07 March 2009

Cowboys and Birds

So I´ve completed my first full week of Paraguayan high school. Some subjects are surprisingly easy (Matemáticas, Física, Lógica) and others are basically impossible for me (História, Lengua Castellana, Guaraní, Química). In total, there are about 20 or so subjects. I was kinda freaking out for a bit, but someone finally told me that I only have to choose 8 or 9 to actually be graded in, the others are just a formality. I´m still not sure which ones I´m taking, but I should know by the end of the week.
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.

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