I’ve officially been in Paraguay for 23 months. Its defiantly been an emotional rollercoaster like they told us it would be in training. But there have, luckily, been more ups than downs. Well that’s besides the point.
This blog entry isn’t about my feelings or any of that. I wanted to take you on a tour of my “crib”. Instead of the tv show about the life of the rich and famous and their houses, cars and excess of unnecessary things, there should be a show about how us peace corps volunteers survive.
The volunteers in Paraguay are very spoiled. Every volunteer has electricity. Thanks to the Itaipu Dam one of the worlds largest hydroelectric dams which is split between Brazil and Paraguay. Almost all volunteers have running water, and if they don’t they have a well. If the volunteer brought a computer they have internet, thanks to Tigo and their internet modem. We all have fans, without a fan you would literally die. If the volunteer has a modern bathroom, which is likely unless they live way far out in the middle of no where, their shower will have a hot water head. Some have coffee pots, tvs, electric heaters, blenders, pressure cookers, comfortable beds, hot water heaters, electric ovens and other fun things.
I don’t know of any volunteers that have a washing machine but now days almost every Paraguayan household has a washing machine. There was once a volunteer I knew that had air conditioner, chuchi, but she finished her service. Other than her I am not aware of volunteers with air. But again these days in Paraguay it is becoming very common to have air conditioner. The poor little fan isn’t enough.
As for the style of the house there are a few basic designs. If you live in the “campo”, you house would most likely be made out of wood planks with a tin roof. The floor may be compacted mud, concrete, brick or tile. Other stiles of house are brick, which is cheaper, with a white wash finish. Then that white wash can be painted one or two of many beautiful colors.
My current house, where I’ve been for a year, is very nice. When I was preparing to come to Paraguay I would have never have guessed I would be living in a house with such great commodities and in such comfort, besides the humidity and bugs. Thanks to the volunteer who lived in San Salvador for 4 months before I came, I have a tv, which as helped improve my Spanish. In my house I have a living room with a big table and six chairs, two bedrooms, each room with a double bed and mattress, a modern bathroom with a hot shower, kitchen fully equipped with shelves, sink, stove and fridge. All of which came with the house, except the comfy mattress I bought. I pay 300 mil a month for rent which is about $75. My electricity bill is usually 30 mil or $7.50 and my water costs 13 mil, $3.25. It doesn’t seem like much, but being a peace corps volunteer I don’t get paid a ton so after rent, electricity and water it takes about a quarter of my monthly allowance. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of the only things that really sucks is washing clothes by hand, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it and will be very thankful for the washing machine when I get home.
My back yard is a mini forest filled with pomelo and mango trees. I have one mandarin tree and some other trees without fruit. Right now is pomelo season and I LOVE pomelo juice. I don’t have any animals but it looks like I do since my yard is always full of chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, dogs and the occasional cow that all belong to my neighbors. Sometimes I have the urge to kill them all but then everyone would hate me. Only if I take a neighbor some food will they give me an egg or two. They should really pay me for the food I feed them.
Here are some pics of my beautiful house and all its glory! Enjoy.