Sunday, July 19, 2009

more pics

my mom on right, aunt across from here and my gma next to her.

michel and i on the radio show

the carpinchos in villarica

my family

pushing the wheel barrel collecting cow shit

4th of july party at the embassy

angelic´s birthday party awhile ago. angelic me and mary

my bath in the kitchen. to the right were the chickens they didn´t fit in the pic

Taking a bath with chickens

So its been a fun two weeks. Sorry i didn´t update last week. Sunday is usually the day I use the internet, and last sunday i spent in bed, with mary on the trundle part of my bed, eating empanadas and oreos. yes oreos. i went to san lorenzo last saturday with ronell and mike and bought 5 packs of oreos. along with my first equipo for terere. so about last sunday, just didnt have any energy to walk the 4km to the internet. It may have had something to do with the awesome dance party we had the night before at davids house. who knows?!

Monday the 14th I went with mike, brad, adam, and michel on our long field excursion. we went to a place called arroyos y esteros to visit a rural economic developement volunteer, mateo. my host family there was much different than my host family in passo de oro. Lillian, the mother, was 26 with a 9 year old son. and a man was there too, can´t remember his name, he didn´t say much.

anyways....we arrived monday around 930 and went straight to work. we were supposed to cosechar mamons but it was bad weather so we hoed some land or abut an hour. after we went back to our host families for lunch. lunch was good, and after we were just sitting around the carbon fire-stove thing talking and lillian started telling me about a miscarrage that she had 4 months ago. the next thing i know is she said something to her son and he left and came back with a the jar was the baby. i was shocked. i didn´t have any idea of what to say, especially in spanish. so i just ooked, nodded my head and said nothing. finally the little boy took the jar away. luckily it was time to go and meet back up with the group.

Tuesday we went into the larger pueblo for the day. first we met with a large coopthat exports cana de azucar or sugar cane. they export and use fair trade so they are doing pretty well. it was very interesting. then we went to prepare for our charla skit thing that we were going to give to a coop of women who are the presidents o smaller coops or comites. mateo wanted us to do a skit that showed how samples work at places like farmers markets. they loved it, they thought we were a bunch of clowns. later tuesday we went to a local radio station to talk a little about health, and germs because the H1N1 flu is a big deal down here right now. paraguay and argentina are on health alerts or whatever its called. we also sang a few songs together, mateo played his guitar and sang in guarani. tuesday was also mikes birthday.

wednesday the boys went out into the chacra to cut cana de azucar while michel and i played in the huerta. we built some tablons and transplanted lettuce. after we sat and drank terere. later that afternoon we learned how to make compost or food for the worms. we had to go into the cow/ox field and collect wet poop. i was in charge of pushing the wheel barrel. then we learned the proper steps in mixing poop, leaves, and fresh dirt to make gormet food for the lombriz. this particular farmer uses the castings from the lombriz as abono or his crops. its apparently the best fertilizer ever for crops.

it was my third day there and it was time to tak a shower. i was trying t put it off for as long as i could. but we were doing the birtday party for mike later that night and i had spent a lot of my day playing with cow shit. my host mother lillian boiled me some water and i mixed it with some colder water. she had her son and the man close the door to the room they were in across rom the kitchen. because the kitchen didn´t have a door or a curton. yes, my shower/bath was to be taken in the kitchen, in a tire, next to 6 chickens. there was a window with a white sheet that i coud totally see through and while standing in the tire, at the right angle i could see the street. there was water boiling on the carbon fire and lillian was making empanadas on the other side of the see through sheet. i stood there or a second planning on how i was going take my shower. in the middle of the tire/bucket bath/shower experience i thought to myself how crazy of a situation i was in , and how silly i looked. oh and i forgot to mention that the toilet was a latrine behind the house with three tin walls, the door was a black trash bag with a big hole in the middle of the bag and no roof. the hole in the floor was smaller than a dollar bill.

so wednesday night after my shower we had a small birthday party or mike. it had been raining all ady and that night i woke up about 3 am to pee. i had to run outside and pee in the rain. and had t change all of my clothes beore getting back into my sleeping bag. because i was soaking wet. thursday we did the same skit to a different womens coop . the day was pretty tranquilo. then friday am we had a charla given by a girl who is rm the uk and works for the producer side of fair trade. we learned all about it, and i am now a believer and want to be a follwer.

last night mikes mom and a surpise birthday party for mike. during the party carrie and i walked to my moms store to buy more wine, and while we were in the store there was a drunk guy. yelling crazy things in guarani. a woman had bought a large bag of rice and needed help carring it. so drunk man decided to help. throws the bag over his sholder, and fell straight back. hillarious.

anways...we find out our sites a week from tomrrow. super excited. i hope its close to here, i am going to miss my family, and neighbors.

miss you all.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Another Week In Paraguay

So I forgot to tell you about the charlas at the elementry school that we did while on our trip to Villarica. The school director wanted us to give charlas about deforestation and the importance of trees. So Mary and I worked together, giving charlas to a 1st grade class and a 6th grade class. The kids for the most part know whats up, but getting them motivated to replace the tress they are cutting down for carbon, houses, furniture, and more land for agriculture is going to be difficult. The deforestation in Paraguay is crazy. There is hardly any rainforest left in the eastern side of the country.

Ok now to this week. Last sunday I went to the futbol games and dance as normal. All is well at the chancha. Mike another trainee went to the dance for the first time, and he really enjoyed himself, he danced with Lucy. Hopefully the other trainees parents will let them go this week. Most of their moms are crazy strick and hardley let them leave thier houses. Most of them are having a hard time with it people they are older and arn´t used to having someone tell them they need to be home before dark, and if they are late their moms will call all the other moms. My mom is pretty cool about going places as long as i am with someone she can trust.

Monday we had our second spanish intervie. I am at the level needed, so i won´t be getting kicked out of paraguay any time soon. hopefully. Mary gave her charla during the tech session about small businesses in paraguay, we went to a ladies house who makes ¨dulce de mani¨basically sugar and peanut butter. super rico.

Thrusday was our 3rd dia de practica which has been getting us more ├»ntegrated¨into the community. Mary and I are working with her grandma who makes and sells fleece pants and sweat shirts. We had her tell us about all the women in the community who either make and item such as clothing, dulces, chipa, sopa paraguaya, or sell items such as milk, yuyos, or lottery. There were about 20 women in our commuinty who do these things. The next dia de practica we need to give a charla, our trainers will watch us, and we are going to do a test run with explaining what a comite de mujeres is and how they work. Mary´s mom has expressed a need for one within the community. There are a lot more women who want to sell their items but they can´t get into town because of their children. so a comite de mujeres would allow the women to work together and pool their resources. There are no organized groups here and all the other towns around have one, so it is possible with motivated women. so we´ll throw the idea out there and hopefully they run with it. but it could take some time, just like everything else.

Thrusday night carlos, mike, mary and i were sitting on my patio having a beer when Brad came over and told us we needed to go to his house ASAP, he was going to kill his first chicken. So we went. Peace Corps asks us not to post videos, or photos of animal killings. After they were dead and plucked brad´s mom gutted it and gave us a lesson on what everything was. they eat basically everything.

Friday we left at 6 am and went to Mercado Abasto the central fruits and vegi market for paraguay. Production coops sell their products to a larger coop and that larger coop sells the food in abasto. Its enormous but dirty. Their sanitation requirements arn´t very strick so you´ll see cats and dogs everywhere and you don´t know what your food has touched where its been. Therefore i try to block that out of my mind and eat the food that is given to me. After we went to the main office for INCOOP which is the organization that any coop has to register with. Its kind of like the SEC in a way. THe visit was pretty long, we got a tour of every floor and every office. After all that we went as a group to the Embassey. They had a 4th of july celebration for all americans living in paraguay on the 3rd of july. there were burgers, baked beans, hot dogs, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and beer. delecious.

Yesterday, saturday, we learned about the history of paraguay and how screwed up the government is. Really shitty. Far too complicated to explain. Right now the for the first time they have a president of a different party, not the colorado who have been in control for the past 40 years. Lugo, the president now, used to be the bishop of a state here in paraguay. Went home hung out with my mom. We were drinking terere on the steps, and my chair broke and i fell down 4 steps. hitting my head againist the steel door. not even asking if i was ok, my mom busted up laughing. i was fine, but i split the yerba everywhere. It was pretty hillarious.

Today its raining, it rained all last nigh too. the electricy went out for a bit. the roads are very mudy but mike and i made our way to the internet today. all is well. rainy and humid.