Friday, July 25, 2008

Where will I spend the next two years of my life?

In Yataity!

What does that mean? How do you pronounce that?

Here are some excerpts from my letter

Dear Paulette,
Congratulations! You have been assigned to the Cooperative Artesanal de Yataity in the beautiful town of Yataity in the Department of Guaira. Yataity is known as the Capitol of Ao Poì, the famous Paraguayan artisan work. If you want to buy an Ao Poì shirt, dress, pair of pants, table cloth or basically anything else, Ao Poì, Yataity is the place to be. But your interest won´t be in buying Ao Poì (so they think) as much as it will be in selling it. In Yataity, there are various women´s groups laboring day in and day out to create this complicated design. So not only will you be working with the Coop to market Ao Poì, but you will also be working with women`s groups to be better organized, increase production. Not only will you have the opportunity to work with amazing people but you will also experience the fantastic culture of Yataity and the Department of Guaira. With the bustling City of Villarica right down the road, there will be no shortage of cultural experience. (Did I mention this is also where people go to party for Carnival, and where another volunteer lives on a compound with a colonel?)

So I`m going to be helping them market their products and make a Web site. This reminds of me of when I made that site to sell my jewelry after college. It`s funny that that didn´t really `work out,` but it´s one of those experiences that I never knew I would use in the future. Just goes to show you never really know what a failure is.

There are also two radio stations with which I can work. And I consider exposing people to the Beatles and James Brown community service. Also getting closer to sending that letter to NPR. Yeah Ira Glass, I started doing stories on the radio in the Peace Corps. Eso.

Also, the guys who pick our sites came up to me and said that my site is really beautiful and they didn´t want to leave it.

Other details include that I will be the only first volunteer in my group. The others are following up others. This means I will be responsible for breaking in the community to the odd habits of Americans and answering lots of questions.

My other friends are going to be working with organic sugar farmers, computer centers, and banana farmers.

A word about expectations. I wanted another site, but I told myself to not expect it, to be open. My friend Sasha ended up getting that one, and now I`m happy I waited. Life is so much better when you let it surprise you.

More cultural fun time= I went jogging yesterday, which is not normal. School got out right as I was jogging by, and a huge group of kids swarmed me, jogging next to me and laughing.

I explained Frappachinos to our language teacher today, and told him to put his cafe con leche in his blender with ice and drink it. First he told us that if he did that everyone in his house would think he was crazy. Then he said, in Spanish, `Cold coffee, huh.` And tilted his head to consider the possibility.

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