Today was a lovely 25 Celsius, which means… it was hot. I write this soon after reading that my real Mom back home is using her furnace nearly every night now. I am not envious of this. Apparently the weather in Paraguay comes in waves. It starts cool and warms a bit each day until it’s oppressive then it rains and cools down again. We’re on a warming trend until Wednesday. Luckily I love the heat and will take oppressive heat over cold any day.
Sundays are a family day in this household. I think somewhere between 17-20 people were here, all immediate family, so we ate lunch in shifts. Not organized shifts; it just happened. And lunch preparation seemed to ‘just happen’ too, without a lot of discussion. Vegetables were peeled, meat prepared, cabbage shredded, tables set, etc almost magically. Everything is very ‘tranquilo’. No one is ever, EVER in a hurry, even when things become urgent, like an uncle nearly running over the dog, but somehow it always works out and comes together ‘just in time’. Not surprisingly, people frequently use the term ‘tranquilo’ with me when I appear to be stressed, whether not understanding the conversation or trying to make something happen. They look at me, lower their hands toward the floor, and say ‘tranquila’ (basically, “Chill out, Chickie!”). Paraguayan culture will be VERY good for me! People came and went all day, mostly came. All were incredibly friendly and tried valiantly to include me in their conversations. Despite myself, I do learn many new words every day and my host sister is determined to help me learn the native tongue, guarani (wah-rah-NEE). While it is a beautiful and intriguing language, with a few exceptions it is nothing like Spanish. For example, is there anything about the word Mba’eichapa (ba-A-shappah) that hints it means ‘hello?’ Or that Ka’a Hee (ka-ah-hay) means ‘peaches’? I didn’t think so either. I have my work cut out for me because I’m learning both languages simultaneously (it’s times like this I wish I had my 22 year old brain back).Ok, I’m off to do homework as my battery is nearly spent. Talk soon!