Birthdays, Parrots, and Ignorance

I am an ignorant fool.

I very incorrectly imagined adapting to Paraguay’s culture would be easy peasy.  This was my train of thought “I am a Latina, Paraguay is in Latin America, therefore Paraguay must be very similar to my Latin roots of Puerto Rico.”

Here’s the thing I didn’t take into consideration: Paraguay is over 3000 miles away from Puerto Rico.  Its influences and historic backgrounds are vastly different.  Its traditions, culture, and manner of speaking are on separate playing fields.

The amount of words/terms that are used here that I am unfamiliar with are infinite.   For example, last Friday I got a “Brushin” – which, by the way, consists of getting your hair washed (for 25 minutes) with a head massage, thoroughly blow dried, then straightened for a whopping  $4.80.   I digress, during my “Brushin” the stylist and I start discussing architecture degrees/licenses in the U.S. of A.
Continue reading»

Life in Paraguay

Mba’eichapa (hello in Guarani).

Today marks a week since Jon and I left the United States.  It already feels like a decade ago.

We now reside in the picturesque country of Paraguay.  Paraguay is the land of red dirt roads, cows, orange trees, and terere.  Sometimes you must be weary of the cows, particularly at night.  They are everywhere. Including your neighbor’s front lawn in town.  And unlike the U.S. of A here they have horns.  Also, don’t confuse them with dogs.

I would like to introduce you to our host family and home for the next three months.  Our mom is Gladis, our father is Oscar, and we have two teenage sisters, Paz and Anahi.  They are simply great.  And hilarious.  Really hilarious. Do you know when you laugh so much that your cheeks hurt?  That’s what it’s like being around them.  Life is funny and it feels darn good to laugh.
Continue reading»