This morning I took my pile of things over [with the help of my Paraguayan sibs] to my friend, and fellow Wisconsinite, Stephanie’s house to be picked up by her community contact. She’s going to be in the city right next to me– we’re the closest volunteers geographically of our whole group. Luckily we got shuffled to our sites in a truck, because I have no idea how I would have gotten all of my things here otherwise.
As I rolled/pulled my gigantic purple duffle bag [compliments of Ben] over the extreme bumps, crevices, sand patches and puddles of the dirt roads around my house we came upon a random man digging up the dirt in the middle of the road. He soon hit the pipe he’d been looking for [I use pipe loosely…it was actually somewhere between a pipe and a straw, as he sawed it open with a regular Paraguayan kitchen/butter knife]. I thought, “Eh, look at the benefits of dirt roads: construction projects completed in minutes,” as water began to shoot wildly from the pipe and directly across the only passable route I had scoped out for my gigantor of a duffle.
After the initial craziness the water slowly died down to a trickle, so we were able to move along once again.
Upon arriving to my friend’s house her host mother remarked, “You got the wheels and bottom of your duffle ALL dirty!”
Uh, yep, we live on dirt roads and this bag weighs no less than 70 pounds, should I have picked it up and carried it to avoid the dirty wheels??
Paraguayans, while well aware that they live on dirt roads comprised of bright red Paraguayan tierra, have no tolerance for any hint of dirt on your shoes, clothes, or other personal items, that might suggest that you do. This intolerance for dirt has spurred special washing methods, walking methods, rain behaviors, etc. all in an effort to keep clothing and things clean and whites shining brightly.
Perhaps one of these days I’ll manage to keep up.