Wait a minute, I mean guay! Paraguay!
Although I admit, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference…and other times it’s painfully obvious that we are not in paradise.
View on the walk home from a Dia del Nino (Day of the Child) celebration.
This is a photo of my current host mother (I’ve been moving families every 2 weeks in an attempt to get to know more people and more areas of the city) and I think it just might perfectly capture her essence. She is amazingly guapa–a word used to mean pretty/handsome in other Spanish-speaking countries, but that Paraguayans use to mean ‘hardworking.’ From 5am to 8pm everyday she is on the go and working all over the house. She says that without her work she just wants to sleep, but she doesn’t like to sleep, so instead she works.
As we walked home from the celebration my host mother just wanted to walk through a few campos ajenos (strange fields) to gather the plant they use to make brooms. It turned into us climbing through a lot of barbed wire fences as the sun rapidly sank below the horizon (the sun sets here in a matter of minutes!) The final challenge was crossing a creek, that although not very wide had extremely steep banks. To make things worse you had to balance on the essentially vertical incline of the bank and then shimmy sideways through a barbed wire fence. My host mother made the leap over the creek, but as soon as she lifted her leg to shimmy things got unbalanced. By a stroke of luck I was quick to react and assumed a spotter’s stance on the opposite bank, holding perhaps the majority of her body weight with my arms extended forward. The best was that before she slid through the fence she looked back at me with a big smile on her face and said, “Don’t worry, this is just like a Calle 7 Challenge.”
Calle 7 is an absurd Paraguayan TV game show that I wish I could explain, unfortunately I just don’t have the words to do so. What’s more is that it’s not one-of-a-kind, there’s another program called Yingo which is pretty much the same (and that my friend Joanna details here— I recommend the read as it provides a base understanding of Paraguayan TV and how they often think it’s appropriate to put naked girls on television during the lunch hour, as families everywhere sit down together in front of the television to enjoy a nice home cooked meal.
To close I’ll leave you with this photo which (although blurry) is proof that my obnoxiously loud laugh has found its way to Paraguay.