordon Bleu, but much better. Their "papas rusticas" were really good. They are a version of mashed potatoes with herbs.

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