Hey! Remember me? Sorry it’s taken me so long to write.
Life’s been busy around here the last few weeks and in exactly 1 month and 1 week I’m boarding a plane to the grand ol’ U.S. of A. for 3 weeks—> I’m thrilled. Don’t worry Paraguay, I’ll be back for another year after that.
Yesterday I found a flowering bush where if you ate the petals it tasted like eating a Fun Dip stick. This morning I woke up and milked cows in the campo. I’ve been on lots of adventures lately:
I was asked to judge a talent competition in my site– exciting! Turned out the main talent was lip synching which can be hard to judge, but igual no más!
I still love doing crafts. Here was my attempt at weaving a hula hoop rug:
Carly and I got a special invitation to sing our version of Cee-lo Green’s F* You song at her theater group’s San Juan Festival. Don’t worry we played the edited one and they had no idea that the original one has the F word de verdad. The crowd did all start cracking up at one specific part of the song, though– play it yourself and try and guess what you would laugh at if you had no idea what any of the words meant. [Apparently grunting is funny the world over]
Teresa and her daughters Maya and Jacey came to Paraguay! (and then they left again 😦 ) Teresa [pictured below with Carly and I] was a health volunteer in a rural area outside of Paraguari in the 90’s. She decided to come back and spend the American summer with her girls living in Paraguari, seeing old friends, taking advantage of the opportunity for her daughters to learn Spanish, etc. I spent some quality time with them and I’m excited to visit their hometown of Asheville when I’m back from PC! You can read about their adventures here: http://teresajaceymayaparaguay.blogspot.com/
SAN JUANHAPE!! June is the month of San Juan celebrations in Paraguay and celebrate I did. Honestly, I couldn’t draw all of the connections between burning effigies of Judas, kicking around flaming soccer balls, lighting bull skulls on fire and chasing kids around with them, walking over burning coals, climbing up greased poles, and cracking open ceramic pots with wooden sticks– but I’m sure they were there.
I played the game Paila Jehere’i at the Teaching Institute’s celebration. I had to get coins that had been stuck to the bottom of a pan with gum off with just my mouth. I told them that my nose was too big to succeed and they told me to just keep trying. Eventually they held the pan still for me so I was able to get one off. They ran out of prizes so my prize was the coin that I removed (worth about a penny) with the gum still stuck to it. 🙂
Two weeks ago I had a group of 5 new volunteers from my sister group visit me in site to do their “Long Field Practice.” They tagged in on some of my work and ran around with me for 4 days to see what I do. On their last night they gave a little training to my youth group and then we all celebrated the 4th of July as well as one of my youth group’s members birthday. Joel and I with the cake that I made him. You can read Jess’s nice account of me, long field,and all things Paraguari on her blog, here: http://jessican2012.tumblr.com/post/27158313303/oh-how-the-time-flies
Last week my sector had our youth leadership camp where I worked as the programming director. It was a lot of work leading up to the four day camp, but fulfilling to watch it unfold. As part of the camp we had a Youth Project Fair in the main plaza of Paraguari (coincidentally the camp was just one city over so I took advantage of my contacts in Paraguari to be able to more easily plan the fair in my city) complete with everyone doing an AIESEC dance that I taught them that we opened and closed with (this is great to watch, I’ll try and get a copy of the video soon!)
Evaluations of the camp are rolling in now and I was confused by one participant’s use of the word “plena” in Spanish. Thinking they had written down a critique I put it in Google Translate to understand better and this is what came out:
“The truth is that I felt so full to see so many young people eager to meet as a group and share what they did for their community.” I’d call that a success!