Adventures in Bolivia – Day 5 – Happy New Year

What a day! New Years celebrations started in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a little bit early as fireworks started going off at 11:00 p.m. but the ‘big boomers’ started at about 11:50 p.m. I guess that they were ready to bring in the New Year!

Speaking of New Years, apparently in Bolivia the color of underwear you wear dictates how 2016 will turn out. I think the most common consensus for what color to wear was red; supposedly to improve your love life for the next year… I guess we will have to wait to see how that turns out. Green and yellow underwear means that you will be financially successful in 2016.

As travelers, we were told the tradition is that if you wanted to travel more in 2016 that you should take a suitcase and walk around with it or traverse the stairs. I don’t think anyone took part in that tradition though! It was enough to carry them out to the bus at 3:45 a.m. It is also said a local tradition for success and happiness in the New Year is to eat 12 grapes at midnight.

It’s been a great start to the New Year here in Bolivia. We were so excited to get the year started that we were all down in the hotel lobby by 3:40 a.m. for our 6:15 a.m. flight. I hope everyone back home enjoyed their New Years, and maybe even slept in a little bit. I do have to admit that I did miss my annual holiday celebration back at home, so I don’t think I’ll be out of the country again next year.

Two flights later, we arrived in Uyuni, Bolivia, where we will spend a few days. Upon arrival we took 4x4s to the hotel where we spent the rest of the day. We began to brainstorm about our project that we will complete over the quinoa industry throughout the next few days. There has also been some serious R&R happening today to make up for our lack of sleep throughout the past few days. The group spent time walking around a local marketplace and we also enjoyed some pizza today at our hotel; spicy llama was on the menu so we gave it a try.

That’s about it for today!

Happy New Year!

Jared Baird
Purdue University

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