Monday, December 21, 2009

Welcome to Carapegua

So it’s been six days now since I’ve arrived in site, and they go really fast! Without the structure of training and need to be somewhere I now take advantage of the freedom I have to: read, study Spanish, sleep, eat. Repeat. And text and call people on the phone. A lot. Peace Corps gives us phones that we can call other volunteers with for free for the first ten minutes. And the phone just happens to come with a nifty timer that we can set to hang up the call at 9 minutes and 55 seconds. So we’ll be talking having a conversation when one person will say “OH THREE SECONDS” the phone will hang up. The person will call back and continue the convo where we left off. This terrific little cell phone is helping us out through this transition period, having been so used to seeing and talking to each other everyday we can still continue to do so.

The swearing in ceremony was very nice, It was at the American embassy at 10 am. Apparently this embassy is the nicest one in South America with the best grounds, and it was very pretty. Also apparently there is a deer living in the grounds. I saw the crossing sign! While waiting for the ambassador to arrive all sat under this open part of a building (I think the ambassadors house) next to a waterfall that looked like it could be used to take prom pictures next to (which is what we did). Once she came Don, our country director, spoke, followed by the ambassador and then by Charles, one of our very own, who did a terrific 5 min speech! The press was there taking pictures the whole time and apparently the next day we were in the paper, but I didn’t get to see it .
After we had the cake everyone talks about, it was very good, and left the embassy for the PC office. We can come to the embassy anytime to use the pool now that we are volunteers! At the office we waited around to get our cell phones and repack some bags, then headed out to San Bernadino for the goodbye party of G25, the group swearing out. The party was at a really nice hotel with a pool, we were served dinner and then danced the night away. Of course I got sick this weekend with a tiny cold, I’ve only been here for 11 weeks totally fine but when the party weekend comes I get sick. Oy. But it was still fun.
The next day we took the 2 and a half hour bus ride back to Asuncion and to the Chaco hotel where we stayed until Tuesday. On top of the Chaco hotel was a pool and in the distance you could see Argentina, very nice. That weekend was really fun, we needed it as well. A weekend to just hang about, not have to tell any h fams where we were, could come and go as we pleased and had lots of good (expensive) food. Then Tuesday came…a sad day. A few of us had left early that weekend to get to their sites, but most of us waited for the last day. I took the bus to Carapegua at 12 and go there at 2:30 ready to face my moldy bed bug room. Once I got off the bus Rebecca came to help me move my 4 bags (4!) (and yes I still have more at the PC office, I don’t want to talk about it). We brought them to the house I stayed at last time and Rebecca left, I took a shower and quickly went to the internet café (cyber). 2 hours later I got a call from Rebecca saying I couldn’t stay in that house. I was ecstatic! I didn’t want to live there anyway because of the bed bugs and mold, apparently the woman there wasn’t comfortable with a stranger in the house (although she was fine last time I was there) or another story was her son (who lives w his wife and kid down the road) didn’t want anyone using his room. Whatevs. I was happy. 9 pm that night Rebecca and I were throwing my stuff into bags to move out of the house and I went to her house for the night. The next day I moved into a friend of my contacts house, a retired science teacher, with a very nice family. We went to a talk on nutrition (the food here is so much better and nutritious than what I’m used to!!) they took me to their fams house in the country where I got to ride a horse, and they show me around. The husband is older and, while he’s very nice, we have the same convo every day. Yes there’s snow in NJ, did I know there’s a lot of north Americans in the town up the road, all mormons run by Armond Smith, do I know him? It’s actually pretty funny. He loves to talk about NJ and the Christmas lights. He’ll say “en Nueva Jersey (he pronounces it Jersay) there are a lot of Paraguayans. I’m going to go in your suitcase to visit Nueva Jersay” hehe.
Then yesterday she told me that I need to move out…. Her husband is sick and she is overwhelmed. So I will be packing my stuff up and moving once again. We were told to have patience and be flexible, so I take it all with a smile on my face. Of course in my head I’m thinking about when I can move into my own house…and only 3 more days till Christmas eve! Here I’ll be spending it with a fam I just met. How peace corps of me!

all the stuff i had to pack before swearing in!!
the cake we got to say thanks to our teachers
the saddest moment. tom the hot dog watching us leave him :(
something yummy i ate in asunción
the rooftop pool w view of argentina
horseback riding in the campo
birthday party at my contacts house. that´s her and her fam
one of the kittens that live outside my house now

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