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All Sorts of Thievery

In reference to Kim’s comment on this post, yes. I do think robberies are that common, but only in the big cities. But you know big cities. I’m surprised I lived in NYC for four years and never got mugged. (But I did get masturbated-on in the subway.) Thievery and crime are common in big cities. My blue-haired niece was mugged in Paris this spring. She and a friend were at an ATM in the middle of the afternoon when they were accosted by a gang of kindergartners who got all their money out of the ATM and ran off. You just have to be careful in big cities.

We’ll only be in La Paz for a few days and we will be very careful. As for while we’re on the trail, I read that we might run into some ranchers with guns who make us pay a “toll” before we continue on, but as long as we pay they will let us go, no problem. For the record, I am getting all of my information from the U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. You can read it yourself and tell me if you think I’m running big colored crayons over reality. I might have a habit of doing that.

Besides. If we really have to worry about anything, it’s altitude sickness. (Do me a favor and don’t ever google “altitude sickness” when you’re getting ready to spend three weeks over 10,000 feet.)

This is very likely going to be the last time I post until … some time after we get back. It could be weeks. I have no idea what work is going to look like. I know I’m going to BlogHer ’11 less than a week after I return. No, I could not have planned those trips a little further a part, really, I would have if I could have. But it’s going to be fabulous and I am very excited about it.

I expect the next two weeks are going to be insane as we try to wrap up work, household, and last-minute Bolivia things. I just can’t keep every plate spinning, so I’m letting myself off the blogging hook. If I really had my sh*t together I’d have planned for some guest posts or re-posts of old favorites, and maybe I will magically pull my sh*t together enough for that before I leave, but I’m not going to bet on it.

Now would be a good time to add me to your RSS feeder if you haven’t all ready. Or if you don’t know what an RSS is, email me at aseriousgirl [at] gmail [dot] come and I will email you when I get back to the states and start blogging again. I mean, you’re going to be DYING to hear all about how this trip turned out, aren’t you? Won’t you just be quivering with anticipation? I sure would be.

And now I present to you:

712map

A map of South America. That I borrowed from this website. (I’ll take it down if they ask, I swear.)

Do you see Bolivia? In there between Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, et al? That is where we’re going. Eleven days from today. (We’re going to have a safe and wonderful time. We’re going to have a safe and wonderful time. We’re going to have a safe and wonderful time.)

(This is me breathing.)

P.S. Dopey is in Kenya this month, helping to build a school for orphaned children. Dooce just back from Bangladesh, where she helped pregnant and birthing women who need medical care. I’m going for a freaking hike and I can’t even breathe. I think (hope!) this trip is going to be very good for me.

Nervous Wreck

I have about fifteen minutes before I need to get back to work, but I wanted to pop in and say hi. I’m not going to bother editing this after I write it, which is something I have not ever done on this website ever. Not once. Please forgive the grammar, language, spelling, or other resulting ridiculousness.

We are very busy getting ready to leave for Bolivia – we leave exactly one month from today. I am nervous. Incredibly nervous. We haven’t done much training since Mount Wilson. I’ve practiced yoga a few times and we’ve been running three times, but that is not adequate training for a three week adventure in one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Then there’s that. We’re about to spend three weeks in one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m all pissed off right now because we can’t afford health care, but you know what we do have? Two bathrooms. Air conditioning. Indoor plumbing. Paved streets. Weekly trash collection. Urgent Care clinics on nearly every block. We’re going to be staying in “hotels” in towns with fewer than six hundred residents and dirt floors. And none of us speak Spanish. Which actually doesn’t matter, because these Bolivians don’t speak Spanish either. They speak Aymara. Ironically, we’ve been advised not to talk to anyone who approaches us speaking English because they are most definitely a criminal who will take you to a pretend Official Looking Building where pretend police officers then force you to hand over your wallet, your passport, everything but the clothes on your back. Then they let you go.

We could have gone to Peru instead, but then we found out that in Peru, they don’t let you go. They cut your throat instead.

Anyway, I’m a little nervous. The good news is that the crimes happen in cities, not in the Andes, which is where we’ll be. We’ll stay in La Paz for a few days, but these crimes generally happen to people who are traveling alone. There are three of us, we will not ever separate (seriously, Mike is planning to accompany me even when I have to go to the bathroom – we’ll have reached a new and unfortunate level of intimacy after this trip) and because we are aware that these (and other) schemes occur, we’ll be more likely to avoid them.

I’m lucky that I’ll be traveling with two tall, strong, smart, careful men. I say “tall” and “strong” first because sometimes burly strength is more important than smarts. Sometimes.

Anyway, I’ll say it again. I’m nervous. I’m nervous about crime, I’m nervous about the altitude, I’m nervous I won’t have trained enough, I’m nervous about leaving work for three weeks. Ohemgee I am nervous about leaving work. That singular thought alone turns my stomach upside down. I’m a bit of a nervous wreck. How many more times do you think I can say nervous in this paragraph? Nervous. Nervous! NERVOUS. Ner-vous.

And…. that’s enough. Thanks for listening. I’m going to go do a couple of sun salutations.