I've been having problems with the printer, so we went down to La Cancha on Wednesday to get some parts and ideas. I also needed some black ink (30cc's, or about 7-8 times what a single cartridge costs. The cartridge costs 100-150 Bolivianos, or $15-$20. The 30 cc's of ink, which I can add to the refillable cartridges myself, cost me 35B's, or $5, for a discount of about 95%). The technician at the computer place showed me how to clean my problematic printer cartridge, so we headed back home with some ideas.
Since school all started this week, it was really crazy with people getting school supplies, clothes, etc.
On Thursday, Molly needed some fabric, and one of the ladies we work with told us about a fabric store in La Cancha, so we headed down again. What a find. The picture below shows about a third of the store:
|La Casa Victoria in La Cancha - fabric, fabric, fabric!|
We found what we needed, and came back home.
By Friday, I had done everything I could to resuscitate the printer cartridge without success, so we figured we'd go down to the computer store and buy a new cartridge. We hadn't taken into account how much the strike by the transportistas would affect things. Folks told us that La Cancha would be open, we'd just have to walk all the way down, which we've done before without any problem.
So we headed off, and found the streets amazingly empty. Quite the change from Wednesday. There were no trufis or buses, and no "official" taxis. On some of the plazas, like Plaza Colon, the taxi drivers had parked their cars to block all the surrounding streets, so the only vehicles that got through were motorcycles. Quite interesting.
We got all the way down to La Cancha (5 km/3 miles), and found out that the transportistas' strike had closed off the street where all the computer shops are. Lots of the other shops were open, but not the one we needed. Then we walked back home. Lots of fun seeing all the people, etc.
We tried again on Saturday, but caught a bus down, so we didn't have to walk. It started to rain while we were there, so we ducked in and out of little shops to stay kind of dry. We got a new cartridge, and the computer tech also sold us a new refillable cartridge as well, and when we got home, everything worked with the printer, so we're good again. I really needed it this week, since Hno. Paredes wanted me to print pictures of all the missionaries so he could put them in his book of memories before he leaves in two weeks.
Whew.... four visits to La Cancha in four days. There are some of the missionaries here who avoid La Cancha at all costs. The crush of people, the massive amount of vendors and products, the smells, etc., can be a bit intense!
Followup on the Puno group:
The members from Puno finally found flights out to La Paz on Saturday morning at 6:00 am. They got help from their Stake and the Area Presidency, but still had to walk across the border between Bolivia and Peru on their way home. The blockades were finally lifted (with a bit of police/army intervention in the one at Parotani between here and La Paz) late Saturday night. Estimates were that the traffic was backed up for 20 km, four lanes wide (the road is really only two official lanes wide), and would take quite a few hours to clear.
We had a pretty normal Sunday - attended church out in the Linde/Rosedal wards as usual, and reviewed the first Temple Preparation lesson with our class. Hno. Zacharias Flores was baptized Saturday morning while we were working in the temple. He and his wife were so happy when we saw them on Sunday.
Here are a couple of pictures we took in our wanderings over the last week or so:
|Typical construction. The facades can be very fancy, but the basic structure is the same - concrete floors and pillars|
(note the way a new floor is laid with the forms being held up by multiple "sticks"), with bricks laid to fill in the spaces.
|Summer flowers. Very pretty.|
|Flowers at the temple.|
|A strange tree at the Temple - note the thorns. You wouldn't really want to climb this one.|
|The Temple on a cloudy day.|