“Bolivia is a majority indigenous nation, but that majority has always been excluded.” – Evo Morales
If you ask Danna, she will say that she wanted to visit Machu Picchu in Peru, but David wanted to go to Bolivia because it was the only country in South America named for Simon Bolivar, who was the “champion of the people.” Sounds good and funny, but the truth is that Salar de Uyuni is the second must-see spot in South America, and Bolivia intersected with Tomer’s vagabond trip itinerary during Rae’s school break. Besides, there is the story of Yossi Ginsberg, the Israeli adventurer who, in 1981, miraculously survived a three-week stint alone in the Bolivian Amazon jungle after becoming separated from his companions. I wanted to connect with the ‘spirits’ of that ordeal. So, Bolivia, we went, and it was a blast!
It was a joy in big part because it was the first time the four of us traveled together for an extended period. It was a beautiful way for our newly formed family (minus Quinn) to come together, to share intimacy and the joy of freedom that only travel can bring. It was the first time that Rae traveled in our kind of travel style, which is comfortable though challenging at times, and she showed her grit.
A few years ago, on Father’s Day, I posted a reflection: “…Yet a lot of times, I let (Tomer) lead me, and I don’t know where the journey’s gonna go. Because we can go down a path that I’ve been down a thousand times before, but for him, it’s the first time…” In Bolivia, I observed Tomer taking the lead many times, he was our Spanish communicator, and as such, he often set the tone. It was with great pride and joy that I could back up and just let things unfold.
My reading recommendations
Bolivar: American Liberator, By Marie Arana
Marching Powder, By Rusty Young
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, By Eduardo Galeano
Back to the Tuichi, By Yossi Ghinsberg