How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard

This past week has been full of goodbyes. First to Danny, an intern from Brandeis. Next was Matt and Mike, two American basketball players who played for La Salle, a team in Cochabamba for the summer. Tonight, we had a final farewell dinner as we will be leaving for La Paz tomorrow and on Monday, the remainder of the Santa Clara interns (minus Hailey) will be leaving for Peru.

La Salle’s championship game. The most exciting basketball game I’ve ever been to!

I have a little less than two weeks left in Bolivia — where has the time gone?! There are still so many things to do, so many things to see.

I am so weirdly comfortable with being here, and it is strange to think that I will be immersed in the routine of being back at school in just a few weeks. But Bolivia has its own routine as well — a chaotic type of routine. Hailey and I have mastered the art of dealing with taxi drivers, I am used to the way the water runs out nearly every week, the constant blockades, and how cars here won’t stop for anything. Bolivia never quite feels like it slows down, and even when it does, there is always more to be done.

Zulma from the World Fair Trade Organization visits AHA Bolivia

This past week has been a blur, striving to complete all my remaining projects at the office. Charlene and I have been interviewing artisans as part of the recertification process for the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), I have met with Zulma, the regional representative from the WFTO, and Hailey & I have been trying to narrow down our list of women’s resources.

Interviewing artisans as part of the recertification process for the World Fair Trade Organization

One thing I have realized is that Bolivia figures itself out. Blockades, travel plans, scheduling. In the United States, I am a meticulous planner; in Bolivia I have been letting life take care of itself. As my return to the United States approaches rapidly, I have been wondering — can I grant the same flexibility with my life as I have here in Bolivia? As I am learning, there is beauty in not having a plan. There is beauty in letting life just take you by the reins. There´s beauty in not knowing what’s next.

A weekend trip to the Monkey Park in Chapare