La Paz: Cable Cars and Cholita Wrestling

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Riding the “teleferico” (cable car)

The cable cars rode up, up, up, but finally stopped as we reached the station in El Alto. I could have easily renamed it “El Altura”, because even without doing anything, we were all panting hard. Dad asked if we wanted to walk around town, but because of the altitude, we didn’t want anything to do except get back down. We ended up taking the line all the way down, then had a snack at the bottom, then took it to up to the station we’d gotten on at. It was amazing! The views were astounding! Also, it wasn’t a cheesy tourist thing. Most people riding it were locals, getting to their workplaces. Awesome!

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Cheering on Margarita!

In La Paz, we also saw Bolivian Cholita wrestling, where traditionally-dressed women get in a ring together and beat each other up. My favorite match was when Margarita, a small, 17-year-old girl, who we had met on the bus to the stadium, faced a big woman, and won multiple times. It was obvious that they were fighting their hardest. Oh, how wonderful! I’d never had a better time in my life.

Soccer: The Heart of Latin America

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My teammate was trapped on every side possible from the front. He passed it back to me and I ran to the goalpost. I took a shot and scored! Goooooooooooooooooooooooooal! I was playing soccer with some kids at a kids fair. The daughter of the owners of our guesthouse was going to the kids fair, too. They invited us, so we came.We had a pretty exciting match.

We also saw a pretty exciting match. It was Universitario, Sucre’s team, playing at home, against Bolivar, La Paz’s team. Bolivar scored in the middle of the first half. In the middle of the second half, one Universitario player stomped on the foot of a Bolivar player and was thrown out of the game. Once, Universitario had a corner kick. I had the feeling that this would be a goal. We’d had so many near-misses so far. The ball was kicked and bounced on someone’s head into the net. Goooooooooooooooooal! The crowd went nuts! Everyone yelled and cheered on Universitario.