My South American Adventure Part 1 (Argentina)

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I’m not one for excuses so, I know it’s been a while, but here’s the first installment of my “South American Adventure” blog recaps. After saying goodbye to Paraguay, the landlocked gem I called home for 2 years, I set off on the adventure of a lifetime. First stop on my journey was Argentina. I only had a few days to get from Asuncion, Paraguay to Santiago, Chile, where I was to meet my brother, so I chose to save Argentina’s world famous capitol for another trip and instead take the “shortcut” through Corboda and Mendoza. Continue reading

14 Hashtags in #Guaraní

It’s 2014 and it’s my first year in the States after living in Paraguay and serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years. Paraguay is a landlocked country of over 6 million people in the heart of South America. There are many things that set Paraguay apart from its neighbors but none more so than the reverence for Guaraní, the indigenous language of the Guaraní Indians, still spoken by 90% of Paraguayans. In fact, Facebook just launched in Guaraní two months ago. 

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, learning at least a few words and phrases in Guaraní is a must. In honor of National Peace Corps Week and to  help fulfill the Third Goal of the Peace Corps “to strengthen Americans’ understanding about the world and its people,” I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite words and phrases in Guaraní. I also just recently learned that last year #hashtags and GIFs were a big deal, so I thought this format would be the most appropriate for a 21st Century cultural exchange. 

#Oiko means “it works” or “it’ll do.” If you want to add more emphasis you can say Oikoite which translates to “that really works very well.” You can also use this phrase when talking about food that tastes really good. So forget the #numnum and use this new #hashtag for all your food pics on Instagram.

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Back in the Home of the Brave

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It’s official. I’ve now been back in the land of the free and home of the brave for over a month. In November I completed my two years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer. After leaving Paraguay I finally realized my longtime dream of a South American adventure with stops in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. I hope to post a recap of my trip with some pics soon, but in the meantime, here’s some thoughts on my readjustment to the homeland.

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My Proudest Moment

Peace Corps Paraguay is certainly a rollercoaster with plenty of ups, downs and more commonly those sharp, unexpected turns during which time the camera flashes taking your picture while you try your best to fake a smile.

But along the ride come a few special moments where you do feel like what you’re doing matters. Among all the little things here and there that I’ve worked on over the last 2 years my proudest moment came during our third bi-annual national youth environmental leadership camp “Paraguay Verde” or  “Green Paraguay” in English.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so to save you from having to read thousands more of my words here just check out the video slideshow I put together recapping the 3 day camp in Paraguay’s cleanest city, Atyra, and prepare to be inspired, I hope.