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Jan. 5th, 2008 | 05:59 pm

the altitude is catching up to me. I thought I was fine the first day, when I was up and walking around, but 14,000 feet hurts. I think it was the hike yesterday around Lake Titicaca that did it, and I also had a very scary experience last night on a bus coming back. We were coming down the mountains into the valley of La Paz, getting thrown around because of the rough condition of the god-forsaken roads, and it was dark and nobody spoke english but apparently there was a road blockade and they told us all to get off the bus and right before I was about to step off it started rolling over the rocks again and threw me off my feet. I don´t think I´ve ever felt so sick from a mode of transportation. I pretty much barricaded myself in my room until five o´clock today. But not to be melodramatic or anything.

anyway, the lake was awe-inspiring, I still don´t know exactly where I am (much of me believes I am either in Guatemala or New Zealand). It´s a depressing country any way you look at it. It´s cold and gray and arid and the human suffering is palpable. As much as I would hate to be singing praises to Jeff Sachs, it is hard not to blame geography when taking a glance around. The whole country must be off-limits to the handicapped. My toes are freezing right now, and it´s summer and I´m in layers.

I had dinner the other night with my fixers, plus the confident New Yorker expat and sometimes-photojournalist for the Times who gave me all my names in the first place. He´s cocky, but in the I-partied-in-Tarija-for-new-years way, not the Times-y journalist way. I´m sure if Bolivia had anything that resembled a coastline he would be a surfer. It made me wish for a split second that I was doing my project on the secret lives of expats. I don´t know how they are the way they are. It kind of reminds me of the kids at Tufts from international school. "Do you this person in Egypt?" "Oh yeah, I think I met him that time I was in Kuala Lumpur." Do you just have to be chatty? You definitely have to be a photographer.

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Comments {4}

The A Train

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from: cosmicspace4
date: Jan. 6th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
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Miss you, Courtney! Keep sending updates, I really want to keep hearing what you're up to.

I'm one step away from resurrecting my livejournal to post from here myself.

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C. Mor

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from: getontheboat
date: Jan. 6th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
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james! i miss you! i want to hear all about syria. how long have you been there? have you started interviews yet? how is the baba ghanoush?

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Love! Bang! Crash! Wakka, Wakka! Bam Thwok!

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from: aquagirl2988
date: Jan. 7th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
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I second the resurrection. Cross the border and do it from Israel, like the Second Coming.

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C. Mor

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from: getontheboat
date: Jan. 6th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
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ohh! give everyone my love and tell them i say hi

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