Sunday, August 9, 2009

My story is this:

I´ve spent nine weeks living at a small white house with green fencing on calle Tte. Roca Peirano.

I´ve been welcomed into a family as a granddaughter, daughter, and sister.

I´ve celebrated 4 birthdays, 1 fiesta, and an independence day.

I´ve lost 2 watches, 1 glasses case, and a SIGG water bottle. I´ve stolen one Paceña beer glass.

I´ve slept next to cockroaches and lizards and I´ve eaten cow tongue, intestine, udder, and blood.

I´ve gained the bravery to dart across busy 12 lane highways.

I´ve spent weekends wandering through the complicated maze of markets and along narrow paths in towering cemeteries.

I´ve wandered the streets of Cochabamba alone and scared.

I´ve sat at the edge of a crowd watching miles of dancers stream by moving to the sounds of beating drums.

I´ve become connected to the happiness and difficult stories of 20 girls and 1 boy.

I´ve watched kids who have experienced terrible things learn how to be kids again.

I´ve spent afternoons in silence teaching with nothing but my hands.

I´ve spent two months communicating in three languages, often confusing one for another.

I´ve seen men without legs sit in the middle of busy streets begging for money. And I´ve seen children hollow from a life outside dancing for tourist money.

I´ve heard the stories of families unable to visit loved ones in the United States and I´ve listened as friends have plead for me to help them find jobs.

I´ve put up with catcalls and harassment and at times I´ve worried about my safety. I´ve been forced indoors and into taxis after the sun sets for fear of taking micros or walking alone.

I´ve seen strong mothers and strong women live difficult lives. I´ve seen women three times my age hauling heavy loads of fruit strapped in blankets on their backs. And I´ve seen calm mothers breastfeed their infants while being tossed about on micros.

I´ve amassed hours thinking about smells and feelings and places that I miss and are so far away.

I´m ready to come home.


  1. And we can't wait to see you!

  2. I am waiting for you with open arms and a huge smile. I can't wait to see you!

  3. keep writing, kari.... just keep writing.