Friday, February 12, 2010

Face of Bolivia

This is a strange day for me. These are my last hours in Bolivia and South America. In a few hours I'll be flying to England and returning to a more familiar world. I am sad that these almost six weeks have gone by so rapidly and that I won't have the opportunity to continue learning more about these cultures and speaking Spanish for quite sometime.
The first picture comes from a museum on a tiny island on Lake Titicaca. Residents dug up and, together with an archeologist pieced together the face of an Amari resident who lived around 200BC. These were a proud people, who were quite advanced in astronomy, architecture, and medicine. There is much conjecture about what happened to them. The Inkas, whose oral tradition might have given some clues, came on the scene over 1000 years later, were so totally obliterated by the Spanish that we know little about these early folks..
The second picture is of a peasant girl selling chocolates on the street of La Paz. Her fate is in question. Without education or connections, she may at some point be faced with even more difficult choices to survive.
The last picture of this old man was taken yesterday. He came up to me and reached into his pocket and pulled out a small hard rock ostensibly sell. It was split open in the middle and revealled a fossil of a trilobyte, which had also lived many years ago along Lake Titicaca.
There is a connection between these three faces which can be seen in their similar physiology. Moreover they are emblematic of the challenging history of South American people. I am beginning to understand that story and feel deeply about it. I recognize appreciating its value as a key component in my Amizade adventure.


  1. Wow, 6 weeks already. I can see how you could just begin to scratch the surface. It's been a great series of eye openers for me to see through your vision. Thank you Lee. Enjoy your next journey.

  2. I can only repeat what Gary has said. I love your photos! They speak volumes. Thank you for sharing this incredible experience with us! I look forward to the next step. Enjoy! Learn! And take care!


  3. Your amazing photos and commentary (filled with insights and information) have been greatly appreciated, Lee! Thank you so much. Have a great time in London!

  4. Hola, Lee! Que pasa? Your pictures are absolutely beautiful. A part of you must be very sad to leave. It is when we tear ourselves away from our comfort zones that we learn about the world around us, and through insight, we are also surprised what we learn about ourselves. When you reach England, with its familiar western culture, you'll see how much South America has changed you. Hope you have great time London.


  5. Hi Lee,
    I saw a couple of comments you had left in blogland today and thought I would pay a visit.
    My, your life has changed since I last visited you.
    I've read through some of your previous posts here. What an experience you must have been having. What a special undertaking.
    Wonderful pics here and below.
    Safe travels.
    Round The Bend.

  6. I've looked at this page about three times since yesterday, and for some unknown reason I can see less than half of the top picture. The rest of it is cut off. I guess it's my computer, but it hasn't happened with any of your other pictures.

    It's obvious from the way you've written about them how much you've come to care about the people of South America. I think I can speak for everyone who has followed your blog from the beginning when I say you've made us care about them too. I definitely intend to follow up over the next few months, and learn as much about their history as I can.