Saturday, January 02, 2010

cool infrastructure, evo.

Leaving Sucre
Heavy summer storms from the muggy air occurred almost nightly in Sucre (being at certain altitudes is like a personal ticket to see how storms happen up close. If we were in elementary school, Miss Frizzell would have taken us to Sucre to watch summer weather patterns collide), and we had gotten used to walking home through deep rivers with lightning cracking directly above us. So when we heard the first shudder of thunder directly over our heads on the night we left, we thought little of it. It wasn't until the sharp, bright lightning took out electricity for the entire city as it filled the air with purple bolts when Jorge rushed from his room to shoo us out and rush us into a cab. "HURRY, before the rain starts!" he rushed.

Our cab driver was more sanguine about the storm. "It's already passed, it probably won't even rain," he said confidently as the first droplets started to pelt the windshield.

Sucre rain, also, is no ordinary event. It falls in heavy pellets that fill your boots and swirl down the edges of the streets in thick mud rivers within minutes. It doesn't hold the chill that Seattle rain does, but it's nearly impossible to escape it dry. Sure enough, to add to the ear-splitting thunder and blinding lightning that were happening directly above our heads rain had started at full force.

The bus left without incident. It was only after 45 minutes on the road that we shuddered to a halt and waited. Directly to my right, I peered out the steamy window and saw that we were driving along a massive cliff face, which was crumbling off in heavy boulders and piles of dust. It really annoys me when avalanches happen right next to my physical person, especially when directly in front of us, the cause for delay is a huge mudslide that wiped out the road. Another bus had gotten stuck on it and was spinning its wheels fruitlessly, in a vain attempt to free itself. Traffic was lined up on both sides and the squealing of tires was matched by Marlo's furious muttering next to me and the voices in my head that urged the driver to turn back to Sucre so we could forget the whole "Cochabamba idea" until after New Years, or at least until the national infrastructure became decent enough to travel on.

Oh, development. You really are a slow-moving beast, aren't you?

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