I know I’m back in Bolivia because I was immediately greeted by a blockade. As I emerged from the airport in Sucre, I was accosted by a taxi driver who offered to take me down to the city, but at a high price due to a blockade. I waited around and determined that all the drivers were saying the same thing. So I got in the car with one of them and took a half hour drive on dirt roads with huge ruts and ditches…reminding me of work I did here in 2000 in a shanty-town on the edge of the city. Today’s blockade was carried out by residents neighboring the airport who want more city projects to help with basics such as roads and plumbing. I asked the driver if these blockades really reach their intended audience, and he said he believed that without them the officials would not pay attention.
It was a beautiful and gritty welcome back to this country – shepherds sat on the ground and schoolchildren walked by, offering advice to the taxi driver as we passed.