The rainless days of winter have finally ended as I’ve passed my 1-year mark in Paraguay. Now everything, the climate, the flora and the fauna has a somewhat familiar feeling to it. The last of the citrus fruits of winter have fallen and now the green mangoes and avocados are starting to grow reminding me that in just a few months we’ll be eating fresh mangoes and making guacamole once again. While it’s not the typical Fally weather I grew used to in Missouri as it’s the second time I’m going through Noche de Halloween and the like here in Paraguay it seems surprisingly familiar. It’s Spring here in Paraguay and the animals are out once more, especially the lizards and yes even a few snakes. While I have yet to encounter any tarantulas like last year I did find a tiny black scorpion in my shower one morning. For those that followed my blog posts from last year you’ll remember how common it is to find animals in bathrooms here in Paraguay.
PCV Visit and Reflections
A few weeks ago I hosted two future volunteers, Grace and Nari, at my site. While last year the PCV visit meant my first trip outside of my training community this year the trainee had become and the trainer and now I was somehow seen as an expert in Guarani. (not quite the case but I have definitely improved) The visit made me realize how lucky I am to be where I am in Capilla Cue. Here I’m not too far from 2 cities and the Capitol yet still surrounded by plenty of nature and a short walk along the sand bottomed stream leads to our community’s secret waterfall. It might not be Iguaza but it certainly is a treat, especially during summer.
Paraguay Verde 2
Those of you on Facebook should’ve seen all the fotos I posted from the second addition of the national environmental youth camp, Paraguay Verde. This time round I attended with two of our younger members of AJAC, our local environmental club. Fabi and Nery both had a wonderful time and even brought some worms to start composting in their backyards.
Just 2 weeks after Grace and Nari’s visit, a group of 5 future volunteers and my former Guarani profesora from Guarambare came to visit my site. It was slightly stressful organizing housing for everyone and while one of the volunteers got a little sick the rest of the week was great. We tried some honey straight from the harvest, swam in the creek underneath our secret waterfall and planted mucuna, a nitrogen-fixing cover crop in the field in between rows of corn. We also helped cut up some more bamboo to fill in some gaps in the fence surrounding the Puesto de Salud’s vegetable garden. This is part of my effort to re-start the Puesto’s garden and the first priority is protection from the chickens. Chickens in Paraguay are like the aliens in Signs in that if there is a way into the house or the garden they will find a way.
So, I’m making some more progress on diversifying my garden beyond just veggies. The papaya plants I’ve been nurturing from seed are starting to get taller and hopefully they’ll have fruit before I have to leave Paraguay. I also recently transplanted 2 banana plants from Don Emigdio and my passion fruit vine is coming along as well. I’ve even planted some ginger root that I picked up from a Super in Asuncion and 2 pineapple plants that a neighbor gave me though the later will certainly not be ready to eat before I leave next year.
Coming up soon….
With Turkey Day just around the corner I’m planning to put my cooking skills to the test as I prepare some holiday classics to share with friends at a Thanksgiving get together next week. Turkey Day is also a big reminder of how fast time is flying by. Next week is my last official day of English Class in the High School as school ends at the end of this month. I’m still trying to push ahead with our environmental youth club’s effort to build a wall made out of soda bottles filled with trash though we’re still short on supplies so that way turn into a 2013 project. I also just received a kit of cameras as part of the Ahecha Paraguay Peace Corps photography workshop. I only have the cameras until December so this month I will be organizing a photography class with some local youth. I’ll be sure to share some of the best pics on here. And, most exciting of all, in just about a month I will be leaving Paraguay for the first time in over a year to reunite with friends and fam for a Christmas American style. I’m looking so forward to seeing old faces in person, hearing Christmas music on the radio and eating A LOT of all American and Chinese, Mexican, etc food that you just can’t find downunder in Paraguay.