2013 International Year of Quinoa event at Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA)

The GT’s own Dr. Maria Bruno is organizing a fantastic event about quinoa at Dickinson College tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to learning more about quinoa agriculture from Andrew Ofstehage and Pablo Laguna, and I’ll also be speaking about why Quinua is “good to think.”  Here’s the official flyer!

Dickinson Quinoa Event_2013


Social Science Field School & Spanish in La Paz, Bolivia

We are running our Social Science Field School in La Paz again this summer (late June-July)! The course is run in partnership with the UCB and is taught by Miguel and I. Participants receive 6 credit-hours from a U.S. university, as well as IRB approval to start research. 

We’ve also added a 4 week 6-credit Spanish component prior to the course. Miguel and I do not run this, but we do coordinate with the UCB. 

If you are interested, please check out the links below: 


And our collaborative group tumblr from last year: 


Or contact one of us! 

Introducing Kyle Piispanen, and other news

Hello GTers and readers!  This academic year has clearly been a busy one for many of us, given the silence here.  Kate and I are both in our first year in tenure-track positions, Miguel is in a new job, and many other things are going on in our lives.  Hopefully we’ll be more talkative in the future.

To that end, I want to introduce Kyle Piispanen, a Masters student at Oregon State University in Applied Anthopology. He is currently living and working with the Unidad Academica Campesina in Carmen Pampa in the Yungas region of Bolivia.  I had the pleasure of meeting Kyle at the recent SfAA meeting in Merida, Mexico, and he is doing some very interesting work.  We look forward to hearing more from him!  Welcome!

Also, I plan to be in Bolivia this June — so if you plan to be in La Paz or the region then also, drop me an email!

The Gringo Tambo is looking for a new roommate.

Hi everyone! Does anyone read us anymore? We haven’t posted in a while! I’ll try and work on that soon.

In the meantime, the actual, physical Gringo Tambo aparment is looking for a new roommate starting in November. If anyone reading this needs housing in La Paz or knows of someone who is looking please let us know.

My phone number is: 71946951 or you can call Eduardo: 79121956

Our current roommates are both Bolivian, which is great, but it would also be nice to get the GT back to its roots of housing researchers from other countries. We’ve had a hard time keeping it full with ‘gringos’ so there is a good possiblity that when our lease is up in August the Gringo Tambo may only exist in cyberspace.

GT Fall Updates

It is time for updates on all GTers. If you contribute (or even just read us whenever we post something) please let us know where you are, what you are currently working on, what kind of posts you’d like to see on GT, and if/when you’ll be in Bolivia.

And I apologize for the post lag on my end. We returned from Bolivia last month, and had 2 weddings and 1 surgery before ending our nomadic existence and moving to Oxford, MS to start our new positions.

La Paz

Some brief thoughts in no particular order:

1. La Paz looks good – lots of construction, new public bathrooms, etc. It is great to be back. Most of the old favorites (cafes, restaurants, etc) are still here and doing well.

2. As Miguel said over at *Pronto, La Paz seems relatively calm these days (unless I missed it, La Razón has retired the “marchodromo” section).

3. Santa Cruz still feels like an overgrown pueblo (at least to me). I just can’t get a read on the quotidian life of the city, unlike, say, in La Paz or Cochabamba. In sum, it just seems rough in every sense and many people we’ve seen here have told us how Santa Cruz remains the most dangerous city in Bolivia (indeed, one of Miguel’s cousins was recently assaulted and stabbed there).

4. It was great to see Maria and Machi yesterday! And Evan + his wife + wawas!

5. In terms of tourism – we’ve seen very very few tourists, even on Sagarnaga. There’s the usual crop of researchers, aid workers, etc here, but we were remarking this AM on the relatively sparse numbers of high-tech fabric wearing backpackers that we can spot. Perhaps due to the visa requirement? It is hard to judge. Our hotel is full (and highly recommended, btw) but mainly with professionals, here for work.

6. Clare – UNAR was just kicked out of Tiwanaku by the new alcaldesa. I guess the Venezuelan government gave Tiwanaku half a million USD. Check yesterday’s La Razón for details.

7. La Paz is great for kids – specifically La Terraza in Sopocachi, which has high chairs with toys, a swingset and a slide, and kid-friendly empanadas. Chasing pigeons is also loads of fun, as is car/bus/micro/moto/etc spotting

8. More posts to come on the swine flu outbreak here – many many people are wearing masks all the time, many Us have closed, etc.

New blog by yours truly, on non-Bolivian topics

I find that I keep posting about things that have nothing to do with Bolivia, then apologizing for it.  So, I’ve started another blog — don’t worry, my Bolivia-related thoughts will stay here!  You can read about how I recently dated an undated Pan-Am advertisement here.  Add me to your Google reader or bookmarks if you are interested in my (probably infrequent) anthropological musings more generally.