Monday, June 29, 2015

Bolivia Newton John by James Hall

After what seemed like an eternity of planes, airports and security checks we had finally arrived in La paz. Amidst the language barrier, jetlag and quiet rumbles of unidentifiable aeroplane food in the pit of our stomachs, the most striking thing was the sun, brighter than a thousand Carol Vordermans. The journey from La Paz airport to the ICS offices was a delightful one, with constant highs and lows. Every high seemed like the peak until a turned corner, and there was an even higher high. A quick stop off at a particularly beautiful view and it was brought immediately home. We were in Bolivia!

After meeting our host families we went back to Obrajes which would be mine and Ross' home for the next ten weeks. For some reason they had put me with the only other person from Merseyside who had made the trip. A reason that could best described as 'containing the problem'. After a day of showering, wandering aimlessly and Don Pollo we were ready to get started on our projects.

After a few days of inductions our esteemed team leaders Elo and Raul set us our first tasks. We had to do a presentation on noise pollution to a driving school and to create a workshop in the middle of La Paz on pollution, aural and environmental. Coinciding with the festival of San Juan which was traditionally celebrated with fire, like all good house parties. However this was banned because of the days after when so many fires created air pollution which lingered in the weeks after.

Our idea was to create two tents, one representing a contaminated La Paz and one representing a non contaminated La paz. My group was involved in the contaminated tent, the inside black and darkened filled with facts on pollution and constant traffic and coughing sounds to bring home the reality of the situation. People popped in and out throughout the day with the most surprising element being peoples, of all ages, approaching with enthusiasm.Seeing this has filled me with an enthusiasm of sorts. I understand we will not change the world but being able to talk to people about their surroundings and hearing them express opinions with passion and vigour has really invigorated me. I hope I return to grayest England with the same passion I have witnessed.


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