Monday, November 12, 2012

Parents in Paraguay

Hello! I was planning on just posting one blog when I got back from the whole trip, but it has been pretty darn busy and the Peru one is a long one, so I thought I would break it up.

My parents came to visit!!! They got into Paraguay Halloween night around midnight (spooky, eh?) and thankfully had no problem with any of the flights. I’ll give a brief rundown of the highlights of their trip visiting me in the campo.

Lunch at Lido Bar – After hitting up the local market for some craft items; we met up with a bunch of my volunteer friends at a local Paraguayan restaurant in Asuncion. It was great for my parents to meet some of the people I talk about on the phone all the time! (And I know all the poor volunteers greatly appreciated them footing the bill) :)

Hanging at Sixta’s – They were the first family we met in my site, and we ended up going back to hang again when they offered us mbeju for dinner! The kids LOVED all the toys my parents brought (Frisbee, glowsticks), and my parents could easily see why I love this family so much. Easy conversation (even with the language barrier), and overall a great couple of hours spent with them.

Chipa and Sopa – On our first full day in site, we got things started off right! We headed to an old host fam’s house, Albina’s, to make the local breads with them. While there was some initial hesitation when looking at all the ingredients that went into it, my mom jumped right in to making the chipa while my dad played Frisbee with the boys. Once it was all ready, we all enjoyed the grub! My parents were easily most impressed with the tatakua, the wood-burning oven used to cook the food.

Volunteer Neighbors lunch – Saturday was a jam-packed day full of Paraguayan activities, so I decided to make Sunday a little more relaxing for them. We headed over to my neighbor Andrea’s site where we met up with my other neighbor, Emily. We spoke plenty of English, drank terere, enjoyed beer and a yummy lunch, and just relaxed. The only downside was that it was a scorcher outside, so the walk home was rough! But hey, they wanted to see how I live, so now they can feel my pain next time I tell them about my long walks in the heat.

Chickens – The day I went to pick up my parents at the airport, was the day my chicken commission received their chickens from the government! 20 chickens each to all of the 12 women in the group. I was certainly excited about it, and was glad my parents could see one of my projects succeeding!

In addition to the highlights, we visited more families, they watched me teach an English class, visited the library, and just enjoyed campo life. My parents definitely enjoyed passing time by watching all the cows/horses/chickens pass by my house, and really appreciated how friendly all the families were. I think the visit absolutely gave them a better idea as to what my life is life, and made them more comfortable knowing I have so many families who care about me around.

That’s all for now! Have a great week and thanks to all those vets out there!


  1. I would like to thank you for keeping an updated and detailed blog... and for including pictures! I am leaving in February 2013 to serve as a Rural health and sanitation volunteer, and your blog is very helpful! It seems like a lot of the blogs I have read are from people in the agriculture sector, so it's nice to see what my daily like might be like. Keep up that great work and I can't wait to read future posts!

  2. Thanks for the comment, and hope you're looking forward to arriving! Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!

  3. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Paraguay? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Paraguay in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez