Por fin I have the chance to share about my day to day life here in Maracana, Paraguay. It seems like the majority of my blog post here have been focused on vacations outside of Paraguay, rarely every giving an in sight on what my normal life is like.
Getting back to site after Vacation is always a weird feeling, it's not as if things just go straight back to normal with the relationships you had, you kind of take a few steps back every time you're gone for a long period of time, having to re-break the awkward silence due to the resentment,curiosity and/or confusion Paraguayan's in my community have when they know I am doing things that they may never be able to do or that cost a decent amount of money. It is uncomfortable definitely, but I am realizing that these Vacations or trips to Asuncion are a very healthy preventative way to keep myself from losing my mind with the general laziness, shyness, and bureaucracy of starting projects.
As I shared with you all in my last blog post, I was having some problems with my old host family before I left for Vacation, I thought that this time apart would help it out, but in reality it just showed the true colors of our relationship. After I had returned, an awkward painfull energy bounced between me, my host sister and host brother during class, it lingered on for a week, until my co-teacher and best friend, Liz Paola, stepped in and shared with my host sister that she shouldn't be absorbing what her family thinks of me, if she still cares about me. Because in truth, I love my host sister and the spunky pre-teen she is, so experiencing this pain from her, was putting me down, since the last thing I wanted way to hurt her. After talking to Liz Paola, my host sister cried in class, showing me that she too was suffering due to the misunderstanding between her brother and I, and shared to me that her Mom was mad at me. To hear that broke my heart, the people I took in as my family, who once were my ancor in the community are now just hanging on a small thread, I couldn't believe that this was happening. The days went by and it continued to tear me apart, I bundled up the courage to send my host Mom an apologizing message, hoping she could just give me an inch of her time. It went ignored. The following day I was headed out to town (Campo 9), my host Mom passed by on her moto, she stopped and with a great smile told me she wasn't mad or anything and that they had been wondering where I had been. In my mind, I was completely flabber gasted, how could this had happen, how could my host sister tell me her Mom was mad, and my host Mom tell me no, and that if she was mad that she would have told me (a trait of hers that she had told me before). So I felt a sense of relief, and excitement that I could start visiting them again. Two days later I headed over to share the afternoon Terere, it was slightly awkward showing up, at first I felt slightly ignored, questions weren't being asked, we all sat together in silence, folding table clothes, as the family went on talking about their day. After two hours or so of small chat, feeling a bit disappointed, I left their house wondering what had gone wrong, or maybe my host sister was right all this time.
Feeling a bit down about the situation, I talked to my Paraguayan novio about it all replaying every step trying to figure out why everyone was so fria with me. He then told me that his Mom told me about the chisme that had been told about me by my host family. That apparently my host Dad had told a family that the reason I have a new bed, and that I'm not home all the time, is because I am selling my sex. Because if I don't make that much money, how else would I be able to afford a new bed. Well in actuality, my dear loving Step-Dad gifted me the money to buy a new bed, as my old bed was a broken wooden bed frame that had a tendency to collapse to the floor; which of course they wouldn't want to believe. And then it all came to clear to me, this family was not necessarily in this relationship to share cultures or adopt me like their own. More likely that they hoped to get something out of our relationship, and that after the first time I told them no to lending them 300 mil for their moto bill, the resentment started. Then the disagreement with my host brother was a perfect opportunity to cut the ties, as they realized I wouldn't be giving up anything. And then being called a puta by the one family I loved and trusted the most, really opened my mind to the reality of the life I had been living, putting all my time in people who really didn't want me in the first place. I decided to visit them one last time to feel it out, just like before it felt a bit fria and now knowing what was being said, I just couldn't trust them or see any sincerity in our relationship. So rather than getting down about it, I am taking advantage of this loss and spending time with the people who I really care about and who show that they care about me.
So on that note, In the past week I have been making great memories with great people. Including Margaritas and a David Guetta and Martin Garrix concert in Asuncion with Pauline (Peace Corps site mate) and the two German volunteers, Peter and Tilly, that also live in Campo 9. Spending time with my true Paraguayan family, the family of Liz Paola, her Mom taught me how to make Mbeju and cocido, a traditional Paraguayan breakfast for cold rainy days. Mbeju is similar to a thick cheesy corn tortilla. Followed by an adventure of riding in a truck from Liz Paola's house in Itacarubi to Campo 9 (2 hours), speaking some Portuguese, and free beers. Prepping ourselves for the A's de Corazones concert in the Multi Uso. This is not only one of the most popular bands in Paraguay, it also one that I love their music, and we were in a group of people that I love hanging out with. It was Pauline, Liz Paola, my contact's daughter Sani (also one of my close friends) and her boyfriend, Julio, ( my also close friend), my contacts son Felipe and his wife, and my boyfriend Francisco... We danced the entire night away... I then followed up the next day at a BBQ/ soccer game with Francisco work, all the people at his work are incredibly nice people, that I love hanging out with... Before I would get sad, realizing the trend that most of the people that like me are outside of my community, but now I'm realizing that it shouldn't be sad, I should be happy to know that at least that I have people. And that I am still sticking to my Peace Corps duty of sharing cultures, just not as much within my community; which is okay. For now I am stuck home sick with a throat infection and body aches, but I can't complain, I am doing the best I can.
Eco-Bench building in my Colegio
Playing in the rain with my students
Lindo Eco Benches
David Guetta concert matching outfits!
Margaritas!?!?!?!??!?! So delicious!
Learning to make Mbeju with Liz Paola
Riding to Campo 9 in a big ol' truck
Headless baby house, that fell from my roof.
Francisco and I leaving for the concert :)
Liz Paola and I! :)
Mis mejor amigos Paraguaype
At the BBQ/Soccer work event. <3