Day Three… A Humble Reminder

I’ve decided that learning a new language is incredibly humbling. A communication barrier like this quickly makes an otherwise intelligent woman feel like a toddler, both of whom resort to hand gestures and occasional verbal babbling when the correct word escapes them. However, I’m proud to say that, unlike a toddler, I replace tantrums with a smile and a laugh at myself ;). My family is not afraid to laugh at me either so we all try to have a good time with it. There are moments though when one of us is really trying to make a point and it just doesn’t happen, despite use of the dictionary which has become a permanent fixture at my side. I learned never to leave my room without it! haha

The roosters started their wake up calls about 3am today, which was no problem as I’ve learned to ignore them. By 6am there was a plethora of songbirds singing their delights in the trees around the house. The other bird here is the family’s parrot, Lodo. He lives on the patio on his circular perch, unable to fly, and sleeps in the kitchen at night. The bonus: he talks.Typical foods here are simple and plain. Spices are not common other than salt. Mandioca (yucca root) is similar to a potato and served as a starch along with meat and my host Mom’s plain, nondescript Paraguayan cheese at nearly every meal. The Paraguayan version of yogurt (yogur) is more like cream and is served by pouring in a cup. Of course, corn, rice and beans abound (yay!) and my family usually has some type of fruit as well. Yesterday I watched host Dad, Señor Julian, use the cornmill to grind dried corn into cornmeal for the cow (vaca) and the tiny despensa (mini mart) in the house. Señora Maria Celestina milks the cow to make the cheese. The water here is fine to drink. It’s when I move to my project site in December that I need to be careful. While Paraguay has the largest, cleanest aquifer in the world, household and surface water become contaminated through the delivery systems and pollution so extreme caution is advised.PS – Note to teachers….Peace Corps has a correspondence program with US schools. You can be assigned randomly to a volunteer or you can specify a volunteer (like me ;D). Check out the link below and, if you´d like your class to participate with me, give them my name!

Ok, I’ve got to run, get some breakfast and do some homework for class tomorrow. I hope that you enjoy learning about Paraguay along with me. Thanks for your thoughts and support! xoxo

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