I’m wondering what the current American understanding of the Bolivian situation might be. I have been following the US news pretty avidly, and in general main-stream-media in the states doesn’t seem terribly miffed by the whole affair – just another Latin American protest.

However, stories filtering down the Trans-Chaco and into Asuncion tell a different story. People are talking about severe unrest in La Paz and other major cities – protests, civilian and political deaths, kidnapings, looting…the works.

The reason is a recall election, to take place this weekend, in which the mostly popular Morales, along with the governors of all states, must receive an approval rating equal to or greater than proportion of the votes by which they were elected.

Of course, Morales supporters understand this to be a covert attempt by the American government to unseat the left-leaning President. As a consequence, U.S. embassies are currently surrounded by protesters (as reported to me by a traveler on his way down from Bolivia).

The recall referendum is this weekend – hopefully we will see things calm down after that.

Also not to change the subject, but Check out Zena’s Arctic photos in the post immediately before this one. They are breathtaking.

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Australia

I leave for Australia in 49 days, 22 hours and 21 minutes. Unil then, I’ll be completing work for my biomedical engineering class here at Duke. And I’ll also be doing paperwork, which right now is all that I have to document (no pun intended) my study abroad experience.

Since deciding to travel to Australia, I feel that I have signed my life away and filled out more informational forms than ever before in my life, except possibly when applying to college. Key word: possibly. Luckily, I’m positive this will all be worth it. Right now, the current obstacle is my Student Visa.

Let me introduce myself a bit: I am a rising Duke junior, majoring in biomedical engineering (hence my current summer endevor on Duke’s campus) and I love horseback-riding, running and writing for the Chronicle. My favorite hobby is photography, which I hope in include a lot on this blog. In Australia, I’ll be taking classes at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, touring the country and hopefully working a few days a week at the University.

Even now, as I spend time in Durham with friends and classmates, learning about bioelectricity and performing ECG’s on frogs, I look forward to 5 exciting and never-paralleled-in-my-life-thus-far months.

I’m counting down.

49 days, 21 hours and 15 minutes