With a fair amount of help from Rafys, I was able to talk (perhaps too much) during breakfast on topics like the cost of books in Chile and Bolivia (very expensive) as well as about my family, history in Japan, and a few other topics. My difficulty still lies in not being able to conjugate quickly and correctly (of course, I don't have all the vocabulary necessary to the topics justice), but it is - I believe - a start, proof that I'm more than a hulking shadow. Now I have to work on more give-and-take that makes a conversation.
We still don't know the new occurrences in Chile - whether telephone communication is back, whether Rafys' mother and friends are alright, etc. I think that we may go to the internet store after Rafys gets out of the shower. Then we can see what the situation is. I hope all is well, of course, but the earthquake, and its aftermath of aftershocks, looting, and other violence, have left a hole (a big on) in the goings-on with Rafys and her aunt here in La Paz.
Later today, we will make our way over to Copacabana and the shores of Lake Titicaca. My brother wanted a photo from the lakeshore, and so I'll give him one, and it might also be my Christmas photo. I also need to find some present for my mother's birthday, coming up later this month. The Lonely Planet guide talks about people selling little trinkets, bu the guide seems to be several years out-of-date, so that I am not inclined to trust information regarding social aspects.