A walk through town (Part I)

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A little over a month ago, Jon and I finished teaching two photography classes in our community through a Peace Corps Paraguay program called Ahecha (“I see” in Guarani).  During three months we were loaned 10 point-and-shoot cameras to teach the class.  Each week we talked about a different photography technique, had the students go out and practice the technique and then upon their return, as a group, we would give constructive criticism for each student’s favorite photo.

The photos that came out of this class far exceeded any expectations I might have had. There have been many moments in my town where I wish I had a camera with me, but alas, that would require planning ahead, and that, I certainly don’t do.   Thankfully, through this class I now have an arsenal of images to always remember our town by, all from different perspectives.

The following photos were all taken by our students. These may not be their best shots, but are the photos that I felt best represented the sights you might encounter if you were to take a walk through town, our beautiful Villarrica.

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Our town has two large open-air markets where you can purchase your fruits and vegetables.  If you’re lacking the energy to get yourself to the market you can always purchase your produce from the lady walking down the street, carrying everything on her head, or the man with all of the tomatoes you might need all bagged and ready to go.
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Villarrica in Action

It’s been too long since I’ve provided a recap on this little life we live in our corner of the world.  But, here I am, trying to make amends.

These last months have been memorable, to say the least, and it already saddens me to think that one day our service will end and we will be packing up our bags.

Some highlights:

1)   I took 12 students who were in our business class to a business conference in the capital, Asunción.  The students got to learn about marketing, sales strategies, and even got to play the computer business simulation game that Jon and another fellow Peace Corps Volunteer designed and built.  It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity for them and they returned to our town with a renewed excitement for all things business.  Thanks to all of those who sponsored our youth, changing it from merely a dream to a reality.

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13 Days in Bolivia

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Bolivia was not one of my must-see countries during our service, but I wanted to meet my friend Matt during his travels in South America and Bolivia was what worked best.  (In hindsight, it should have been on my list.) During the planning time two amazing Seattle friends, Brian and Chris, also showed interest in the trip and just like that we had a great crew of friends to travel with in Bolivia.

The trip began with an unexpected day in Santa Cruz for Jon and I after missing a flight to Sucre.  Santa Cruz is the largest city in Bolivia, but yet it felt less city-like and much more spread out than La Paz.  During our time there we lingered in the beautiful plaza, enjoyed a real breakfast (I am still trying to introduce the notion of breakfast in Paraguay), got to enjoy some frozen yogurt, and visited several museums.

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Then we were off to Sucre.  Sucre is known as la Cuidad Blanca, the White City, because the buildings in the historic center are all white with red tiled roofs.  It is a very endearing town with its meandering streets, cute coffee shops, and amazing food. They are also known for their chocolate shops, so I of course had to stop and enjoy a couple truffles.
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Homemade Flour Tortillas

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It was never my intention to leave this little slice of the world on the wayside.   Life has a way of sneaking up on you, and leaving you with this feeling that everything on your To-Do list needs to be checked off before you can take the time to write in your beloved blog.

But, I had a little a chat with my To-Do list, and it told me not to worry, and go do what you love.  And that is why, here I am, back today sharing with you.  I missed you.
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Camps, Camps and Some English in Between

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This a three part post of recent and not-so-recent happenings in our Peace Corps life. *All photos were taken with a point & shoot, please forgive me.*

Part 1:: Reading & Crafts Camp

During training there was a session on secondary projects given by the ever talented and amazing Peace Corps Volunteer Amy.   During it Amy told us all about the reading camps she had done in her community; I instantly fell in love with the idea and decided that somehow I would make this happen in my own community.
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