Some experiences related to astronomy in Bolivia

Is not easy

Somebody, told me many years ago, that books bring information about things well done, but not about things gone bad.

When I do math or physics or astronomy or engineering, and so on, I get worried if a get always everything well and don't get some mistake. An error is an opportunity to verify what I am doing in more depth.
I think that the errors present a good opportunity to learn, but there is a risk, many people are attracted by the opportunity to criticise other people. This behaviour is really criticisable.

In ASO we had some people that enjoyed talking about errors and goofs made by some people or institutions in Bolivia, criticizing them a lot. One of them, more than a decade and a half ago, after some years in ASO, left us, because his first goal is made himself famous (really, he said it!); he made a small group few time later, and he start a relationship with, according his old words: these bad and inutile people and institutions from one can't expect anything. No matter if they don't know about astronomy, they are good for his interests, and immediately take contact with them.

One more ASO member left our institution, for similar reasons. ASO was not the soil that he want to build his personal benefit.

This kind of people is not the stuff that ASO needs and try to educate, of course. And certainly are very few. But, anybody can meet these kind of people and must be aware.

We met new groups, wich ask ASO for help to begin their activities, more interested in letterheads for their envelopes and sheets. With a dozen of members, all of them are part of the directive board, all want to be the boss. He closed their ears to our recommendations.
Other pretend to be professional astronomers or astrophysicist, but they have not a clue about elemental topics.

We avoid talk about these things in more detail, of course, names are not important. The moral was (and guide our relationship with anyone in Bolivia and the world) look for people that actually knows and works, if they know more than us, much better.

Someone thinks that is not good talk about these things. Certainly, is not a topic that deserves expended more time, but if we shut our mouth about these things, we are avoiding part of the truth. Truth is very important and we must pursuit for it. Here, we talk about an unpleasant topic, but is not fiction is part of the reality.

Our recommendation to people starting in astronomy activities is: Learn, work and share information; science starts with questions and the wish of know, the pleasure of discover and understand the secrets of nature is the prize. The value of certain activity is not measured for the size or pretty colours of the letterhead or the striking and important name chose, is measured by the significance of work.