July 16, 2013
Two adjoining blocks in Sucre sport almost nothing but lawyers’ offices. We spend over an hour in one getting some documents, which we then take to Interpol, along with some tiny pictures of ourselves against a red background. The glum but efficient officer takes all ten of our fingerprints and tells us we’ll have our certificate in about twenty days.
In a courtyard a long-haired man plays a huge bongo drum with a mallet, a semicircle of fifteen kids around him playing panpipes and singing in unison. The unbalanced triple meter I’ve been hearing is actually subdivided, I believe, into eight very fast regular beats, and the result is sophisticated syncopation.
Jacky was in tears after dinner Monday night because the first Spanish class was too demanding; Thalia enjoyed the challenge. The next morning we ask Moises, the teacher, to include more songs and games; he assures us that it always gets less intense after the first day. They both really enjoy Tuesday’s lesson.
We visit the offices of Biblioworks, an organization that helps build and run libraries in rural communities, located up the stairs from a Christian radio station. Matt, the American founder, has been here for six years (a rarity—he told us about another American who has been here for twenty-five, but you could probably count the number of long-term Americans in town on the fingers of one hand), but is about to leave the country, and has transferred the running of the organization to a Bolivian woman, whom we have yet to meet. We discuss opportunities for us to help.
Our Internet finally gets connected. I can’t say it’s faster than our wireless modem. But at least I don’t have to go outside or upstairs to get online, and at least more than one of us can connect at a time. However, forget about streaming music or videos for a year. The only way I’m going to hear any music that’s not on the radio and didn’t bring with me is to download it.