Change Yourself…Change The World.

La Familia En Paraguay: Family In Paraguay!
April 14, 2013, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: I haven’t posted on this blog in a month. Shame on me, I am sin verguenza (as we like to say in Paraguay). I’ve gotten all carried away with posting on my shiny new blog and sort of let the pictures do the talking for awhile. Also, March and April was one hell of a roller coaster ride! Sometimes all you can do is enjoy the highs, and hold on tight when there’s a sudden dip.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, and a seriously important and awesome one at that– at the end of March, my family came and visited me in Paraguay!!!!!

Truth be told, when I first got into the Peace Corps I started bugging my parents non-stop about coming to visit me. I tried every guilt-tripping tactic imaginable (I told you this post is all about being sin verguenza), but truth be told it was all out of love- I just really wanted my folks to see my experience and ultimate life dream that I had about being a Peace Corps Volunteer. I wanted them to understand what it was all about, and experience both the joys and challenges of service for themselves. For awhile, my Dad’s response to visiting was always a slightly sarcastic “Sure, see you there in 10 years!”

At some point, about a year into my service, I gave up on the idea. It just didn’t seem destined in the stars that my family was coming down to Paraguay. And then, something magical happened. I was randomly talking to my Dad on the phone one day in November, when he casually slipped in that he and Mom were “thinking” about coming to visit me. I nearly dropped the phone in shock. “Sure, we’ve always wanted to visit, we just didn’t know if we could!” My Dad told me over the phone. I’m still trying to ascertain whether that statement still applied to the 10-year rule, or if they just kept it a secret for a long time.

Anyway, the dream became a reality, except there was an added bonus- my 12-year-old sister Kate came along too! During her spring break, my Mom and Sister flew down to Paraguay, and we immediately crossed on over to Argentina to visit the amazing Iguazu Falls. We then got back to Paraguay and stopped by Asunción to pick up my Dad from the airport. After a quick visit to my homestay family from training, we headed over to Caazapá.

Mom and Kate in Argentina!

Spending time with my family, as always, was incredibly fun and rewarding. My family met all of my Paraguayan friends and my closest Peace Corps friends. We made homemade mozzarella cheese, roasted vegetable hummus, and rosemary focaccia bread. We played games and painted the ocean of the world map I’ve been working on for my World Cultures class. They learned some Spanish (“RICO!”) and Guaraní (a bad word that I lied and said meant “Happy Easter,” which made Paraguayans go into hysterics. When I told them what it really meant my parents were not amused). We visited the oldest church in Paraguay, petted carpinchos in VillaRica, and ate at the ever-famous ‘Bolsi Bar’ restaurant in Asunción.

Family painting the world map!

It was so great having my family here, and I’m so happy and grateful that they came and got to see and understand my life in Paraguay. It meant so much to me, and I’m so happy they were able to visit and really see what my life is like here. This really is what the Peace Corps is all about- cross-cultural exchange. As my DPT (Peace Corps boss) Dee told me, without me living in Paraguay my family would probably never have thought to come and visit here. Now they’ve been able to see and understand a completely different culture and country, and Paraguayans were able to meet them and learn more about America.

Thanks so much for coming, Mom, Dad, and Kate! Thank you for being so open, flexible, patient, curious, and willing to learn about Paraguay. Thanks for spoiling me (thanks to my parents I am now the owner of a brand-new space heater, which will save my life come winter!), for loving me, and fully supporting my dream.

Breaking bread with Liz and her family for Easter in Paraguay!

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