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Old 08-11-10, 07:48 PM   #1
nancy sv
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Rerouted by Violence

Well, dang - this is a first! The next city we plan to go to has been totally blocked off from the rest of the country. The roads are blocked, the protesters piles piled boulders on the runway, and they've blocked the train tracks too. They aren't allowing anybody in or out. Yesterday, they finally allowed 40 foreign tourists to leave the city after 13 days.

So - it is looking like we will have to reroute - not sure where yet. There really are no good options.

Bummer, but I'm guessing it will lead to other adventures...
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Old 08-11-10, 08:19 PM   #2
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Glad to hear that you weren't caught in the violence. Safe journeys.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:40 PM   #3
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I'm glad we found out about it now rather than 100 km down the road where the roadblocks are!
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Old 08-11-10, 09:01 PM   #4
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What a civics lesson for the boys! Maybe when they get back to the States they can put it into practice.

Just kidding. I hope the violence subsides and you all are safely on your way soon.
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Old 08-11-10, 09:05 PM   #5
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Thanks! I think we will have to reroute, but we aren't sure where we'll go.
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Old 08-11-10, 09:24 PM   #6
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Glad you're all okay, Nancy. That looks like something to steer clear of, especially with the kids along.

Be safe.
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Old 08-11-10, 11:24 PM   #7
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Stay safe and I hope all is well other wise. We love reading of your journey.
All the best,
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Old 08-11-10, 11:50 PM   #8
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Keep safe! Where are you? La Paz? Is it violent or just protest. Either way the state department support your course of action!
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Old 08-12-10, 05:52 AM   #9
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Violence?

The real violence is the centuries of violence done to the people of Bolivia. Despite all of the riches that have been and continue to be taken out of the earth, the people of Bolivia are some of the poorest in the world. Bolivia is far more than picturesque women in bowler hats.

Your family has the luxury to take a two-year bicycle trip, in part, because of an accident of birth. It would be a good opportunity to teach about poverty and the response - and lack of response - to it. If anything, it appears from news reports that the protesters have shown considerable restraint.

Workdays that are 12-hours long - 7 days per week. Wages of $1 per hour. Child labor - children not much older than your boys. Electricity for the mine but not for residents. Unchecked environmental damage and risks to area residents. And water - in a desert the mine gets all the water it wants while local residents get little to none.

It is an opportunity to learn.
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Old 08-12-10, 08:09 AM   #10
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Violence?

The real violence is the centuries of violence done to the people of Bolivia. Despite all of the riches that have been and continue to be taken out of the earth, the people of Bolivia are some of the poorest in the world. Bolivia is far more than picturesque women in bowler hats.

Your family has the luxury to take a two-year bicycle trip, in part, because of an accident of birth. It would be a good opportunity to teach about poverty and the response - and lack of response - to it. If anything, it appears from news reports that the protesters have shown considerable restraint.

Workdays that are 12-hours long - 7 days per week. Wages of $1 per hour. Child labor - children not much older than your boys. Electricity for the mine but not for residents. Unchecked environmental damage and risks to area residents. And water - in a desert the mine gets all the water it wants while local residents get little to none.

It is an opportunity to learn.
That is very true - it is an opportunity to learn. But this whole thing is very confusing - from what I understand, it is the local government who is leading this! The governor of Potosi is the one leading the whole protest, and yet I can't help but think he is hurting the people of his city. Maybe in the long run they will get the developments they are asking for, but it just seems too bizarre to starve the citizens of your own city in order to get it!

From what I've read, the things they are asking for are: a new cement factory, an international airport, some mine developments, and the stabilization of a mountain that has been mined for 500 years and is in danger of collapse. They aren't asking for electricity for the people or water or other things. I don't know - the reports I've read may be wrong, but that's what I'm seeing. Makes no sense to me...

If this isn't called off today, it looked like we will take a detour out and around into the Amazon basin to get around. We're keeping our fingers crossed!
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Old 08-12-10, 09:21 AM   #11
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Which LaPaz are you heading for - my map shows three of them....... never mind, I see which one you are pointed to, on your map.
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Old 08-12-10, 09:36 AM   #12
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Nah, stay away, as you are. It is an opportunity to learn, but you are right to put your safety first.
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Old 08-12-10, 11:22 AM   #13
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It is an opportunity to learn.
More usefully, it is an opportunity to put the leadership skills you learned as an Eagle Scout to use and become the warlord of your own city!
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Old 08-12-10, 12:22 PM   #14
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it just seems too bizarre to starve the citizens of your own city in order to get it!
Nancy, for sure the people who are following his lead can't be considered as victims that he alone would force to starve? Give more credit to those who sided with him, they just may not be the pawns of an ideologue after all.

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From what I've read, the things they are asking for are: a new cement factory, an international airport, some mine developments, and the stabilization of a mountain that has been mined for 500 years and is in danger of collapse. They aren't asking for electricity for the people or water or other things. I don't know - the reports I've read may be wrong, but that's what I'm seeing. Makes no sense to me...
Through these demands, it is quite possible that they aim at gaining a measure of respect too. Also, if people died or are likely to die in that mine, if people are largely unemployed and been so for a long time, their situation may be much more dire than can suspect from 100 miles away and never having lived their life.

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If this isn't called off today, it looked like we will take a detour out and around into the Amazon basin to get around. We're keeping our fingers crossed!
How would that route be. The Amazon basin sounds quite ominous to me but I haven't been anywhere near Bolivia in 25 years. That route may be much better than expected. I hear that Anaconda is very tasty.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:43 PM   #15
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I do understand that the people of the city are supporting his efforts (a lot of them anyway), but I still don't get it. they have now taken control of the hydroelectric plant and are threatening to shut of the power, which will then affect the water supply. It's now been 15 days and the people have no food and they may sh ortly have no electricity or water either. I feel so badly for them.
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Old 08-12-10, 01:19 PM   #16
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The next city we plan to go to has been totally blocked off from the rest of the country. The roads are blocked, the protesters piles piled boulders on the runway, and they've blocked the train tracks too. They aren't allowing anybody in or out. Yesterday, they finally allowed 40 foreign tourists to leave the city after 13 days.
It sounds like my son's commute from D.C.

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Maybe in the long run they will get the developments they are asking for, but it just seems too bizarre to starve the citizens of your own city in order to get it!
I doubt if they're starving, an operation to this extent that has lasted this long was probably planned in advance and they stockpiled. Also, most of the protesters probably can't afford to buy the food they're blockading and grow their own. Ditto with the electricity and water, you don't miss what you never had. I much prefer the way the Panamanian students do this sort of thing though, start blockading the road around 8:00 AM, take a break for lunch around noon, and then quit for the day around 5:00 PM.
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Old 08-13-10, 01:21 AM   #17
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I was going to show my wife the blogs and such but it apears that your sites are off line?
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Old 08-13-10, 02:53 AM   #18
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in areas of violence you can often meet the nicest of people who will go way out of their way to get you around safely. One side of my family is Serbian and are no strangers to violence going on around them. But them and most the people really curse the violence and take it personally when a foreigner is there to make the feel safe and help them in any way possible. I know we of several cousins who we have never heard from since the war in the former Yugoslavia we don't know if they moved, or if something worse befell them, but I know my family was quite vocally against the war and many were the same way they just were not people of power, but of poverty. They would open their doors to anyone and try to be the civil ones in a civil war.
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Old 08-13-10, 03:22 AM   #19
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My fathers side of the family fled the former Yugoslavia back in '39 with the impending war coming, the came to Canada with $100 did not speak a word of French or English made a life as Tobacco farmers and did everything in their power no to spread the hatred that was so commonly taught from parents to children where they were from, I never heard a word about Croatians or the centuries of back and forth war there and grew up thinking of those ethnicities from around us were a kin to being siblings of ours, it was not until the '90's that I learnt the horrible things that had been done by all sides over the history. Not growing up with that hatred in my life made it difficult for me to even understand what was going on there and essentially it is just plain hatred that gets passed down from generation to generation My grandparent would not even talk about it though they never missed the 6:00 news during those years. I read books about it on my own written by authors from all around and found out what was going on that way. I never knew my grandparents feelings on it they were quite conscious not to say anything disrespectful about anyone to us and for that I thank them for when I meet anyone from anywhere I don't have any prejudices at all about them and I owe that to my grandparents most of all.
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Old 08-13-10, 07:56 AM   #20
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I was going to show my wife the blogs and such but it apears that your sites are off line?
We changed servers yesterday and the site was down for about an hour when that happened. It's back up now, but we lost everything we had done to the site in the past week. We're trying to get it all back up now!
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Old 08-13-10, 08:01 AM   #21
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Your safety, of course, comes first.
And I see that you have tried to wait.
I sense that a settlement will come soon.
But eventually, you have to go to "Plan B".
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Old 08-13-10, 12:21 PM   #22
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If this is not resolved by tomorrow, we will start on a 600-km detour down into the Amazon basin and down.
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