Tuesday, June 01, 2010
We spent our last evening in Bolivia having dinner with our very good friends Oscar and Daniela Castro. Oscar is a founding member of the Bolivian Folkloric Music group, Savia Andina. Two of the other founding members live in the U.S. and Oscar told us of plans for the 4 original members to reunite and tour the U.S. and possibly Toronto and Montreal in August or so. It would be the first time the 4 had performed together in over 20 years. Savia Andina has been performing and recording since the 70's.
We enjoyed the evening with the Castro's and they dropped us off at our house after midnight.
I was beginning to finally acclimatize to the altitude and was doing okay in the last days as we hit the tourist market to gather gifts for people back home. I took my wife, sister-in-law, and neice (all mothers) out to lunch on Mother's Day. (always May 27th in Bolivia) We also went to the cemetery and paid respects to my mother-in-law. My next planned trip down is Oct, 2012 when it will be time to move her remains. That is quite a common practice in Bolivia but I won't go into why. We will move her to a permanent spot in Cochabamba where my sister-in-law and husband have their permanent plots purchased.
At 3:30 AM on the day of our departure taxi driver #42 pulled up to the house. 42 (that's all I know of his identity) had been the guy who drove my wife, brother-in-law, and niece up to the airport the day I arrived. He waited, and then drove us all down to the house. When we got to the house, my wife paid the fare and I tipped him $20. This is my traditional tip when I arrive, and is 3 times the fare. As I explained to the Castros, "the gringo has arrived, someone's gotta party". Of course when I tipped him, he asked when I was leaving and told us he'd drive us back up to the airport. "Make sure when you call you ask for #42". He called the house 2 days prior to us leaving to ask what time to be there. At the airport I gave him the fare and the $20 tip (but in Bolivian Pesos) and he asked, "when will you be back?"
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