Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm leaving little pieces of my heart in El Alto

On the beginning it's scary. You see the other team leader, the one you are about to replace, having such a good relationship with your partner and producers. You see them laughing and chatting and you feel a little bit out of the place. You know they will leave soon and you'll have to try to fit in, doesn't matter what. You know that producers are not so happy about constant changes to leaders and even though it's nothing personal you can't help thinking that it is.   
And then suddenly, you're at the end of your stay, nearly 6 months fast approaching, and you see your beloved producers sad to see YOU go. It's you who cares about them do deeply that it brings tears to your eyes to think that you may never see them again.  It's you who has a good chat with Doña Berta meeting her accidently in El Alto and it's you who sees affection in her eyes when she says that you need a Bolivian man to stay in the country.

And then, you find this strange (for many now and for me on the beginning) city of El Alto familiar. The stray dogs don't bother you anymore and you can automatically assess their intentions and if they are a bit aggressive you just know what to do. When a volunteer from another team, on his first visit to El Alto, asks you if you've ever seen anything like this, you act surprised because you've been to that place so many times and probably the only thing that comes to your mind is that it's good to see Lourdes and help her new families rather than assessing the state of infrastructure.

They say do what you love, love what you do and I was doing exactly that here in Bolivia. I'm living little pieces of my heart in El Alto.

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