Wednesday, August 09, 2006


The very first activity I was put in charge of was going to the airport on May 18th to pickup Vicentico, a famous musician who used to be one of the Fabulous Cadillacs guys and who was performing in La Paz on the 19th. Pepe was my driver, and the crew consisted of Alejandro, Adriana, Paola, Luisa and me. We picked up burgers for dinner and actually got to the airport early, so we waited a while before the star arrived. Then, the main idea was to stay close in case Vicentico needed oxygen and to be caught on camera (free publicity is always good). We followed the procession of cars to Hotel Europa and there I went to welcome Vicentico to Bolivia and let him know that the La Paz Red Cross was at hand if he needed anything. Aside from sorroche pills (a pill for altitude sickness which is made of aspirin and coca leaf extract), he said he didn’t need anything and after signing a random poster, Vicentico went upstairs to rest. His musicians arrived and had some mate de coca, listening attentively as I recommended drinking much water or mate and taking it easy to avoid feeling the altitude too much. More waiting. Finally we decided enough was enough and around 1am I went to talk to our liaison to tell him we were heading out because the volunteers had to be fresh for the concert. All in all, everything went quite well and quite smoothly, even though as responsible of an activity for the first time I definitely made some small mistakes.

Adriana Castillo, Luisa Yujra, and Vicentico.

As for the concert? I went as a “normal citizen” with a number of other volunteers (also there pseudo-incognito), and it was brilliant. While lining up outside the open air theater, we shared a few beers and ate the sandwiches I had prepared to avoid going hungry. All in all we ended up being about fifteen people, weeeee! The only disappointment was that Vicentico didn’t sing “Estoy Feliz”, one of his best songs. But still, Vicentico rocks.


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