final days

Today & tomorrow are my last days in Bolivia, and it’s kind of bittersweet. I miss my Michigan home, but it’s also really strange to think about leaving La Paz.

Visiting Salar de Uyuni this past weekend was amazing – it was absolutely beautiful. Apart from Jimmy, Carys, and myself, our tour group also consisted of a Taiwanese couple from Singapore who had just recently been married (Phil and Jean), and a girl from Santiago, Chile (Pepa) who was spending a month traveling around Bolivia. Our first day we spent hours on the Salar taking goofy pictures and marveling over the immensity of it all! We also got to see the Isla de Pescado – an island in the middle of the Salar that’s covered in 20 ft cacti! It’s amazing that anything can grow in the Salar – since it’s nothing but salt. Jean and Phil were reading about how big it is (about 12,000 square feet), and said that it’s about the size of their home-country, Taiwan! Insane!

Our second day we woke up to climb up a part of Volcán Tunupa, a dormant volcano on an island where we had stayed the night before. The trek was pretty rigorous – about a 2 hour hike directly uphill when we were already at a very high altitude. Totally worth it though – the view was amazing! We hung out with some llamas, ate lunch, and headed back to Uyuni before taking the bus back to La Paz.

Got home yesterday around 7:30 a.m., and unfortunately grappled with some really bad food poisoning all day. This morning I’m back at work, still recuperating from being ill, and have to finish my guides for using the database by the end of the day. I’m hoping that rather than translating them myself, I’ll be able to send these documents to the Embassy’s translation services department to get them professionally handled. My director over there said that with documents this length, it might take a while, but he’ll try to get it done for me. Hopefully that works out! It would be really nice to have legit documents to leave behind!

Tomorrow I’ll probably just continue digitizing records until lunchtime, say my goodbyes to the museum staff, and head back home to my Los Pinos apartment to pack up & clean! Can’t believe I leave so soon! See you on Thursday, America!

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