Thursday, November 19, 2009

confusion, emotions, rollercoaster

hello. so the three months that i've been in site have been quite the emotional rollercoaster. its crazy how in one day you can go from being the happy most excited preson, to very sad and wanting to go home. i feel as though i am dealing with it pretty well being as i am still here, very excited to work, and making great friends. i actually feel loved in my community.

so i moved out to calle 11 where a lot of the socios live to get to know the people out there better for a week. the family i lived with was amazing!! i mean one night we drank beer and watched pulp fiction, not even at my request. great people, really wanted to stay out there longer but, its pretty far from the ruta and its getting really really hot. therefore if i still wanted to work for the cooperative and keep the relationships i have on the ruta i'd have to ride my bike in. well i did that one day and i literally thought i was going to die! while living with that family i got a text from my current grandma who lives next door to the family i was living (am living with) with on the ruta. the text "hi liz its dolly, grandma wanted me to send you a text message to say she loves you and misses you and we are wondering when you are going to come back and visit." this was the second day i was gone out in calle 11. it felt so good to know that i am making some kind of impact to have it noticed i was gone for a few days. plus grandma rocks.

so things up in concepcion are kind of weird right now. there was a kiddnapping awhile ago, and its gotten pretty serious. there is a "terrorist" group called the EPP and they are apparently the ones who kidnapped the really rich estancia owner. well he was from the concepcion area, and so is the EPP. there have been a lot of police up here, and they are looking all around in the forest for these people. apperntly its made international news. there is a lot they arn't telling us, the people, i am pretty sure. anyways, all of us up here in concepcion were on a stand fast, which means we were allowed to leave our communities for 4 days, becuase they didn't want us traveling around where there were a lot of police in the area, so stay clear of all confrontation. that was fine, that passed and all is good. i am safe. well i think.

now that sandia season is done, and pina season doesn't start for a month its perfect time to start buliding my house!!! we had a few meetings together, cleared the space in the forest where they are going to build it, bought a few bricks, bought gas for the chain saw to cut the wood and had a meeting with the constructor. monday, bought gas. oh yeah this is after 3 months of living with families and feeling that it is time to have some space, to think, cook, and breath. tuesday, start cutting wood. i get a phone call. "stop all further construcion on your house and dont buy any more materials" i asked if i should be scared. no. apparently the situation up here is getting pretty serious, even though i feel 100% safe in my community. we have a meeting next wednesday for all the volunteers in the area. and then i'll know what is going on. if i can build the house or if i have to leave.

i really dont want to leave. i love my community, i have made some great relationships, i finally understand what is going on in the cooperative, and it would be very very difficult to start the process all over again. the one thing that keeps running through my head is the cooperative and how "development" work acutally works. so in a perfect situation, i would stay 2 years, get the people used to peace corps think of some projects, hopefully get them started. have to set up so there is an end goal to work towards. have a follow up who can start the next step, so on and so forth. well if the situation up here isn't great, and the chances of me getting a follow up arn't known, well that that sucks for the cooperative and for me, becuase i know that once i am done, thats it thats all. kinda poopy. anyways so we'll see next week.

cross your fingers and hope that....i don't know...hope for the best!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Longest trip ever....well it felt like it

Hey ya'll. Sorry I have been so bad about writing. I feel like my daily life has become so regular that things arn't so "interesting" any more. Even though I do question daily if the things I am doing would have been considered "normal" about 5 months ago, they are completly normal now.

So Danielle, Johnathan and I decided to take the boat from Concepcion down to Asuncion on the Rio Paraguay. The boat, so I hear typically takes around 18-24 hours. Both Daniell and Johnathan have tried to take the boat in the past, but things never really worked out. For Johnathan the boat left at 3:30 am when usually it is supposed to leave around 5 am. So we all decided to go. Danielle and I left our site, she is the volunteer really really close to me, on Saturday at 5 pm. We got into Concepcion at around 6:30 pm, went to Johnathans house then grocery shopping, we needed supplies for the trip. We had sent his host parents on a mission down to the port to ask around what time the boat would be coming in. His host parents talked to some people and said that the boat wouldn't be getting in until around 11 am so we didn't need to get down to the dock really really. Which sounded weird because the boat usually leaves around 5 am. So we stayed up pretty late and didn't prep completly because we were planning on doing it in the am. Well at 5:30 Johnathan's parents get a call that the boat will be at the dock in one hour. So we rush, get stuff ready, his family goes ahead of us on their moto. While walking we get a call that the boat is there and we need to hurry they are holding the boat. So we run. It is hot. We get boat. It was a different boat that his parents thought was the boat that goes to Asuncion. So we sit and waited until 11 am for the boat to get into the dock. In the meantime danielle and I took a little row boat over to the island of Chaco i ( the i sounds like e, and in guarani i means little) The boat arrived, we got on , and waited another hour for them to fix the rudder, it apparently wasn't working too great. At about 12:30 on sunday we were on our way. At 2:00 pm the boat broke down, Danielle and I swam while waiting, then we drank some Cana, the local whisky. We sat there for about an hour and a half then it was fixed and we were on our way again. Then at about 1:00 am the boat broke down again. And we sat in the same place from 1:00 am until 7:00 am. Luckely there were hamacks to sleep in, and it wasnt too hot during the night. At 7:30 am they told us the boat was broken, they wern't sure if the back up boat would be coming before or after lunch, and that if we stayed on the boat we would be getting in really late at night, monday. We were close enough to a port town that the Paraguayan navy came and picked us up on a little motor boat and dropped us off on shore in a place I think called Rosario. At 9:30 am a bus going to Asuncion showed up. We had no idea where we were or how long the bus ride would take. Well 3 hours later we got to a paved road, the bus was full and it was about 100 degrees. Then once on the paved road it was about 3 more hours to Asuncion.

All in all it was an interesting trip. The workers on the boat were great, and loved that Danielle spoke practically perfect Guarani, and we had a good time with the hamacks and cana. Maybe I'll take the boat another time, but not anytime soon, being to took pracitally two days to get here, and it usually takes 8 hrs.

Now I am in Asuncion, for about 2 days then back up to 25 de Abril. Where the Cooperative has exported more than 50,000 kilos of Sandia. Oh and about the last blog, the sandia are definatly lifted more than the number of times I wrote. All of the sandia that don't get exported are lifted at least 3 or 4 more times before sold. Good thing its delicious, I don't mind lifting it, as long as I get to eat it 8 or more times a day!!!!!!

Oh its getting really HOT!

Im on a boat

Lucy, Mary , and I at the Paraguay vs. Colombia game

David and I

Jack-o-lantern out of sandi

they all thought i was nuts, taking out the fruit and cutting a face

on the boat at sunset

drinking cana with the crazy boat man and Danielle

Johnanthan and the trix

Danielle and I in our amacas

Danielle, the volunteer who lives very close to me, i'll miss her!