Click the links to read Part 1 and Part 2.
The last leg of our trip was in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz. Many of us were ecstatic to be back in civilization. La Paz was a third world version of New York City with taxis everywhere, constant foot traffic, and plenty of places to have a sit-down meal. Unfortunately our hotel’s heating was broken and I slept in my ski jacket most nights. The redeeming feature of our accommodations was the view out into the bowl of La Paz. For those who don’t know, the capital is basically a huge crater.
Although the city was spectacular to wander and look at, a police strike was occurring during our stay. It was advised not to take out any large, personal cameras. As a photographer, that was devastating news. But the risk of getting my camera stolen or broken wasn’t worth it. Luckily, my iPhone took decent pictures. I was able to discreetly capture the amazing cathedrals, street musicians, and shopping streets.
One thing that was more frightening than breathtaking was the amount of wires the people of La Paz think are acceptable to hang from one post. Not only are these hazards on every corner, many of them are tilting over into the main roads!
After 16 days, lots of travel time, many new faces, and countless memories, I packed my suitcases one final time and headed home. Now back in the states, I appreciate hot water, comfortable beds, and paved roads a lot more. What we consider normal and expected is actually a luxury for many people in other countries. Not everyone has been fortunate enough to be born into a country where they get to drive home on the interstate, in their car, to their well-constructed house, where they get to sleep in their soft bed. This was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever been on and something I won’t forget for a long time.