Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The rumors were true. Their were places in Potosi where, if one were so inclined, could purchase dynamite. We hired this small little woman, named ¨Donna¨ to show us these places and show us the proper way to detinate the explosives. We followed her through the busy street markets and watched as she inquired to locals about our request. Eventually we hopped a cab to a small back alley market where we came up to one particular stand. Looking over her shoulder, I looked to see what this vendor had to offer. Chocolates, Coca Cola, bread, blasting caps, dynamite....Holy shit! Dynamite! There it was. In arms reach of little kids that were playing around the stand with plastic guns. We couldn´t believe it. We waited to inquire about it until the local policia drove off, then asked to buy the goods.
It turns out that the workers from the mines will from time to time buy some sticks should the rare occassion that they run out come about. So, a few local women vendors will keep it in stock should the occassion come. For ten bolivianos (just a little over $1 dollar US) you get one stick of dynamite, a blasting cap, and a bag full of ammonium nitrate (which is said to increase the explosive power of the stick) in a nice little happy meal bag. Never in my life did I ever think I would be in contact with such firepower but there we were in this little market, exchanging pennies for power with a little old lady, and watching our guide violently tap two sticks together while saying, ¨Look it is completely stable, esta bien!¨
Posted by Mike Greener at 5:56 PM