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November 2010

Thomas Braeutigam's Birthday   (published in Bolivia)

November 23, 2010 by   Comments(0)



Thomas Braeutigam  is a German Physiotherapy volunteer that enjoys his work very much and is always in a really good mood, so Alinka de Sainz Thomas’ host mother decided to celebrate his birthday and invited us to a delicious meal  on  Friday November the 12th .

We arrived to Alinka’s department and while we were waiting for the lunch to be ready she gave us something very traditional in Bolivia: the aperitivo. The aperitivo is a sweet alcoholic beverage served in small cups of glass before lunch to “open” the appetite. This time it was a delicious Strawberry Pisco.

We were chatting and enjoying our aperitivo when Alinka announced that the meal was served.  Thomas was very surprised  when he discovered that  Alinka cocked specially for him a  south Germany dish called Spätzle with Gulasch. It was a big and delicious plate of food that I couldn’t finish because it was too much (Cochabambino style) for me and because I was waiting for the best part of every meal: the dessert a really good homemade Apfelstrudel with whipped cream on top of it.

We ate it with pleasure, but Alinka had another surprise waiting for Thomas and us. Suddenly Alinka appeared with a chocolate birthday cake  and we all sang happy birthday to him. After singing we delighted ourselves with that delicious cake too!

As you can see birthdays in Bolivia and specially in Cochabamba are an excuse to do what the Cochabambinos do best: They do not eat to live, they live to eat and Thomas became a good Cochabambino eating all the delicious plates Alinka prepared for that special day.

Now envy us with these pictures!


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Thomas Braeutigam's Birthday
Thomas Braeutigam's Birthday

Pelota de Trapo Football Club by Timothy Hillgarth   (published in Bolivia)

November 15, 2010 by   Comments(0)


Pelota de Trapo


One of the finest youth teams in Bolivia is strongly linked to Projects Abroad here in Cochabamba. Pelota de Trapo was set up by William Ramallo, arguably the most talented football player in Bolivian history, scoring his most crucial goal in 1994 against Ecuador to send his country to the world cup.

            William set up the charitable organization, Pelota de Trapo, in order to help out the poorest of families in Cochabamba. It is free to enroll and train at the club, the idea being that it will develop professional stars that will in turn be able to lift themselves out of poverty and support their families. Since William Ramallo founded this organization in1994, Pelota de Trapo have produced three professionals, two playing for Strongest, a team from La Paz and one playing for the best team in his home town of Cochabamba, Aurora.

Pelota de Trapo works with children as young as four to teenagers of the age of 16. The club trains everyday, encouraging as many children as possible to participate. One of our volunteers, Sebastian Koblar is helping out as Assistant Manager and Medic for the U/16 Pelota de Trapo team.

The team has had a lot of success recently in qualifying for the U/16 National cup. Two teams from each region in Bolivia qualify for this competition, in the region of Cochabamba, Pelota de Trapo qualified along with the school of Enrique Happ. Pelota de Trapo did well to qualify considering Real Cochabamba is on great form at the moment. Pelota de Trapo is in the group stages of the competition, so far having beaten a team from La Paz called Ramiro Castillo.

Most recently the team played against a team called El Tropico from the region of Chapare, as usual the match was played next to the Felix Capriles Stadium where Aurora play every Sunday. This was the first game for the team with Sebastian as Assistant Manager; if he was nervous he didn’t show it. Sebastian did a great job warming the players up, talking tactics with them and making them focus on the task in hand. As a med student Sebastian gave the 19 players in the squad the best stretching session I’m sure they’ve ever seen and they all seemed calm and reassured by this.

After a thorough team talk by William, the players were ready to start the match and the selected eleven jogged on to the pitch with an air of authority. The match started slowly with a few loose passes from both teams but as the game progressed the pace started to pick up and it was clear that Pelota de Trapo had control of both wings, playing precise long balls for the strikers. Pelota’s dominance did not pay off till the closing stages of the first half when a beautiful build up gave Cristian Ribero the opportunity to slot home a cool finish to make it 1-0 to the home side.

            In the second half, the youngest player on the pitch Angel Ramallo was looking sharp with some great footwork and ball control and was making a mockery of Tropico’s defense. The fifteen year old Ontiveros twins also both put in notable performances. Halfway through the second half, Tropico had a series of great opportunities including an open goal and a couple of astonishing saves by goal-keeper Wilder Patiño but didn’t manage to convert. The team from Chapare paid for it a few moments later when they were struck on the counter by Bernardo Uriarte. It looked like the score was going to stay the same with only ten minutes left when out of nowhere a cross came in for Cristian Ribero. He made no mistake and enjoyed finding the net with a powerful volley from just outside the six yard box to make it his second of the day and seal the game for his team. 



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Pelota de Trapo Football Club by Timothy Hillgarth
Pelota de Trapo Football Club by Timothy Hillgarth

Hello from Bolivia!   (published in Bolivia)

November 11, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Hello, my name is Carmen Herbas. I am the Social Manager for Bolivia and I will share this Bolivia blog with you. I am very exciting to start posting some interesting things about volunteers’ work, outings and happenings about Bolivia in general.

I was born in La Paz, but I am living in Cochabamba for about 11 years so far. I work for Projects Abroad  7 years, and you know? I love it! It is a great job as I have the opportunity to meet very nice and courageous people that are willing to help where they are most needed. I am proud to be part of this fantastic group.

Saludos y abrazos desde Projects Abroad Bolivia!

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Hello from Bolivia!
Hello from Bolivia!