Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Let me start by saying, nearly every dish in Paraguay is centered on yucca/ Maneyoka (which I think is a Cassava). My host family eats a lot of meat and soup, as well as, many traditional Latin American dishes. So far, I’m enjoying myself.
The day starts with a small breakfast around 7:00 am, followed by a huge lunch during siesta time at 12:00pm, and the day ends with a medium-sized dinner at 8:00pm. Also, every hour throughout the day I have some type of hard bread and a hot liquid, i.e.: tea, coffee, or mate (don’t forget, it’s winter down here).
What do I do every day?
My days here are pretty structured:
Monday through Saturday I have training.
6:45: wake up. Walk to the bathroom, flip up the hot water tank and take a shower.
7:30-7:45 have breakfast in my room and rush out the door.
7:46: walk to school with another Peace Corps volunteer, Julie (she’s my neighbor)8:00-11:30: I have Spanish-language training.
11:30-1:00: siesta time, I go home for huge lunch with host my family
1:00-5:00: technical training
After five: TIEMPO LIBRE
One by one flaming balls of fire were thrown into the crowd. As one ball died out another was tossed into the crowd. At one point there were about three or four balls being kicked around. It was awesome!Of course in accordance with Murphy's Law, the people who attempted to avoid the fireballs the most had the most dramatic contact with it. One of the other PCV’s (Julie my neighbor), was hiding in a corner to avoid the obvious chaos of the festival, when a ball of fire was kicked at her. Naturally, it landed on her shoulder burning her jacket and ultimately leaving a good-sized scar on her hand.
During the festival, all the Peace Corps volunteers received a big welcome to the barrio by all the neighborhood kids. At one point there about 20, 5-10 year-old boys shouting at me in Guarani (of which I cannot speak one word). As soon as they realize I could not speak Guarani the s-it hit the fan; they pointed at me for a good 20 minutes, and when they were not pointing and laughing, they shared with me their wide knowledge of American cuss words. It was the best San Juan Day ever!
The top three things I want to do while in South America is go to at least one Carnival, hike the Inca Trail, and backpack down Argentina. If any of these things interest you, you know where to find me. I can start taking vacations about five months from now (July 1st 2008).
Saturday, June 14, 2008
So, tomorrow will mark my first full week in Today, I sat around the house while my host sister Delia, she practiced her singing. She is a professional singer… I think, SOME parts of oure conversations gets lost in translation. But she is amazing. My host mom is around 75 years old. She owns a store right next to the Peace Corps training headquarters. Usually once a day I bring other volunteers there, and they end up buying something. I joke that I get commission in hard bread.
So, tomorrow will mark my first full week in
Today, I sat around the house while my host sister Delia, she practiced her singing. She is a professional singer… I think, SOME parts of oure conversations gets lost in translation. But she is amazing. My host mom is around 75 years old. She owns a store right next to the Peace Corps training headquarters. Usually once a day I bring other volunteers there, and they end up buying something. I joke that I get commission in hard bread.
(8:00pm on June 7th 2008) I realize all I eat in
May, 29th 2008
May, 29th 2008
Never in my life have I been placed in such an ambiguous situation. The last three days have been an emotional ride, filled with changing people, places, and events. Three days ago, I arrived off a plane in
The next day, I nervously walk into a room filled with my fellow Peace Corps volunteers. We'll mirrored the same nervous and anxious feelings. Over the next couple of days, we began to bond with each other and begin what some call the “beginning lifelong friendship”
Two days later, ( May 30th 2007) I arrived in
Over the next COUPLE OF hours our group would come to learn vital information about our stay in
As I embrace the members of my host family, so many thoughts filled my head. I thought, “well this is great, my Spanish is terrible, my Guarani is nonexistent, and I have almost no idea about Paraguay and its culture, WHAT am I going to do with these people and”. But I did have one bright thought. About half of our volunteers were told that they would be taken out to a far distant rural community. I thought how lucky I was to be not one of them.