Faith and David on the dock
Look at that view!
Skipping Rocks from the Dock
David looks like he's having a good time.
On the way home we saw a young man who was evidently hit by a bus. He was lying in the road with his head turned at a grotesque angle. A pedestrian being hit by a car or a bus isn't an uncommon occurrence here. There are crosses beside the roads here in town where pedestrians have been killed by cars or buses. It's also not unusual for the bus drivers to be drunk. There is no law against drunk driving in Bolivia and a recent study we heard about said that 80% of Bolivians have a problem with alcohol. We took the accident as an opportunity to warn our children about the dangers of crossing the streets here. Once we were back home in the city, we were grateful that the Andrews stayed at our house to visit for a while more. The older kids played some video games, the little ones ('honeys' as Paish calls them....I love that word...honeys...I'm going to start calling them this, too) ate PBJs and went to bed. The two couples sat and talked and prayed together. It was a special time for Joe and I. We thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary.
But we decided to go on a date to celebrate our anniversary just the two of us on another night. After all why not drag this out? We went to a nice restaurant here in town and talked about our last 23 years together. The high points, the low points and all kinds of things in-between. It was a great date. We didn't want it to end so we walked to the movie theater, but there was nothing we wanted to see. We were too dressed up to go bowling...the only other amusement in town. There are only two bowling alleys in Bolivia. The one here in Coch and one in La Paz. The one in La Paz still has the pins set up by hand!! The one here in Coch is much more 'modern' but the floors won't allow you to slide even with bowling shoes on and they are also warped, so you never know which way the ball might roll. It makes it more of an adventure and even levels the playing field a little which I like since I'm not a good bowler. I'm not a good bowler YET, anyway. We think that when we come back to the states, we might all be pretty good but will have some wacky form since we can't slide here. Next, we thought about going for coffee, but have gotten too old to drink non-decaf coffee that late at night and that's all that's available here. So we just went for a stroll. Evidently it was some sort of a holiday or at least a young person hang out night that we didn't know about. The street was filled with youth drinking and partying, so we just decided to go home. We grabbed a taxi instead of walking since we were a bit more dressed up and also we were slightly concerned about all the drunk youth. We thought we were safe once we were in the taxi. There's something I have to explain at this juncture. There are different types of taxis here in Coch. You might see just some car with a homemade sign stuck in their window saying "TAXI". Then there are other cars with the word "TAXI" actually painted on the side. These are a bit more official. Then there are 'radio taxis'. These are taxi companies that you can call and they will dispatch a taxi to pick you up. These taxis also pick up people on the street. They are a bit more expensive and are considered the safest form of public transportation. One more thing about taxis, whenever a taxi driver sees gringos walking, they honk to see if you want a ride. They think you MUST want a ride if you are a gringo. Everyday when Joe and I go out for a walk, we get lots of honks to see if we'd like a ride. We have a joke that we're going to make a sign that says, "No, we don't want a ride we're just gringos walking!" So anyway back to our anniversary date. We finally got in a radio taxi and thought we were safe. That is until we smelled the alcohol and noticed that the taxi driver was weaving more than the normal weave of muddled traffic. It was then that we realized that our driver was indeed drunk. YIKES. Joe said "It's only a few blocks and we aren't going any faster than 20 mph so we'll just stay in. If he has a wreck, we'll hop out and get another taxi." I agreed with this cavalier idea since I'm a laid back Pooh...a bear with very little brain I might add. We made it home safe and sound and lived to see another day. Of course we have told our children to NEVER do that. If they get in a taxi or a bus with a drunk/drinking driver they are to get out immediately and find another one. We recently attended a seminar about Bolivian culture. We learned that Bolivians aren't generally risk takers. At least not risks that they are not used to. They accept certain risks as normal. Like a few weeks back 4 people were killed in a bus accident where the driver was drunk. People got on the bus, smelled the alcohol, saw the driver's bottle, knew the driver was drunk and stayed on the bus anyway. It was an acceptable risk to them, because they were familiar with the scenario.