Violence and Filth, in Brief
we don´t have much time now, since we have to get on a bus in half an hour, but here is the short version of what´s happened in the last couple days, with more to follow when we get home.
we ran into a human roadblock at one in the morning in the middle of bolivia, a sometimes-violent thing the state department warns about in trying to discourage overland travel in said country. we were the first vehicle blocked, and after failed negotiations/bribes we ended up spending almost 7 hours sitting in a dark, freezing bus with campfires all around, falling asleep to the sweet sounds of chanting and guns fired into the air. by morning we had been joined by 24 other trucks and busses, and about 8am a huge armored truck broke through the roadblock from the other side. we seized the opportunity, gunned the engine, and raced toward the disentegrating line, dodging running people and crashing through barriers, with all the passengers (we were missing a quarter, but they would hitch rides on other busses and catch up with us later.) wildly cheering on the driver. i was staring out the window with eyes like dinnerplates at the people scrambling to get out of our way when i realized that what i should be doing was what all the other people were doing: ducking and covering their heads. the bus was being bombarded with rocks thrown from the hilltops on both sides! lest you think this is a great exciting adventure, this part was really scary and kind of sucked. but we made it through relatively unscathed, and the cheering erupted again, and we had a rather uneventful rest of the trip to the border, save for a flat tire and some frightening cliffs.
in other news, both of us are violently ill, probably because there is no sanitation in bolivia. imaging seeing a pile of chickens for sale on the sidewalk, in a spot where you´d seen a kid pee the night before, knowing that you were probably going to eat that same chicken for lunch....
randy and anna