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ianmcrawford

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Reply with quote  #1 
Odd question.  Does anyone on the forum have any knowledge of the state of magic in Bolivia (LaPaz specifically)?  Google is not that helpful.  I'll be there for an business project for a few weeks in February and want to link up with any magicians.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wow! Ian, you have come to the right place, my friend. My wife is a magician from La Paz. She grew up in La Paz and graduated from high school there. Her parents were American missionaries, so she looks like an American. She has been working with local magicians in La Paz for the last two years to help them start a Ring or an Assembly. There's a magician in La Paz called Mago Byron who has a magic academy for the purpose of teaching magic. He might be the one to get in contact with. 

Maria's email is circe@mallofmagic.com. I'm sure she would love to help you connect with the local magicians. I'll let her know that you might be in contact. A skype session might be better than email. You can work that out with her.

Mike


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ianmcrawford

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Reply with quote  #3 
Wow Mike, that’s amazing. Ask and you shall receive! Tell her I’ll be in touch. Thanks
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #4 
Someone asked me re: "... she looks like an American.." what an American looks like. Good point. That was a poor choice of words. She'd be "perceived to be American" since she speaks English like an American would have at least made sense. Funny how unintended cultural bias pops out sometimes, especially from Americans. My bad.

We certainly know better than to assume that anyone who's white and has what might be called "western European" features is American. 

I, unfortunately, used the words. But if the words "... looks like an American.." just flew by, think about it. 

BTW these thoughts are not some sort of "political correctness" IMO.

Hope this doesn't open a big can of worms. Just thought it was worth taking note.

Mike
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ianmcrawford

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Mike.  Your cultural awareness/bias awareness and sensitivity does you credit.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks Ian. What I meant to say is that Maria doesn't look like a Bolivian native. She'd be thought to be a foreigner. Locals are surprised that her Spanish sounds 100% Bolivian. Most people who look like her have an accent. I've been to La Paz five times and have traveled extensively in the country. There's a lot to see! You might consider traveling to Peru to see Machu Picchu. It's a bucket list worthy site to visit.

BTW - The airport in La Paz is about 4061 meters (13,500 ft for Americans). You might get some acetazolamide to head off altitude sickness. You might get some tingling in your fingers and toes as a side effect. But it works very well to head off altitude sickness.

Mike
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ianmcrawford

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Reply with quote  #7 
I recently returned from a two week work assignment in La Paz Bolivia. I want to thank forum member Mike Powers and his wife Maria Schwieter for connecting me into the La Paz magic community. I spent an amazing afternoon and evening with Mago Byron and about a dozen of his students. Byron runs a magic academy in Bolivia, teaching up to 70 students during the height of the school year.  Byron is a local celebrity in Bolivia.  My translator was astonished when I said I was getting together Mago Byron.  "You know Mago Byron!" Byron also coaches number of magicians to compete in events like the South American FISM.  We shared magic, food, and a lot of laughs (despite my very limited Spanish).  Magic transcends language!   I met some amazing people.   It was one of the highlight of my trip.

I wonder, how many other forum members have reached out to unknown magicians the travelling?  Its an amazing opportunity to connect with someone with shared interests, and get to know the culture of a new country a little bit better.

Thanks Mike and Maria.


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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #8 
Great to see you made it back safely, Ian!

How did you do in that rarefied atmosphere? La Paz is about 12,000 feet above sea level. The airport is the highest commercial airport in the world at 13,300 feet.

Maria says "hi."

Mike
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