“You get from this life what you have the courage to ask for.” – Oprah Winfrey
June 20, 2014
During a recent visit to my host family, I was finishing dinner and talking affectionately to the cat when the pet parrot, Loro, yells “BUENO!” to me with a quantity of undue authority. In Paraguay when said like this, it is the equivalent of “shut up” or “enough!”, though it’s usually spoken by humans to animals, not the other way around. Then he whistled, lowered his voice, and gave me a most seductively drawled “Hola…” (English translation: How YOU doin’?) I expected a marriage proposal by breakfast. Polly may just want a cracker, but I think Loro wants a wedding!
Loro’s favorite words: Hola (Hello), Bueno (enough or ok), Ocho (8), Si (yes or if), Mama, Cuatro (4)
“Tell your life as a love story.” – Meg Worden
June 4, 2014
You know you’ve reached a new level of intimacy with a favorite Paraguayan family when, over lunch at their house, they feel comfortable asking how flatulent you will get after eating their beans, then they ask again very publicly at the neighbor’s memorial service like we’re simply speculating the weather, and again on the walk home among half the neighborhood (are North American bodies different?). Of course the topic blasted off when I helped them fix their biodigester this morning (with an ode to “essence of methane”) and the vaporous jokes were flying left and right. Instead of getting fired up I’ve learned it’s far less volatile to just play along and not put up a stink. The day was a total gas!