Thursday, December 24, 2009


As I have hinted at in other posts, I am currently here in Trinidad, spending Christmas and New Year's with Mauricio's family. Trinidad, Bolivia is my absolute favorite place in the world. It is home to the mission organization where I volunteered for many years, starting when I was 13, and home to many dear people that I have known for just as long.

Trinidad is big enough to have things to do, places to go, and people to see... Yet small enough to know like the back of your hand, recognize people on the streets, and enjoy less crime. I love all Bolivian culture, but there's something about Trinidad that I love a bit more. It's a very laid-back city where time is spent sitting outside your house and chatting with family or visitors. It's a place where you must go outdoors to bear the heat, but run back inside when rain suddenly begins to pour down (and only lasts about 5 minutes).

Trinidad has been such a significant part of my life for so long that I feel I couldn't even do justice describing it. Today Mauricio and I went out on his moto to take some photos, so I tried to see the city through new eyes.

The city has several ponds that are pretty polluted and often used to collect garbage. Fortunately, the aquatic plant tarope grows in the water, making it into something beautiful.


Some families build homes alongside the water, and bridges allow traffic to pass above.


To me, tarope is a perfect illustration of what the Bolivian people are like. Something ugly turned into something beautiful. Polluted waters filled with garbage and sewage aren't meant to be something beautiful. They're meant to be gross and unpleasant, but this simple plant makes them into so much more than an eyesore. I for one enjoyed looking at the plants today, and they seemed to absorb any foul smell as well. In the same way, the Bolivians have taken a country that is poor, lacking in resources, and looked down upon by their neighbors, and turned it into a beautiful, rich culture. Bolivia is the poorest country in South America, but I like to call it the richest in culture. The Bolivians enjoy delicious food, beautiful music, festive dancing, and meaningful traditions. They cherish things that are most important like family, friendships, and joy. I am proud and privileged to live in Bolivia, and thrilled to spend Christmas in Trinidad.


1 comment(s):

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

Merry Christmas, Laura! :)

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