Monday, July 6, 2009


its been a interesting couple of days, hanging out in Asunción with some other volunteers for some 4th of july festivities... camping out in a park in the city and going to the U.S. embassy for a cookout. trying to get back to site, couldn´t get back yesterday, so hopefully today the afternoon bus will be running.

Things have been going good out at site. I have too friends living with me now, my cat moñai and my dog stout. stout is almost 2 months old now, and growing at a pretty quick rate... i havent seen here since i was in site last wednesday, so im excited to see how much she´s grown in the past week. i finally got my garden fence finished, planted some winter abonos verdes, dug some tablones and have some small vegetable plantitas growing... in a few months it should be bountiful...

i´m currently reading ¨jitterbug perfume¨by tom robbins, which i highly recommend. this is my second tom robbins book im reading, i just read ¨half asleep in frog pajamas¨which was a great book as well. i would say to read a book by him... really gets you thinking... and the dude writes some crazy stuff.

i wonder what else you are interested in hearing about...

the lives we live down here, what our days are like...

and i wonder what its like to be living back stateside... a world of difference

10 months already... its going to be such a shock to come back home, but then again, i didnt think the shock of coming here was all that much...

times up..

much peace, and much love

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

what have i been doing!

apparently i thought i would be blogging much more than i actually am, but regardless, check out this sweet video on utube put together by some fellow voluntari@kuera here in paraguay. its good, and you´ll be able to get a pretty good idea of the lives we lead down here en la corázon de sur america. this is my first attempt to upload some pictures on my blog, after 7 months, one lost camera on a fateful night in asuncion, a new camera purchased in the streets of the aforementioned city a subsequent loss of the connecting cable which allows one to upload fotos, here they are (if they upload before i have to catch a bus). if not, well, i dont know what to tell ya.

im here in villarica, on my way out to another volunteers site in order to help him with a día de la huerta at his school, so i´m pretty excited about that. And as for updates on my situation, i moved into my house about a month ago, and it is wonderful, minus the swarms of mita´i at my house everyday due to the close (10 yards..) proximity of my house to the school. but things are getting better now that most of the children are accustomed to a large bearded norte living at the place where they go to school. my garden fence, which has taken more than a month, on and off,, should be done in the next week or two... then it´ll be time to dig and plant! perhaps you´ll be able to see it...

or perhaps not...


Thursday, February 19, 2009

its been quite a while since i last posted, and i´m sure much has happened here and elsewhere... currently i´m trying to get some music to play on this computer, as i simply want to listen to some good music, something that is muy falta here in paraguay. so where do i begin. i´ve been sick now for about one month... not about, it was exactly 4 thursdays ago that i started with my sickness. it began as a case of diarriah and general stomach pain, zero appitite... which lasted for about 5 days, then it moved into muscle and joint pain that lasted the better part of 2 weeks. then the virus (which im told it was, some tropical virus i probably got from a damn mosquito) seemed to want to appear on my skin in the form of a rash, which ive had now for a little over a week. the good news is that its starting to go away, i think, and over the past 3 or 4 days ive had much more energy than ive had in quite some time. so i´m hopefull that this thing is getting ready to exit my body, which i would be greatly thankful for... its all getting better i think..

in other news, i was rejected by the people who own the little casita i wanted to move into, saying that the guy who owned it (who went to argentina and isnt coming back in the foreseable future) wants to use the house when he does come back at the end of the year. so they didnt want to rent it out to me for 2 years, which is a bit of a bummer becasue i was looking forward to fixing up the house, making my garden, and enjoying the beautiful sunsets on my lonely paraguayan nights...
but, i have been looking into renting the little hoga´i on the property of the escuela, which has its ups and downs. i´ll be surrounded by a lot of little kids when school is in session, which will get very annoying, but it will give me a great opportunity to work in the school and try to get some pretty sweet things started there, perhaps a school garden, composting, recycling... other such things. this little house has neither the privacy or the view of the other house i was interested in living in, but right now my only real option is the house on the property of the school, so im going to try to make that work, and make the best of it.

i´m now living with my third host family, and things are going pretty well. i´ve been living with them for about 3 weeks now, and i dont think im going to switch again before i move into my own house. ive had enough of moving around and getting used to new situations, and i´m feeling pretty comfortable in this house, there are some older kids who i can talk with and do work in the fields with the sons and the father. im super excited when i get my house to set my own schedule, cook my own food, make a garden, establish some stablity in my life. i know that it will help me feel better in every way, as well as have some place of my own where i can do what i need to get done. and i know it will help me do better work, having a physical space where i can live and work.

its still hot in paraguay, as you folks are enjoying the cold days and nights of winter.

been reading some good books lately, which has been nice.

i recently finished A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Hunger by Knut Hamsun, and Hoot by Carl Hiassen... all quality books. i recomend both the dickens and Hamsun books for those of you with some extra time on your hands

and also, the poety of billy collins. i came across a collection of poetry in our libray at the peace corps office, and found it to be really good. i hope to have some more of his writings in my possession in the near future. been writing a good bit too... which has been nice.

it is nice to read and work in your own language when you are surrounded by a language that you still have trouble understanding, a lot of trouble. and although i know that i need to be working on my guarani more, when i have time to site down and study or read or write, which has been frequently lately, i dont want to read or write guarani. i want english. becasue, ive found, we have an amazing language, a language that i can express myself in, a language that is full of all kinds of amazing things. i want english, but i need guarani, so, i must continue if i have any hope of communicating with the people i am living amongst.

in town for a VAC meeting today, then i´ll be back to site later this afternoon after catching the 230 bus. this weekend should be fun. one of the daughters of the family im staying with is getting married on saturday, so the day should be filled with all sorts of things ive never seen before, and im looking foward to seeing how a paraguayan marriage goes down. lots to look foward to.

thats all from here, now.

much peace

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cuerpo de Paz

oh yeah... i forgot. the day after we swore in we made the nations largest newspaper, ABC Color. check out the link for the article, in spanish. note... los hombres are sporting mustaches and other wonderful asortments of manly facial hair. enjoy.
hola... and Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Peace to you and yours.

so ive just had the strangest christmas that ive ever experienced. first of all its hot. really hot. and i had no idea what was going on. christmas eve came by and i sat around for most of the day. then i figured out that the big celebration is a christmas eve dinner (traditionally held at midnight, but we ate at around 10). so we had a bunch of overly salted meat, mandio, chipa guasu and potato salad. it was a pretty good meal, but not like i´m used to. not like home.
things just didnt seem right. being here where i had no idea what was happening, not really feeling part of the family or the community. but christmas is over, and it wasnt that bad. my friend doug and i both traveled to a third volunteers site yesterday (christmas) and stayed the evening with him, and had another dinner with the host familiy that he lived with for the first 4 months when he was in country. then we woke up at 4 o´clock this morning in order to catch a bus into one of the closer larger towns where we are meeting up with 2 other volunteers to spend some time hanging out, bank, lunch, maybe buy a few things... i´m in need of a fan.

anyway, so we´ve been in site for just over 2 weeks, and overall things are going well. tranquillopa. basically everyone i´ve met in my new community has been more than willing to offer me a seat in their terere circle and offer food, beer, and conversation. i´m at the point where i´m ready to move on to living with another family, all i need to do is ask one of the other families in the community if i can stay with them for a few weeks, which i´m assuming wont be much of a problem. i´m looking foward to continuing to meet the people in my community and also to begin working with them. i havent been doing much ´work´for the first 2 weeks, and i´m anxious to get out and work with the farmers out in their fields. another reason i would like to move with another family, bc the host father im staying with now has a tractor, and hasnt done much manual labor out in the fields, and i dont feel like im getting an accurate representation of what kind of work people in my community are doing.

still looking into my housing options. we´ll see how this works out, but right now there are 2 possible casitas that i could rent, i just need to do some more work communicating my interest in renting one of them and talking with the people who own them.

i´m sure there is much more that i´m leaving out (like everything that ive been experiencing-feeling-thinking-doing-learning-speaking-drinking-eating...) which is basically my life for the first 2 and 1-2 weeks in my new home. but i dont know how to put them into words. what do i say to explain it... and whatever i say will most likely have little meaning. little context. little understanding because i dont understand what is happening myself. when you understand 10 percent of the words being spoken to you, you tend to be lost.. trying to follow along, but eventually you stop trying, resort back to thinking ´what the hell is going on´(inglespe). its hard. but its also very rewarding and wonderful when you meet those people who are willing to sit and speak with you, trying to help you learn and understand them. offering you food. sipping the wonderfully cold terere on a day that is hakuterei. so once again, ups and downs, strikes and gutters.
it is nice to speak with the friends i have made, ambue volunteriokuera, who are going through similar experiences. even when you think youre the only one whos going through it, you realize that your not, becasue there are 29 other people having the same struggles, same hardships, same joys and difficulites and feelings and emotions. wonderful people really.

The man arises from unsatisfaction
The little ones having gotten the best of him
When the sun decided enough was enough.
He doesn´t understand much these days,
These long and lonely days
He sits. Listens. Hears the words
Yet the meaning excapes him. It tires him.
He planted a tree in the rind of a pineapple
To pass the time.
Waiting to see if his life will spring up
Or rot in this very same earth.
Outside the mango tree is swollen with its passion.
One by one they drop, like the dreams of children.
The red dust can blind you. It disperses in the air
With each passing moto, each shoeless child
Who runs up the street to buy more cana
Sends it flying. To blind someone. Maybe themselves.
The world can be a very lonely place,
As the trees know. He takes comfort in them.
Knowing that even the lonliest tree is holding on,
Tightly to others, unseen, but grasping.
The old senoras sweep the same dust.
What are they sweeping if not memories.
Gathering them in this sand that has been their life´s work,
Has kept them occupied, and shown them that
Even as the dust is swept away, their memories remain.
They linger here, for all to see.
And the man, he only now is just beginning to see
That it wasn´t the sand after all.

much peace and love

Monday, December 8, 2008


so its offical. we swore in at the embassy on friday. been hanging out in asuncion for the past few days, and tomorrow i'll be heading out to my new home for the next 2 years. a little nervous, excited, dont know what in the world is going to happen in the coming months.

i lost my camera. so that sucks. maybe it will show up somehow someway. but doubtful. so i wont have any photos to of my first 3 months in paraguay (or after that unless i get a new one). but i'm sure i'll be able to get pictures from other volunteers. the wonders of the internet.

thats all i have for now. hope all is going well.

chao chao

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

strikes and gutters, ups and downs

strikes and gutters dude, ups and downs. the dude was right.. thats what its all about. high highs, low lows. and everygoshdarnthiniginbetween. woke up friday morning... drinking mate with my new family that i had only just met, and the grandfather comes out of the house carrying a pig by the hind legs. he tells me to come over (at least thats what i think he said) so i get up and come over, hold the legs, and he does the deed. castration. butter knife. the pig seemed fine afterwards. i didnt really know what to do.say.think.

just returning from my future site visit... 5 days in the place that will be my new home. i´m in the middle of the country, probably half way between asuncion and ciudad del este (that probably doesnt mean anything to almost everybody). in the hills of paraguay. topography! i have a beautiful view of the sunset out the back of my future house, a little brick one room, tin roofed house. with an unfinished michi room on the one side, and in the back there is a ´kitchen´that has coco tree walls and a grass roof. i want to take the grass roof off and make a porch on the one side of the house. shade. beautiful view. i also have plans for a nice big garden and a demo plot (for abonos verdes (green manures) and i want to plant them in curves becasue there is a little slope). we´ll see how it happens... i have a lot of time to work on the place, cause we have to live with families for the first 3 months in site.

strike... walking to the new plaza (park) and swinging with all the kids in the community. gutter... getting the chive and feeling like shit for half the time. strikes and gutters. spares too.

language. its still really hard. not understanding anything when there are a group of natives speaking around you and only understanding about half (if that)of what is being said when it is being directed at you. but its coming. you know it is. it has to, doesnt it? beacuse if it doesnt, then what can you hope to do? doesnt the body, the mind have to adapt?

a lot time times it doesnt feel like it.

but i think it is... everyone tells me it does, it will... so i guess i have to put trust in that.... what else is there to do?

strike. eating the most amazaing-godsent-golden-pearl of a mango. strike. playing fútbol with my host brothers last night. strike. stars. beautiful skys. the most beautiful stars ive ever seen. gutter. not knowing anything thats going on... not understanding what people are talking about... thinking, do i even exist here?

2 more weeks of training.. then its time for the move. new home. new life.
día de gracias este jueves. hope everyone has a great time.
peace and love to all those who come across... love you guys

What are you throwing? strikes. gutters. do you even bowl?