Our trip is in danger of ending very soon.
After a week of intensive Spanish and evenings spent digesting all this information, our second week of classes is going much more smoothly and we're venturing out into La Paz often to take in the nightlife. In addition, we're making lots of friends in school and our homestay family has been taking us out often. As a result, our social life in La Paz has blossomed. So much so, that we actually took a look at some of the housing prices at a local real estate agency...
Our wanderlust is still unsatiated though, and we've merely bookmarked this wonderful city as maybe somewhere we'd like to settle down in the future.
Just off the Malecon, we wander around the market with the locals. No gringos here!
Ramping up for a Feliz Navidad
Outside this hotel, a horse made of dried palm leaves
Back on the Malecon, a concert put together by the Municipal Youth Centre: Who can TISS be?
It's HispaniKISS! :)
Kids breakdancing on the Malecon
We love meeting other travellers while on the road! They're already predisposed to experiencing new cultures and there's always an excitement when sharing these experiences with each other over a beer and whatever the local food is. We met Karay at Spanish school, a super-cool gal from Ohio who is here picking up credits for her Spanish degree back home. We've spent a few evenings with her strolling the Malecon, gabbing over arroz y frijoles, and exploring La Paz. She's also an avid photographer and very interested in motorcycles so we have lots to talk about!
We pick up Karay on our way to church
In school, we learned about the Virgen de Guadalupe, an important figure in Mexican religious and cultural folklore. December 12th, marks the anniversary of the appearance of the Virgen de Guadalupe. Millions of people make the pilgrimage to the Basilica in Mexico City on this day for the celebrations. Thankfully, we are far away from Mexico City and don't have to contend with such a large crowd here in La Paz, but we're amazed at how many people gather at the local church in town.
Religion and commerce meet at the Santuario Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe
La Paz is Spanish for "Peace"
Standing room only at the Santuario Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe - all the way outside!
Getting a lift to view the service
Outside, Neda contemplates buying super-yummy churros that this little guy is churning out
"Un churro mas restante! La quieres?"
("One more churro left! Do you want it?")
Paintings for sale outside the church
A parade of indigenous dancers walk the streets celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe
Our homestay family has taken us out every Friday night to Stella on the Malecon. We (try to) dance to salsa music, drink lots of Negra Modelo and enjoy the company that has temporarily adopted us for our time in La Paz.
Lalo and his girlfriend Shasta go out with us for pizza
Whirl of Christmas lights and motion
Put on your dancing shoes!
After a night of salsa dancing... and again with the ex-pat daydreams...