Felices Pascuas- Happy Easter! We have had a very relaxing holiday weekend here in La Paz. Yesterday, we slept in a little and then met the other medical student who will be here with us for our last 3 weeks. Her name is Amina. After lunch, we all went to the downtown area with our host mom, who is a wonderful tour guide! She pointed out all of the interesting things along the way and took us to visit the oldest street in the city (from the colonial times). Although there are many old buildings downtown, this is the only street that is completely intact from that time. It was so cute!
We also visited Plaza Murillo again, where all the government buildings are located. The Plaza is named after Pedro Murillo, who was the leader/pioneer of independence from Spain. He was killed in the plaza by the Spainards. There are TONS of pigeons who live there, and many kids had food for the pigeons. The birds land on their arms and head to get to the food and the kids would squeal so loud. Pretty funny to watch.
We also got to see Iglesia San Francisco, the oldest church in La Paz but sadly it was closed yesterday and we couldn’t go inside. We will have to go back!
Today, we went to Easter service with out host mom. I really enjoyed it but also struggled to pay attention for the whole time (the service lasted 2.5 hours and the preacher talked sooo fast so it was easy for my mind to wander…whoops). It was good to see some of my new friends I met at Bible study! I especially enjoyed the singing since they had the words on the screen so I could figure out most of the songs’ meanings.
After the service, we went to get salteñas, which are a very popular morning snack here. The stores that sell salteñas are usually only open until around noon. They reminded me of an empanada except they just had meat inside with lots of juice (kind of like a soup), no cheese. If you are a salteñas pro (or if you have a nice Bolivian host mom who gives you good advice), you bite the corner off then scoop out all of the juice with a spoon. If you dont eat it this way, the juice will get all over the place. I had a chicken one. It was delicious and cheap- less than $1! I see many more salteñas in my near future…
This afternoon I rode the teleferico and visited the big mall with Amina since she wasn’t here on Friday when Judithe and I went. This evening, we had tea and chatted with our host mom. She made us arroz con leche (“rice with milk”…milk, cinnamon, sugar and rice, a typical snack here). A wonderful day! Tomorrow, we start our week of pediatric surgery 🙂