I never realized the beauty of steel wool until I lived in Paraguay. I remember growing up and seeing that in people’s kitchen sinks and thinking, “What could you possibly use that for? It looks dangerous”
Well, quite a bit I’ve discovered.
On an unrelated note, you know how in Wisconsin if one weird bug crawls on you, you start to get the creepy crawly heebee jeebies and you think that bugs are crawling all over you? In Paraguay, if you have the slightest inkling that a bug might be somewhere on your body, then you are definitely right. If you don’t have the slightest inkling that there is a bug on your body, then you are most likely wrong. There’s pretty much always one hanging out somewhere.
In Paraguay people don’t use door bells (pretty much no one has them, but if they do, they still don’t use them), instead they just clap outside of people’s houses at their gate.
“Venís un poco y aplaudir no más.” They just tell you to applaud outside of their door.
Why yes, I would love to give you a standing ovation. I’m being serious about that…it’s given me a lot of great opportunities to practice my loud clap.
Paraguay takes their politics very seriously in the sense of party affiliation. Most people belong to one of two political parties, the Liberals or the Colorados, whose theme colors are blue and red, respectively. My city is (supposedly) almost entirely Colorado, therefore lots of red everywhere.
In fact, you can add finding outrageously bright paint colors to Paraguay’s list of random skills. As you drive through cities the government buildings are often painted impressively eye-catching reds or blues to reflect which ever political party is in power. I’ve heard that hiring people to change the paint color is often the first thing done when new people enter office. I’ve also heard it’s an example of one of the quickest and most efficiently done projects in the political spheres of Paraguay.
I didn’t think twice when my friend Stephanie and I picked out a great blue to paint my kitchen table chairs, but since then I’ve gotten questions about why I picked blue.
Each time I can’t help but nervously laugh and tell them it matches really well with my yellow and pink table cloth.
Paraguay has an extremely interesting and complex history. They lived under Stroessner’s dictatorship from 1954 (the year my dad was born) until 1989 (the year my sister Carybeth was born).
The current president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, was a priest and a bishop before entering office. Less than a year after entering office it came out that he had fathered two children with two different mothers during his time with the church.
He also wears Transitions sunglasses (which was Maren’s primary concern about me coming to Paraguay).
I’m headed to our Reconnect training and then a few days on a river to celebrate Thanksgiving! It should be wonderful.
I hope your thanksgiving is wonderful where ever you are.