29 March 2009
22 March 2009
This is chipa. Chipa is a cheese-corn mixture eaten several times a week. Because dinner isn´t big here, we have "merienda" in the late afternoon. From about 3PM to dark, there are chipa vendors that walk or ride bikes around town selling fresh chipa door-to-door. Chipa is usually half moon-shaped, but it is occasionally ring-shaped like a bagel. In Asunción, they had prepackaged chipa that tasted like fritos, but I definitely prefer the fresh kind.
Empanadas are sort of fast food, Paraguayan style. They´re little fried pockets filled with egg, chicken, beef, corn, vegetables, or basically anything else. These are usually eaten as an evening snack, or sometimes as a side dish to lunch.
Lomito is basically a hamburger in a slightly different shape. Lomito and hamburger are both eaten with different toppings here though- fried egg, mayonnaise, salsa, lettuce, tomato, and choclo (corn) are the most common.
07 March 2009
Part 1, AFS Camps, Plane ride, etc.
Part 3, Pilar, Carnaval
Part 4, Flowers/Trees/Plants
This weekend is CARNAVAL! Last night we went out to eat for a friend´s birthday, then to the parade area. It´s so much fun. Everyone runs around with these cans of spray soap bubbles, attacking everyone else, and there´s a huge speaker system set up blasting the same bizzare mixture of traditional Paraguayan music and reggaeton that seams to always be playing and isn´t sounding quite so bizzare anymore. Every now and then this drumming group comes out and performs. It´s amazing music, the kind that somehow just gives you energy (which everyone needs, seeing as this all doesn´t even start until 10PM or so and goes on all night) and all 15 or 20 members of the group are in perfect sync. They range in age from about 14 to 50, and enlist younger kids to help them carry the equipment. After a few hours of this, the parade starts around midnight. The costumes in the parade are incredible. They´re all similar in design, but all different colors, and slightly different styles. Always beaded, sequined clothes, glittery skin, and elaborately feathered and beaded headdresses and, for lack of a better word, "wings." The wings aren´t really wings, but massive decorations made out of a massive amount of feathers worn on the dancers´ backs. Everything in their costume combines with their stilettos and dancing to make them look like elegant birds. The guys in the parade are all dressed as cowboys, with some added glitter and sequins. I really don´t know how birds and cowboys go together, but I guess for one weekend a year in a small town in Paraguay, they do. The dancers range in age from adults to little girls who couldn´t be more than 6 or 7 years old. I don´t know when this all actually ends, but it was going strong when we left around 2:30 because both of my little brothers had finally fallen asleep.
The flowers here are all so beautiful and exotic looking. Some of them only flower at night, and I´ve been told that the flowers now are nothing compared to what there is in May and June.
In other news, my family has internet now, meaning that pictures will be posted soon! I´m currently working on getting them uploaded, but it´s taking a while. Hopefully I can get them up today, but if not, later this week for sure.