Sunday, June 21, 2009

Zombie Preparedness

Violence is an unfamiliar reality that I´ve encountered in Santa Cruz.

Yesterday night my roommates and I stumbled across a photography exhibit with newspaper photos from the last year. I was surprised to realize how much bloody violence actually goes on in Bolivia each year (Or perhaps just last year).

In several of the photos I was able to recognize landmarks in Santa Cruz that I pass each day. One showed the central square filled with riot police spraying tear gas at protestors another showed a bloody man walking through a well known street filled with discarded rocks and glass. Cars and trucks on fire in the street, baseball bats being swung at humans, police attacking and beating an unarmed man, dead bodies being carried away in caskets. It was hard for me to reconcile the violence and police clashes in the photos with the calm safety of Santa Cruz I see each day.

Despite what I saw, I don´t fear for my safety here. I feel that Santa Cruz is a very safe city. Most of the violence captured in the photos was because of deliberate protests about specific issues. Unrest about the governmental status of Sucre, a desire for autonomy in Santa Cruz, protests about a new constitution. Interestingly enough, I´ve also noticed that nearly all of the graffiti in Santa Cruz is political in nature. Slogans like, ¨No mas fraude¨or ¨Morales = Muerte¨.

While I know that it is incredibly important to always be aware of my surroundings and avoid dangerous situations I also feel like the rare instances of violence in Santa Cruz can easily be avoided by simply remaining politically uninvolved.

On a completely different note, I was at a used bookstore yesterday and I found a copy of Truth by Al Franken! A good omen I think.


  1. what does that have to do with zombies? how is the security of your host home?

  2. I realized as I was laying in bed last night that protecting myself from Zombies is a lot like protecting myself from any other intruder. Block the entrance, find another exit.

    Bolivian houses are built like little fortresses. Ten foot walls on each side topped by either spikes or broken glass.

    I don´t have a good second exit from the house. But there is a second story from which I can jump to other roofs. I probably could make it to the end of the block via roofs.

  3. Hey Kari!! I'm not into zombies like you and Lindsay are, but I'm enjoying your blog. You tell an interesting story and are a good writer. I'm jealous of you being over there learning new language, culture, etc. while I'm stuck here with a bunch of lawyers. But at least we're both surrounded by zombies.... Where are the pics? Have you had any good flan? Tell us more about your host family and about the food. Anne