Pope Francis o el Papa Francisco, is visiting Bolivia. I am not Catholic, but somehow his visit brings a bit of happiness in my Bolivian heart. Without even thinking I am feeling proud that my Bolivia was included in his visit.
The government declared a Holiday today, July 8th, in La Paz. And tomorrow, July 9th, in Santa Cruz. If I were there I would not have gone to see him. But perhaps I would be following his visit on TV. After all, this visit is making History in Bolivian pages.
I was trying to see online details of his visit and I came across a few interesting facts.
Bolivians welcoming. Bolivians love to host people. They love to have guests. People waited for hours in really cold conditions, just to be able to see him and receive his blessing. Even the President went to receive him. I know that sounds a bit strange to say (I am referring to even the President), but Mr Morales does not like the Catholic church. But he went and greeted him with “Jallalla Hermano Francisco”. Jallalla is more than a greeting, is almost like a greeting of peace and good will in Aymara.
I liked the fact that in spite of his health conditions, just having one lung, The Pope decided to stop in the highest Capital in the World. He stayed there for just a couple of hours before going to Santa Cruz. He arrived to El Alto and later he went down to The City of La Paz.
He drank Coca, Chamomile and Anise Tea, this mix is called Trimate. Trimate means tres. Thee herbal teas in one. I try to have Trimate on hand. It is really good for the digestion.
He chewed Coca! Of course the media has already started controversy about it. So you know, he did not consume Cocaine. Coca is not Cocaine, but it can become Cocaine. Coca has amazing powers with High Altitude and tiredness. Many Bolivians Chew it, it is almost like the Bolivian Tobacco. Many tourist chew Coca or drink Coca Leaf Tea when arriving to La Paz. It is the best for Altitude Sickness.
Here a few pictures of his visit to LP
Pictures belong to the FB page Bolivianos in USA.
Well, like I said before, I am not Catholic, but his visit is writing History in Bolivian pages.