Sometimes we meet and you don't know it!

(Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

Don't be a stranger! Sign my guestbook!

Don't be a stranger! Sign my guestbook!

I don't often actually meet my website visitors. Most of the time you guys just click in, get the information you need from the site, and click out. Then you travel Bolivia and or maybe move here but we never actually meet. But sometimes...sometimes we meet and don't know it!

Foreigners often stop me on the street to ask for directions or recommendations. Usually it's because I'm blond and the conversation starts with "do you speak English?" I love it when this happens! I always jump at the chance to point out some of the cool things they can see in Santa Cruz. There's no way for me to know, in cases like this, if any of these tourists have visited prior to traveling. But often they mention something they read about "in a website" and it sounds an awful lot like! It always leaves me with kind of a sense of mystery - the not knowing.

But there have also been several times when tourists have stopped me to ask questions and I've noticed they are holding printed out pages from this website in their hands. When this happens I never know what to do! Do I tell them "Hey, that's my website"? A couple of times I have, but usually I don't. Most of the time people just want to get where they want to go, you know?

Once I had this awesome experience. I went to the supermarket and a foreigner asked me "do you speak English?" He needed directions. I told him "you know, I have this website with this information on it..." but before I could finish my sentence he said, "don't tell me - you're BoliviaBella!" That was the FIRST time I actually met one of my website visitors in person - it was an awesome feeling and the very coolest type of feedback!

I love when you guys write me, comment on the site, let me know what I'm doing right and what needs improvement, what's missing or what I haven't covered. I love the feeling of community and how it's growing! It's what keeps me motivated!

So today I had this wicked fun experience. I FINALLY got to meet Bodhi and Raquel (photo above). Raquel is Bolivian and Bodhi is from England. They moved to Bolivia just a few months ago after living for several years in Australia. But everything started nearly a year ago when Bodhi was researching Bolivia for their move, found this site and contacted me. We've been corresponding ever since and finally today, we were able to meet! We have an amazing number of things in common.

It all starts with just one touch of the keyboard. You know, the difference between and other websites is that you get your information from real people (both Bolivians and foreigners) who actually live and work here in Bolivia. You get great, real FIRST-HAND information and hopefully, your experience in Bolivia will be enhanced by this. Happy travels!

Comments for Sometimes we meet and you don't know it!

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Mar 01, 2010
good luck with those empanadas!
by: BoliviaBella

Hi Anonymous! Wow, that's a lot of empanadas. I'm glad the first batch went well for you. When I was in the US for two years I reeeeeeeeeeeeally missed Bolivian food. People used to ask me what I missed most about Bolivia and food was always somewhere in the first sentence.

I'd sure love it if you would take a picture of your success when you make them and share with us on our Bolivian Food forum. Actually, by the way, on Wednesday March 3rd we're going to be launching a new section on the site called Wacataya Wednesdays! We'll be asking people to share about their own favorite recipes. Read about what Wacataya Wednesdays is here and "tune in" each week! We're hoping people who miss Bolivian food will be returning to visit as Chef Noly from Noly's Salteñas in Chicago is going to be sharing about Bolivian food and ingredients, and giving us tips and lessons each week. It'll be fun!

Feb 28, 2010
empanada recipe
by: Anonymous

Hi. I am an American who live in Santa Cruz for 7 years, moving back to the U.S. in 2007. Our son, of course, grew up with empenadas and has missed them.

When it was time for him to do a school project and presentation on Bolivia with some authentic food, I knew it was time that I HAD to find out how to make them.

So, we used your recipe and they turned out well. Now, we just have to make 50 of them for the presentation on Friday!! Ha. Thanks for having the recipe available!

Feb 13, 2010
Nice Story
by: Kenny

I would definately say "hey that is my website" to people I saw with printed pages...Then I would say.. You provide alot of great inforamtion here, if I was a business person in Bolivia I would definately be buying advertising space on your site :)

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