We went out for dinner last night in La Paz, most of the city was shut down due to the holiday weekend but we found a restaurant after much searching. We all ordered food and appetizers and beers and I was ready to pay an arm and a leg but it only cost $35. What a deal!
The next day we started home school and one of the first things we did was choose the name and mascot of our school. So after the girls wrote down lots of choices we winnowed down to a couple options:
The Cool School
The South American School
num num blegh school
Escuela de adventura
Maddy prevented me from padding the ballet box, so guess what the name of our new home school is…. on a vote of 3 to 2? Who knows where they came up with that name. Our new mascot is the ice cream cone, I think they are assuming lots of treats in our future. The ice cream cones beat out Tortugas and Penguinos. We set up the rules of home school and I think things went pretty well.
Just before noon we met up with a walking tour of the old town in La Paz for our first field trip. We visited a vegetable market, plaza de San Francisco and the witches market. We enjoyed the walk and learning some history but the kids were worn out fairly quickly, even with snacks and cold drinks along the way. When Mimi decided to lay down on the cobblestones in front of the church in plaza de San Francisco we decided it was time to throw in the towel, mid-way through the tour…
We all took a long rest after that and then headed out again to a big park on the other side of town. We found a great area for kids with some rides and everyone had a fun time. We tried to go to this cool local restaurant and walked about 20 min uphill to get there only to find it closed (along with a majority of other stuff in this town the past 2 days with the new year holiday). We grabbed a taxi back to our hotel but still needed food. A nice tour guide we ran into on the street walked us to another one but it didn’t start serving til 7pm (waaaaay too late for these kiddos) so we had another street food meal. Empanadas and corn on the cob for the kids and Tamales (which have a Bolivian name I can’t remember) for the parents. It hit the spot and we trudged back to the hotel.
Walking around here is soooooo exhausting. Between the hills and the altitude affecting our lungs we are all perpetually huffing and puffing. But all in all it was a great day. Fewer meltdowns than yesterday. Think we are figuring out the right balance of getting out and about and having chill time at the hotel.
A couple of other interesting things from today. Two of the girls, separately, said “we are the only white people here.” I told them that it is because we are travellers and people from this country have darker skin than we do. But I also think it is a good experience for them to know what it is like to be different since so much of their lives have been spent in a predominantly white community. Some people have stared, a couple of older women pet their hair, but they seem to take it all in stride.
They also notice all of the stray dogs around (who luckily seem friendly enough) and have a particular fondness for pigeons and like to chase them all over the place. Ahhh childhood.