August 25, 2013
Today we got to sleep in because it was our day off, it was also one of the coldest days we have had since being in Bolivia. We were planning on leaving around nine o’clock to travel about an hour to the old town of Tarata with a couple of Rotarians and Roteractors.
When we arrived in Tarata we were to witness part of a Catholic Mass service, which was pretty interesting considering the whole service was in Spanish. Then we toured a convent that was built in 1796. We first saw where the Priests and Missionaries lived, made wine, and had meetings with the public. We also saw many different old and modern paintings about religion. There were also beautiful hand woven robes that some of the priests that lived there actually wore. By the time the tour of the church was over most people were starting to get hungry, so we stopped in town for a snack. We all enjoyed some sausages and bread. Where we stopped to eat there was a bridge that had no water underneath it. The bridge was built when there was a river that ran in the middle of the town; it was built because a President didn’t want his horse to get wet when crossing the river.
After we had our snack we travelled to the town square which we learned was typical of a square you could find in Spain. We learned that for more than two hundred years the Spanish ruled Bolivia. In the square there was a statue of General Estebn Arze who was one of the heroes for Bolivia’s independence from the Spanish. We learned that Tarata used to be where the Parliament was, but since the road to Santa Cruz was built the Parliament was moved. Also in the square there were statues of four Presidents of Bolivia whose home town was Tarata. The square also held a church that was very beautiful and had the remains of General Esteben Arze. We left the square and the town of Tarata to have lunch at a resort that had paddle boats and a zip line. For lunch there was a selection between 5 different kinds of fish and chicken. Everything on the menu looked delicious even the exotic fish some people had.
After lunch we were allowed to walk around and use the zip line and other activities around the resort. Some of us bought chocolate covered strawberries for our dessert, they were really good. When we were done at the resort we drove back to Cochabamaba and got ice cream at Dumbos. Back at the hall it was a free night which meant for some people washing some clothes, catching up with their journal, or just hanging out and doing nothing. We had a short presentation by Phoebe who is the lady who has arranged for us to go into one of the Prisons, later on this week.
Tomorrow we are back at the work. Can’t believe we only have four more days in Cochabamba!