Two days down in Tarija and I have been able to do some walking and driving around the city. Not only has the weather been beautiful, but the town of Tarija is very beautiful as well. I am staying in a good home with a very supportive family. My room is perfect for me, and the home is well located. From the house, I can walk all around the center of Tarija, to both main squares and to any shops I need.
Yesterday we went to a restaurant(whose name I forgot, darn) and even though I was not very hungry, I had a little bit of each vegetable dish from the buffet-style table. The vegetables were good, and I was pleased with the variety. For other meals, we have had empanadas, various breads, cereal for breakfast, fried cheese pockets and soup with quinoa. I did try a little chicken in some noodles yesterday and it was pretty good. Definitely going to work on gradually adding more chicken to my diet.
For two weeks more there is a visiting exchange student Sean Rodriguez from UCLA who is living in the house as well. He is a part of the program Child Family Health International (CFHI) and is spending a little over four weeks in Bolivia visiting different health clinics. Since he has been here for a few weeks, he gave me a tour of the two squares in Tarija and also pointed out some favorite restaurants and coffee shops.
After walking around town Sean said he was going to the gym, so I figured it would be a good new thing to try. Without karate, I have been looking for another activity to do and this might be a good one. There is a very nice gym just a few blocks from the house. I have never actually been to a gym to lift weights or anything like that so have Sean explain the technique and which exercises to do was very helpful. Needless to say, my arms feel like spaghetti now! I think I will continue going to the gym as much as possible before he leaves and see how it is. Maybe if I make a friend at the gym it will be easier than to go alone once Sean leaves in two weeks.
Other than the gym, I have been to the grocery store and pharmacy looking at what was on offer and I was pleasantly surprised. Imported goods are unsurprisingly expensive, but local foods are not too expensive.
The views from the porch at the house are amazing in the evenings as the sun sets. The mountains that encircle Tarija cast beautiful light rays and the clouds were bright orange! I look forward to many more!