12 June 2013


So, my computer either didn't like the humidity or the electricity here, and I've been out of a computer for the last couple weeks meaning that I didn't get around to updating until just now.

Just after my last update, I went to the AFS Intercultural Learning workshop. It was at an absolutely beautiful place called La Quinta between Piribebuy and Paraguarí. Most of the time over the weekend was spent in different workshops and activities that broke down different definitions of culture, common adaptation cycles that students go through, and cultural differences that most often cause conflict on exchange. Following the workshop, I returned to Asunción to stay for the week with a very generous AFS volunteer who offered me her spare room.

Beginning that Monday, I began to intern in the AFS Paraguay office. Most of my time for the first two weeks was spent visiting various community service organizations all over Asunción and the suburbs with a German intern who has been here since August. So far, I've visited TECHO, Fundación Ko'êmbota, A Todo Pulmón, Paraguay Educa, SOS Children's Villages, Hogar Infantil Santa Teresita, Guardería Tia Annetta, ABRAZO, Fundación Tierranuestra, and several special education schools to meet with staff to distribute surveys and information about the Weltwärts program (where the majority of community service participants come from), and also to bring profiles of the volunteers who will arrive in August to the foundations that already have a confirmed placement. I'm also working on updating the information in the online database about each organization, in particular the job descriptions and the contact/supervisor information, so that future volunteers will be better informed about their sites before arrival.

After a week in Asunción, I moved to a host family in San Lorenzo with parents, two married sisters with one son each (11 months and 6 years) who live on either side of the house, two sisters in college, a cousin, a tiny dog named Gaston and a Great Dane named Fester. I'm about 2 hours by bus away from the office now in rush hour traffic, meaning I wake up at 5 or 5:30 every day. I'm on the bus from 6-8, at the office from 8-4, and then often run errands in the city. Today I went to the centro (downtown) to start shopping for a termo and a hammock, and ended up falling in love with some purses that I shouldn't buy. Yesterday I went to the bus terminal to check out prices and schedules for buses to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Afterwords, three separate buses passed me because they were too full. When a Paraguayan bus driver thinks their bus is too full, they're not lying. There have been a few bus rides that I haven't been fully inside the bus for, plus one where I sat on the dashboard. After deciding to just wait out rush hour, I went into the mall that I was waiting in front of for some food, a caipirinha, and the Argentina-Ecuador game on a big screen. It's hard to get into the games now that Paraguay has been eliminated from the World Cup, but soccer and a drink definitely beat standing on a curb and being passed by buses.

The time here is passing quickly- I only have a week and a half left in Asunción. After that, I'm planning on going on a quick trip to Bolivia to see La Paz and visit an AFS friend in Santa Cruz, and then to visit my host family in Pilar. I fly back to the US on July 8th.

It's now 11:30pm and my alarm is going off in six hours, but at some point in the future (possibly after I return) I'll hopefully be writing about:
-Food! The posts about food are by far the most-visited on the blog. I've been taking more pictures this time.
-Cute things in Paraguay
-Exchange student FAQ
-Paraguay FAQ: An Unofficial Guide for Participants from the US
-Travels in Bolivia and Paraguay
-Changes in the last 2 years.

No comments: