Last week Monday was a normal school Monday, but EVERYONE (teachers included) told me that there was no school on Tuesday. Of course, I didn't wake up to go to school. When I woke up at about 9:00, I found out that there WAS school. Wednesday there were classes too, so I actually went. Thursday was Paraguayan Independence day, so there was a HUUUGGEE parade through the "municipalidad" in the center of town. All the schools had booths with food and soda to raise money. I helped out at my class's booth for a while, we were selling ChoriPan which is basically like a hot dog, except with grilled chorizo. They're eaten with ketchup and mayonnaise, and are for some reason really popular, even though I think they're disgusting. Most of the Paraguayan food is great, but I do NOT like the chorizo here.
After the parade, at night, everyone in town went to Mi Viejo, which is the only disco/club in my city. They elect the best marching band, colorguard, and leader from all the schools. My school had the best marching band, Juan XXIII won for colorguard, and CREP won leader. I'm sure there are better English words for those things, but I'm definitely starting to notice my English deteriorating.
Friday was Mother's Day in Paraguay. My local AFS rep showed up at my house with a cake for us at about 9 AM. Other than that, it was a fairly uneventful day. My mom didn't really want to do anything, so we didn't..
Saturday was fairly uneventful in general. In the evening, I went to my friend Antonella's house for dinner and a party. Because there really isn't anything to do in Pilar (no movie theatre or "shoppings" as malls are called here) we usually just pile into her SUV and drive around blasting music for a few hours. Somebody found a semi-functioning microphone, and it turned into a karaoke party. I'm still hopeless with understanding most music in Spanish, but they were all pretty impressed that I actually could understand the words to Avril Lavigne songs. Not sure why, but everyone LOVES her here.
Yesterday my older little brother Victor came home from soccer practice with a crying puppy. He found it in the street, away from any other dogs that could possibly be the mother. I'm estimating it at about 4 weeks old. It doesn't bark, and it shakes when it walks. We've been feeding it a bread and water mash because it can't chew anything solid. We're in the process of trying to find a veterinarian who can look at it. Most of the vets here only deal with animals like cows and horses, dogs and cats generally don't get any medical care unless they're really sick, and even then it's rare. It's absolutely TINY. It's all black with one white paw. I don't know what's wrong with it, but it's obviously sick. The other family dog, Olivia, is jealous! They're planning on keeping the puppy (who's been dubbed "Maria Elena Encarnación" by Victor) so I guess Oli will have to get used to her...
Almost all of my time left is planned out already. I should be leaving with the AFSers who've been here since August in the beginning of July, giving me about 6 weeks in Paraguay. In two weeks, I'll be going on a trip to the Chaco, that's being organized by AFS Caapiatá with a bunch of my friends. The weekend after, I'll be in Ciudad del Este for an AFS orientation/camp, and the weekend after my friends Abbey (Ohio to Asunción) and Kat (Oregon to Luque) are going to come to Pilar to visit me, and we might go to Encarnación to see the Jesuit ruins. That leaves me about 3 weekends in Pilar! =0
To any prospective exchangers out there reading this, DO A YEAR PROGRAM! When you get over culture shock, you'll only have a little bit of time left if you do a semester, and if you do a summer, you'll be lucky to get real culture shock at all. I'm finally over most of my culture shock and can function in Spanish (and a little in Guaraní!) but only have a little more than a month left. Granted, I'm leaving a few weeks early, but it still wouldn't be enough if I was staying.