Che ahokuri asuncionpe
As I am writing this, I am trying to keep cool, seated in my underwear with a thermos of Paraguay's infamous wine and coke combo, while feeding Pedro (my dog) the half of roasted chicken I bought for him yesterday. The sun has set, it is pitch black at the early hour of 7:30 and outside of the two room brick house I live in, the cows are Moo-ing, the dogs are howling, crickets chirping, and I'm thankful that I have a four legged friend to share my new home with.
First let us rewind ourselves to a week ago, when I went to Asuncion for the memorial of our volunteer Porter Knight. The preparation for that trip, as well as the experience of the trip, and returning back to site set the entire week up with a somber tone and constant re-evaluation of my service in Peace Corps and life after. The loss of Porter hit us all very hard, though some of us were close to him and some us only recognizing the face, we were all brought together to celebrate the life of an amazing human being, who is an exquisite example of what a Volunteer should aim to be, and what all of us as humans should aim to be. Porter is known for being a quiet soul, every word that left his mouth was filled with purpose, he was always willing to help out, loved sharing his love for the environment and was loved by his community for being calidad (quality). This is the first time in my life where I have known someone who has passed away at such a young age, with such little explanation, and for reasons out of our control. One of the many reasons this is such a hard event to process is that what had happened to him, could happen to any of us here. And like most moments in life that are rooted by loss, it refreshed my mind and heart on the importance of being the best you can be in life, putting people and moments that bring happiness, and to never stop loving the people close to you and as well as those not close to you. For me I use Porter as inspiration to be a better volunteer, and like he did, to reach out more and share my passion for animals and nature, something that has been very difficult for me, due to language and cultural differences.
Though Asuncion did bring some good moments like the opportunity to see all of my friends from my swear in group (G-43), we spent the evening making nachos and pad thai, using what we could find in
the super, it truly was an amazing night, filled with tons of love and cuddling, as human touch is very much lacking in all of our lives. As well, I set out on an adventure with my good friend Michael to find a Korean restaurant, on the way we stopped by a leather shop for a cow hide for his new house, and some how ended up looking at pelts of a hand full of threatened species, that were pulled out from a dusty hidden portion in the back. I wasn't thrilled about seeing them, but Michael rest assured me, that this is Peace Corps you got to give everything a chance, and it'll be a good story.
A positive note to this trip to Asuncion, is that I was able to show my boss photos of my house, which hopefully would grant be permission to move in once I got back to site. Under the condition that I put a few more locks on my windows in the future, I was able to move into my house. When I got back to site, I told my host family immediately, although it was sad to leave them, I was way to anxious to move in, as I have a lot of things I would like to work on that I haven't been able to and to have control on my diet. I packed up all my things (which was surprisingly a lot), gathered up some colegio boys to move my things, went to town bought a fridge and oven, and head out to my house last Friday, even though it was without running water. This however didn't seem to be a problem, as most of you may remember, I bucket bathed for most of my time in Ghana. So as of last Friday I have been in my new house, sharing my bed with my host family's puppy, Pedro, whom I was gifted, and in this moment, I would argue that Pedro eats better than me, but that will change shortly once I get to town.
And lastly, I installed an internet tower, so I am skypeable for all who want me, it's a three hour time difference, generally 9-10 am or 3-6 pm your time works best for me. I have been keeping myself busy with my class in the colegio, an online class through Oregon state on teaching english as a second language, planning out my garden, and getting back a healthy lifestyle.
Korean food, Michael mi amigo, good times in Asuncion.