Change Yourself…Change The World.

Go Paraguay Go!
July 21, 2011, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated the beloved blog, and some of you are probably wondering why. A few weeks ago I had to face the facts and make a tough decision, and that decision was that going through training and becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer is on the top of the list of priorities right now, with ‘writing about it,’ underneath it. With the schedule and intensity, I took a break from the blog-o-sphere to focus on absorbing and learning everything I can. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t take a quick break to share all of the great things we’ve been doing over the past few weeks, which includes:

– ‘Long Field Practice’ in Caaguazú, the third largest city in Paraguay. LFP is a 5 day long trip with your ‘language groups’ (about 4 fellow trainees and your language teacher) to an area of Paraguay to learn more about the life of a Peace Corps Volunteer. We were hosted by Casey, a PCV in our own CED sector. We spent the week giving charlas (presentations) to his students, meeting lots of interesting people, and learning more about the beautiful city of Caaguazú. During much of this time I was ill with all kinds of stomach issues, but we’ll get into that fun-ness later.

– Watching the Copa Americana on television with fellow Paraguayans. Copa Americana is a South American soccer championship- and Paraguay is currently a FINALIST against Uruguay!!!! It has been SO exciting being a part of the excitement and celebrations down here every time Paraguay wins a game. People start screaming, fireworks go off, and it’s a huge celebration. I really think we’re going to win it this year! Being a part of Copa Americana makes me proud to be ‘American-Paraguayan.’ GO PARAGUAY!

– Visiting Aregua, one of the most gorgeous cities in Paraguay! Our whole training group went on a field trip, and it is the most amazing place- one of the tallest points in Paraguay overlooks a vast green city below, there’s a beautiful lake, and it is home to some of the most amazing artisans in Paraguay. You can find unbelievable ceramic items for extremely cheap. We even ate an amazing restaurant! Super chuchi volunteers, we are.

– Finding out our site placements, the places we will all be living for the next two years as volunteers! I am saving where I am stationed for a later post, so let this be a surprise for you 🙂 But BOY does Peace Corps like to make our site placements as SUSPENSEFUL as possible! Our ceremony included a huge map of Paraguay and lots of vast decorations in Paraguayan colors. We were then each called up and given our site placements in a very ceremonial manner, with lots of raucous applause! Each of our trainers gave us hugs and then each of our pictures were placed on the map, so we could all see where we were!

– The great- getting pretty much my dream site, which I’ll get into later. The not so great- finding out most of my friends I have grown closest to being the farthest away from me. I won’t lie, there were tears. But at the same time I know that everything happens for a reason, and that we will find ways to see each other no matter what.

– The fact that WOW, we are going to swear-in as fully fledged volunteers in a little over 2 weeks! I cannot believe how fast training has gone by. It is so hard to imagine leaving my homestay family in J.A. Salvidar, who I have come to love and adore. It’s also hard to imagine my daily life without all of my fellow trainees in it, who I have come to love like family. But igual no más- we will make of it what we will.

– The final SERIOUS wow factor- I have just found out today that I am lactose intolerant. I had been having crazy stomach issues during all of training, starting with giardia and then just continuing with lots of strange symptoms. Finally after a trip to the medical office in Asunción, we decided to test the lactose intolerance theory and I went dairy-free for a week. After my stomach GREATLY improved, I decided to try dairy yesterday again- and yep, after some painful bathroom experiences, the PCMO confirmed that I am secondary lactose intolerant, which means it was caused by giardia. Apparently it is something that could end at any time, or never. This is a really strange thing for me to grasp, and I am still in complete denial about it- I cannot imagine my life without cheese. I may go into cheese withdrawal, so I may need all of your ongoing support on this.


That’s really the life so far in Paraguay. We are all heading out to our sites tomorrow- and I will let you know where I am and what I am doing very soon!

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I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this site is truly nice.

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