Before you read this, let me just say that 100 words does not do this post justice. Just 100 words will barely begin to describe the beauty of Bolivia and the warmth of its people. Just 100 words isn’t enough.
But please, please take these 100 words to heart. Understand they represent a fraction of a deeper story we’re desperate to tell — a story about survival and faith, sacrifice and family, difference and commonality. I hope these 100 words paint for you a picture as vivid as the memories in our minds and as resilient as the love in our hearts.
This list was created out of the words from and expressions of the families and individuals we met, those who translated for us all week, and our own feelings. It is a combination of words that describe Bolivia — the country, the people, the experience, the food, the faces, and the moments we’ll never forget.
The Bolivia bloggers team
98. Rich (in love and family). I asked one of our translators before we left if Bolivians considered their country poor or in poverty. She said to me, “Well, that depends on what you mean by the word poverty. Bolivia is rich in culture, love, and family. By those measures, we are not poor at all.” Amen.
89. Ninos — meaning children
85. Con gas — In Bolivia, unless you specify, your bottled water comes carbonated or con gas (meaning with gas)
62. Food security
57. Ben diga cuyes — meaning guinea pigs, which are raised and eaten by many in Bolivia since they are high in protein and low in fat. World Vision helps to build guinea pig houses for families. The pigs can be sold at the local market for extra income. We met one mother that raises guinea pigs, trades them at the market to get milk, salt, and butter, then makes her own cheese. And it was delicious!
46. Amore, or love
41. Sorojchi — meaning headaches. It’s easy for visitors to get headaches since the altitude in Bolivia is very high.
40. yama — meaning llama, one of the many animals raised in Bolivia.
38. Chicharron — The Bolivian equivalent of pulled pork.
33. Fanta — Ask Matthew Paul Turner about this one. He loves the Bolivian Fanta drinks.
28. Winding roads
22. Potatoes — As we visited World Vision ADP’s, the women in the communities almost always served us the yummiest red potatoes. Their secret? They grow and cook them themselves.
9. War (the Mommy-war, that is)
7. Our treasure — This was a statement I heard over and over again from the families I met. I would ask them “what does Bolivia mean to you.” Each one of them replied with this same statement, “Bolivia is our treasure.”
1. Viva Bolivia! — The favorite Bolivian statement of all, meaning long live Bolivia!