[June 12] It snowed yesterday in El Alto. Not what I expected when I took the microbus (read: minivan with signs) up to the University there. Verdict: winter is real.
The event that the snow and bad directions made me miss was held again down here in La Paz around dinner time… A professor and a Vice-Minister of Justice talking about redefining policies of criminalization in a plurinational society. The first talk was very provocative–lots about how criminal law (and incarceration) are a last resort for resolving conflict, and we need to think first about the mechanisms creating for mediating conflict. Also, a question I’ve never heard asked before in such a forum: how do we solve the problem of those in prison always, under any type of government, consisting almost entirely of the poor.
There’s a lot of through-the-looking-glass style experiences of ideas you’d never expect to come out of an official’s mouth.
And then there’s the altitude (which has slowed me down, but hasn’t thrown me for a loop yet), the sudden lack of daylight hours, and being in a very different city. But I’m well, and housed for the next week or so here in La Paz (two floors above the crazily beautiful but excessively spacious place I looked at a couple days ago).