It has been awhile, hasn't it?
Since I last wrote on here, I was describing my application process into the Peace Corps, and that the following message would be the life of an actual Peace Corps Volunteer. Well it has been so long since my last post that I would rather save the life of an actual Peace Corps Volunteer for another day, sounds good? Not like you all have an opinion on the matter. So here I go.
In the past month or so, I have gone to Carnaval in the lovely city of Encarnacion. It was quite the experience to watch the Carnaval parade traditions of beautiful woman and men walking down the street in elaborate clothing, which took me back to the weekends I had spent in Vegas with my friends in College. While watching this parade, nearly everyone is a wild craze of squirting foam at each other's faces that it is in the best interest of your sight to buy the clear lens sunglasses sold out front- though I didn't take my own advice and just closed my eyes, as Peace Corps has made me quite stingy with my money. Though Carnaval wasn't the main attraction, that made me love this mini get away, it was the beautiful river beach we frolicked at during the day. I spent my day, swimming in the river, over looking at Argentina on the other side, and sipping a Margarita with Jose Tequila, how amazing it was, and made me so nostalgic for my Santa Barbara life at the beach.
My friend Hilary and Jacqueline!
When I returned from Encarnacion to my family in Maracana, I felt the same excitement of "Ahhh, I'm finally home", that I used to have as a little girl pulling into my drive-way, and most recently in the states the moment you make your final turn heading south on the 101 to Santa Barbara, and is just a 30 minute straight shot of the ocean and all its beauty. This is now how I feel when I'm walking up the pathway into my host family's house. I feel lucky to have created such a great positive relationship with this family, without them I don't know where I would be, and I know definitely without them I wouldn't be understanding as much Guarani, as I am now.
My hermana y hermano.
So as well as living day to day life, waking up, making breakfast, cleaning the house, sitting around, passing out invitations to my Peace Corps meeting for the community with my Bosses which is tomorrow! How exciting, I have been negotiating out my living situation for the next two years, and have landed with a sweet deal. Across the street from my house, lives my host mom's nephew (22) who is still living with his parents and siblings, may I note a very common thing for men to do at all ages. This young man had started building a house, as a way to spend the extra money he had, but he had no intention of living it before he has a wife. So that's when I come in--- have you all guessed it yet? I'm getting engaged to live in his house, genius right??????
No, don't worry I have not lost all my common sense, I'm not engaged, but I have agreed to finish off the installments for the house, roof, floor, bathroom, water pump to my well, electricity, and then I can live in it for two years without having to pay an additional rent. What a bangin deal- only tough part is all the money I had to put out upfront to finish off the house, that for my first few weeks living there, I may or may not have a fridge, stove, or bed.. Should be fun.
I helped with digging up the dirt and placing it in my house!
I have also have done endless amounts of thinking on life because that just how much free time I have, I have been getting into reading which is fun, I play with my family's puppy and have been trying to train him, but I don't think it helps that I end up speaking Guarani, Spanish and English at him, poor little guy. But he is just the sweetest- se llama Pedro!
I also have been getting into running in the evenings, which I love. It gives me the opportunity to have time alone, listening to my music, and admiring the beautiful Paraguayan skylines. Here is the road that I run on that borders soy fields, with small little pockets of forest.
This past Monday I started my lecture series in the local high school on gardening. I plan to use the huerta (garden) as an education tool, to teach all the fun things about science, life and eating healthy. This week I'm starting off on teaching the kids about the difference between a conventional garden and an organic garden, what an ecosystem is and the relationship between abiotic and biotic elements. It is so cool to finally be working with the high school kids in the community.
Thanks to all of you who continue to check in on me :) love you all!