La Paz, Politics, and Cheese

We’ve probably been in La Paz way too long. It’s getting close to 2 weeks now. As I mentioned in the previous post, this is supposed to be a quick stop-over. Not a full on post-up hang.

The fact is, Stevie is working on a big writing project with a May 31st deadline. It’s really hard to get consistency when on the road, so we decided to hang here an extra week so she could work.

Since we left Lima, we’ve been in the habit of hiring a baby sitter for a few hours a day when we’re in one spot for longer than a week. It’s ridiculously cheap, and gives Stevie time during the day to write. Plus, I think it’s great for Sol to connect with real native speakers. I’m pretty sure her first words are gonna be in Spanish.

Sol, with her niñera, Lyndsay.

Of course, there is no substitution for PaPa!

However, Stevie is a little down on my baby sitting skills lately. My latest thing was to teach her how to play drums on all the kitchenware. It makes a LOT of noise and Sol loves it, but apparently it’s not conducive to a quiet writing environment.

I’ve been getting out climbing as much as possible. Trying to get back into climbing shape… ahhhh, it’s a difficult endeavor.  That stupid sport really is something you have to do all the time. Unlike kayaking and surfing, it’s so hard to off-the-couch it. The climbing around La Paz is worthy though, so I’m keepin at it.

We’ve also been taking in other La Paz attractions. The other day we went to the famous Flor De Leche, Belgium owned cheese factory. They make a seriously gourmet fondue, and it should be a “must hit” for anyone passing through. It’s not cheap, but is so worth it.

Soleil is definitely her mother’s daughter. Check out her eyeballing the bottle of reserve.

We’re finally far enough south where we’re starting to score some ridiculously good bottles of wine. Life is getting better. Slowly starting to learn the good labels as well. This one is a win.

Like me, Sol is not a fan of potatoes.

While we were at Flor De Leche, we met this really cool couple, Patty and Ivan, and their little daughter Yarra. They invited us to lunch at the very fancy La Paz Tennis Club a few days later, which we gladly accepted.

We didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out that Patty is the daughter of the former President of Bolivia.  OK. Wow!  

We were stoked to get to get her honest and compassionate insight into her country’s recent history and development.  They were such warm, welcoming and wise people.  We really liked them. Wish we could spend a bunch more time hangin out.

This was very fortuitous encounter for Stevie. In every country we go, she really likes to dive into the politics and issues of the country.

Full disclosure – Upon entering Bolivia, Stevie was starry-eyed for the current Bolivian President, Evo Morales, the socialist who turned the country upside down, who has won international acclaim for his support of indigenous rights and anti-imperialism, and who basically told the US to F’ off when it came to the regulation of growing coca.

Although he sounded great on paper, after arriving in country we quickly learned that Evo is not a champion of coca for the traditional indigenous use of chewing, but rather he is a puppet for the coca cartels located in Santa Cruz. They’re goal is simple, grow coca and transport it to Colombia where it will work it’s way to the US. Getting the US DEA out of the country was a logical first step. How does the coca then get from Colombia to the US? Remember this Sprinter Life post – Drug Smuggling For Dummies.

Stevie was bummed. Me, I just wish the United States would mind their own damn business in the world and stop trying to manipulate other countries. And for the war on drugs… what a complete joke. Anyone who still believes that is a worthy war to be fighting has their head in the sand.

The way to deal with this situation is simple.

1) Immedielty acknowledge that this is a consumption problem, not a trafficing problem, and WE, the USA, are to blame since we by percentage consume most of the illegal drugs in the world.

2) We need to let go of our fear and legalize all drugs in the US. Think that’s a stupid idea? Do some research on what’s happened in Portugal over the last 5 years after they did just that. And read this Sprinter Life post to get more facts…  The War On Drugs Cannot Be Won – Read Now

We’re out of here on Monday.




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  1. gaiatender says:

    I agree about the “war on drugs,” has actually created a bigger problem not to mention keeping all that law enforcement etc employed! And all the people serving time…supporting the prison industry.

  2. Auntie Alex says:

    I actually agree with legalizing drugs. Instinctually I want to say No! They’re bad! They cause harm! But logically I know people who want drugs will get them, and people who don’t, won’t. People don’t get clean and sober because drugs are illegal. They do it because drugs are ruining their lives. At least if it were legalized it would cut down on drug trafficking & crimes. And the gov’t can regulate it and hopefully be able to identify and help people who are abusing drugs. Drugs at the very least have the same rules as alcohol. And really educate the youth on what the drugs are actually doing and removing the shame associated with addiction. I think so people confuse the idea of legalizing drugs as a free for all and abusing drugs is okay. It’s not. 🙂

  3. Noniytuyas says:

    Thanks for your frank and relavent updates. Corporate/military/political greed and corruption has pulled the USA into a moral and intellectual abyss since I was a girl, and its a damn shame. Where to go where fairness, peacefulness, and compassion are ACTUAL values of an informed population, and implemented by an honest government? I’d relocate in a heartbeat.

  4. Just Say No! – to the War on Drugs. What a joke. The government would like to stop drugs about as much as they’d like for there to be peace in the world. No wars, less profit, and fewer excuses to bully countries into doing what you want them to do. Drugs and War – it’s just good policy! Omelettes, broken eggs, all that…

    Thanks for the posts!

  5. Mick Evans says:

    “Sweetie – that’s not a brace stroke, rotate the shaft 90 deg !!”

  6. Lizzy Cwynar says:


  7. Judy Shuman says:

    Precious and adorable photos! ~ And tku for the amaaaaaazing story regarding Coca and legalization of drugs! ” ~ I sure your little sweetie! ~ I feel like I know the TREE family! ~

  8. Audrey Kranz says:

    I had to laugh at your comment about climbing… was telling someone that just the other day. stupid sport.

  9. First time in your website and I think is the most original one!!!! I hope meet again in some part of the world!!! Solei is so cute and I bet she’ one of the most popular babies in the world 🙂
    We have so much to share yet…
    All the best wherever you are!
    Patty (your bolivian friend)

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