Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pictures of my little town

Taking pics on a day when life is beautiful.


A scene I pass on my way to the coop.


A Yataity street

My mud hut


The view through my front window

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Depression...Stuff...Life Rhythm

Hello. Enjoy some pictures.

Brennan in his kitchen



My lunch today. I tried to get it at an angle where you could appreciate the mass. That dark stuff on top is almost all meat.



Hmm, let’s see, what else? We went to Asuncion last week to go to the futbol game. Lots of red and white and drums and people puking on the way to the game, oh wait, that’s my friend!
Someone found out that if you try to sneak liquor into the game and get caught, the police will arrest you and take your mug shot with a cell phone camera.
After the game we were at a street party and ended up talking on camera some reporters. Everyone in town was like, I saw you on the news! Apparently they got some footage of Sasha dancing as well.


Speaking of police, I saw a bus driver bribe a cop, so that was cool. I saw the points of a folded bill popping out from underneath his license as he handed it to the officer.
My host sister asked if I wanted to watch “El Senor de los Anillos,” and having no idea what the heck that was, I said sure. So in the past two days we watched both the first and second Lord of the Rings. I understood about as much as the first time I saw them, which is to say not much. It’s like my childlike experience when I watch the telenovelas, and react totally based on body language and inference: “The lady is mad at the man.”
My computer class is going well! I understood a bit more of the joy of teaching when I saw one of my students walk right up to the computer, put her pen drive in and find the photos on it. A week before she had stood there holding the pen drive out like she might break it, not sure what to do.


Tuesday, Oct 14: Depression
Tonight I called home. Friends, some family. Had a great video call with my mom. So close, yet so far away.
One of my friends and I had a depressing conversation though, about the “recession,” possible “depression.”
And I feel depressed.
I actually have to say that one of the Big Reasons for joining the Peace Corps was the fear of the economic fall of America. Once I realized how rich we really are, how precious our place in both time and space is, and how fast things are changing in the world, I felt like I was standing on top of a rumbling tower. I just kept looking down.
With globalization, who knows what the heck is going to happen. Good thing I’m a writer, because the arts are the last thing to go in a financial hard times, right?
So naturally, I wanted to face third-world life.
Now, that’s not exactly what I’m living down here. But there is a living without. Having been here, I know that if things get worse back home, and I have to take the bus and not have air conditioning, I’ll be ok.
But I’m thinking of everyone who’s been affected. Hang in there.


Thursday, Oct 16: I’m so sick of seeing how rich people are.
We get free Newsweeks, to keep up on the happenings of the U.S. and the world. This week I see that Germans are rethinking nuclear energy, Japan is building robots that can play instruments, and...that in jewelry, black is the new gold?
Apparently this is a new section in Newsweek called The Good Life, and I can’t believe this has made into Newsweek, or can I?
When I was little, we had one show, one, that focused on the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Houses, cars, blah blah. Now it’s everywhere. Every channel has a Most Expensive this...The Fabulous life of So-and-So, blah blah.
It’s like a freak show.
I’m looking at the magazine, with each item listed with their prices that I’m sure thousands of people are right now calculating into how many months of their mortgage they could have paid with that money.
I’m sitting her looking at a $2,000 bottle of wine, a $9,400 necklace, and a $250,000 turntable.
I’m so sick of having this stuff thrown in my face, everywhere I look. A photo story in the L.A. Times about a new designer $250,000 ice pick (and the rediculous release party) was one of the finals straws of “I have to get out of here.”
I came here to get away from it, and one of my greatest dissappointments is that Paraguay is already gripped by ads, tv, commericials. They’re being slowly loaded on to the treadmill, surrounded by the scenes of unattainable beauty, impossible wealth, and being told that if they run a little faster, they can get there.
And I want to say, We Americans have been chasing things for 50 years, and we’re just tired and no happier, in fact less happier, then when we started. Does anyone else think that this whole housing thing might have something to do with the greed fed by seeing photo after photo of mansions?
I feel clausterphobic. How far do I have to go to get away from people from all angles telling me that the good life is just another dollar away?
I´m just saying that if we keep looking up, at the tippy-top of the spectrum, we´re going to keep thinking we´re poor. We need to remember where we really sit. In other countries, our things could fill that Good Life section.

Monday, Oct 20: Cue music
Life has fallen into its rhythm. If this were a movie, we’d be to the montage, the soundtrack hitting “Strange” by Built to Spill, my legs walking to the drumbeat through the sunlit grass as I zigzag my way through cows and cow poop mines to the cooperative, toting my bag of Ao Poi supplies.
(This strange plan is random at best)
I’m pinning my needle in my Ao Poi, taut in the embroidery hoop, to free my hand and reach for the terere guampa being handed to me.
(This strange changing atmosphere)
Some creepy uncle is grabbing me by the arm and asking someone what my name is.
(This strange how much more can I take)
I’m watching Brazil’s Next Top model while eating pizza with the sisters.
(Yeah it’s strange but what’s so strange about that)
I’m giving in and wiping my mouth on the tablecloth like everyone else at the long table of a big family asado, looking around like someone’s going to catch me.
(Yeah it’s strange but oh well)
We’re sitting in chairs on the lawn and I'm silent in a conversation of Guarna
(I’m not saying it right)
I’m laying in bed, in a clearing between my laptop, cellphone, books and papers with words of three languages, reading one of those books I’ve always wanted to.
(And it’s strange but what isn't strange.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hummingbirds and Getting picked up on a bus.

Hello everyone! All is well here. It’s getting hot. This morning I had a very successful computer class. I would write about that but I was too busy recounting the story that involved cute police officers. You’ve got to decide what’s most important, you know? Serious business next time, maybe.
I hope everyone is ok and not too worried about the financial crisis. I’m thinking about you.

Love,
Paulette

p.s. I added some pics in the post below.

Wednesday, Oct. 8: Don’t forget hummingbirds are amazing.

I was just getting used to hummingbirds when I read this:

“Consider the hummingbird for a long moment. A hummingbird’s heart beats ten times a second. A hummingbird’s heart is the size of a pencil eraser. A hummingbird’s heart is a lot of the hummingbird. Joyas valadoras, flying jewels, the first white explorers in the Americas called them, and the white men had never seen such creatures, for hummingbirds came into the world only in the Americas, nowhere else in the universe, more than three hundred species of them whirring and zooming and nectaring...

Each one visits a thousand flowers a day. They can dive at sixty miles an hour. They can fly backward. They can fly more than five hundred miles without pausing to rest...

Every creature on earth has approximately two billion hearbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise, and live to be two hundred years old, or you can spend them fast, like a hummingbird, and live to be two years old.” (Brian Doyle’s “Joyas Valadoras”)

And I say, Don’t forget things are amazing, even if you see them every day.

I try to take a moment every time I see the moon to realize that it is a hunk of rock, being lit by the sun, both a gazillion miles away, as we are all floating through space.

You just can’t take life too seriously if you keep the amazing things in mind. Or at least, that’s what I hope.


Sunday, Oct 12. Picked up on the bus
Sasha and I are on a packed bus. I didn’t mind riding without a seat when I thought I was just going to site, but then we last-minute changed our plans from the “I have to work in the morning” option to the “Oh screw it, it’ll be fun” option, and now I realize I’ll be standing like this for an hour and a half more.

We are two deep in the aisles. Everyone standing is leaning toward the windows, hands on the luggage rail, as though we are about to have an uncomfortable exam. Sasha’s hip is on my left, the arm rest of the seat I’m facing is digging in to my knees, and I have an aerial view of the overweight woman sitting there. On that armrest, the arm of the overweight woman is touching my leg, feeling like a wet slug across my thighs. Next to me is a soldier, actually not touching me. Behind me, the man facing the other way has his butt right up against mine. When I try to move forward, the arm rest digs, when I move back, I’m pressing into a stranger’s butt. Everyone standing on the bus is having a similar experience. The seated are royalty. I’m trying to talk myself out of closterphobia.

I think about those rail cars packed with Holocaust victims on their way to death camps. Then I feel terribly guilty about that thought even coming to mind. Am I comparing this to that? I hope not, because that’s...Just don’t even have that come to mind, please.

Sasha and I are sweaty. Everyone’s sweaty. I feel like a traveler.

Beyond belief, the bus stops for the chipa lady, and we now officially have what my father would have called “ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag.” As bad as it is for us, this poor woman has to make the rounds, all the way back and all the way up, the third person wedging through in an aisle, carrying a three-foot basket of chipa and making change.

It’s actually kind of fun to watch the wave of people’s scrunched, pained faces as she reaches between them to grab hold of a seatback and pulls herself through with a struggle reminiscent of birth.

It was also one of those bonding experience that has us laughing with the two soldiers next to us.
Sasha keeps looking past my shoulder, smiling and saying, “Oh, just had a little eye contact back there.” This is with soldier to the right of the one to my right. If we were all waiting in a buffet line, he’d be first to the prime rib.

“Oh, there we go again.” She smiles and looks at me. “He’s cute too.”

We have an hour before we need to get off.

“Ok, so the mission is to get him that phone number before our stop.”

In what we thought at the time was a grand coincidence, he hands over his phone with a message, “Sorry what is your number”

Sasha and I giggle and she types back and hands him her phone with her number. Phones are being passed back and forth with guys we have now found out are police officers.

The guy next to me gets my number, the one that knows a little bit of English, enough to overhear that Sasha wanted his friend’s number.

We all start to chat, with the people we’re leanng over looking at us, an audience with their chairs turned sideways.

They helped us find our stop, and Sasha and I squeeze our way out just like the chipa lady. I find it easiest to walk on my tip-toes, so that my butt squeezes between the lower backs of the people on both sides. Back-butt-back is markedly more feasible than butt-butt-butt.

As the bus pulled away we waved. I review my birks, cargo pants, sweaty t-shirt get up and think I never thought I'd be picked up looking like this. Sasha says, as she does after flirting, “Don’t think I traveled all this way and forgot to pack my pimpin’ skills.”

That night Sasha’s guy sent her a message and mine sent me a message that said “Good afternom!” Between him and some others fellows I know around town my text message inbox is looking like a Spanish baby names book and I’m learning how to read textspeak in Spanish. Again, as my father would have said, “Trouble brewing.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blah Blah...Bugs...Rodeo...La Virgen

Hi all. I´m not feeling so hot about this blog. So much happened and this is just like notes. But there´s a balance everyone has to find in living and documenting your living. And with how much time I´ve been spending recording, editing, etc., I just said I´m going to put it out there as is.

This morning I had all my toys out - recorder, camera, laptop, playing with iPhoto, iMovie, etc. I have a media extravaganza going here. I really want to put up some of the audio I´ve taken and definitely the video of the Virgen. In due time...

So, the photos are uploading nor the video. Wha-wha. Some time later this week I´ll try again.


Wednesday, Oct. 1

When you close your eyes at night, there are a few things you might have on your mind, as you enter that defenseless state of sleep.

Depending on where you live, you could have varying levels of fear about a bomb dropping on your house or a robber entering. I think about bugs.

I wonder how long it will take until I wake up with one on my face.

It’s almost 11 at night now, the time I’m usually up, telling myself just one more chapter, the time when it’s just me and the noises.

Right now, it’s a noise like something being dragged across the floor, then stopping. Is that a little noise in my room or a big noise outside?

Outside there’s the groans of the cows, the whinnying of the horses. The chickens and roosters seem to finally shut their mouths at night. Oh wait, no there goes one...then its friends.

Always there’s shuffling of a beetle in my bag, the ping ping of the bugs on my florescent tube light, buzzing looping around.

Tonight I walked in the house, and seeing a cockroach on the floor, I said, “Wow, that a huge-- EEEEEEEEE!” I started squeeling as it took flight.

Ok...that’s definitely from inside my room...going to investigate...

I did my noise-stalking, changing the position of my ears to try and triangulate it’s location, like I´ve done so many times before. This time it seemed like it was coming from inside my big backpack. Knowing that if I whipped open the cover and saw something, I’d scream, I instead grabbed it by the strings and dragged it of my room, putting it in the hallway. I’ll explain to my host family tomorrow.

I can hear crickets outside, and still those roosters and a dog, but inside I only see one moth on the wall.

I’ll go brush my teeth now...Oh, I see a small little insect has drowned in the saliva of my toothbrush.

All you can do is rinse it off, then go to bed and try not to think.

Thursday, Oct. 2: Greetings

My favorite greeting is the put the hand out, then kind of shake and at the same time go in for the double kiss.

Sometimes you put your hand out, and people just go for the kiss, and your still kind of holding it there between you like it’s in a sling.

Then sometimes, people want the handshake only.

Sometimes I forget and just go in for the hug. I did this yesterday, saying goodbye on the street to a cute Yataity townie. I went in for a quick friendly hug and he ends up kissing my ear.

Sunday, Oct. 5

I have begun to accept the ignorance of what the hell is going on at any given time, and that’s helped.

Back home, we have expectations. We know how Christmas is going to go, we saw it on tv. We know how Valentine’s Day is supposed to go. We’re shown the memories we’re going to have.

Back home, we have dissappointment, because it’s never how we expected.

So it’s freeing, exciting, that I never see what’s coming.

I knew from the carnival set up in the church yard, ferris wheel and all, that something was set to happen this weekend.

Turns out it’s the Festival Patronal, whatever that is.

This morning the family asked if I was going to go to their grandfather’s house for our Sunday asado. We get there, and the next thing you know we´re riding somewhere else, with someone who I think might be an uncle, in a Mercedes. Where we´re going, I don´t know.

We stopped halfway to Villarica at a shop where a guy held up cuts of meat for the man to choose. We bought 7 kilos (about 15 pounds) of meat for 92 mil.

During the meal, there was a parade

There was a parade with the Virgin, a paper mache doll, held above the heads of those walking.

Before the food was ready my host sister and I went to our friend’s house, and her mother told me the virgin was there. Why didn’t I come by?

“She was here? Why didn’t she call me?”

The joke went over like a lead balloon.

We took a huge jug of terere into the plaza and just sat on the bench, passing around the guampa. Looking around.

The girls talked about “churros,” or cute guys, whispering and giggling. It reminded me of a story my traveling friend Kati told me about her trip to the Phillipines. There was a similar moment in a group of girlfriends where she realized it’s exactly the same, in whatever language, on whatever continent.

My host sister and I went back to her grandfather’s house for brunch, a tradition I’ve come to love. Two long tables put together, three different kinds of meat, lots of Guarani I don’t understand.

There’s so much life cycling. There are the dogs and the grandfather, the puppies and the grandchildren. Flowers. Plants. Chickens.

Every once in a while someone yells to my younger host sister, Larissa, to bring the rubia. So I go, never knowing what I’m about to see.

Today one of the aunts took me to a tree that looked like it had grapes glued all over it, right to the main branches. We picked off some of the fruit and ate it, after I received a lesson about which parts to eat and which parts to spit out.

That night I went back to the fair with Nancy and two other friends. I thought we had missed the second rodeo. We were just hanging out, looking for churros (hot guys), when suddenly we saw people standing on the railing, gathering out front where there were about 50 motorcycles parked, and where the guys with the huge speakers in their cars were showing off.

Fight.

We were 100 feet off, but they waved me over. And we stood next to the fence, peering at a girl trying to talk her boyfriend out of fighting while the crowd looked on.

Am I really doing this right now?

The Rodeo

We had not missed the rodeo, as I found out when we walked to the cemetery yard, where strung lights criss-crossed a bowl of stadium seating made of planks. In the center was a ring of wood and wire and a rodeo clown speaking Guarani into the microphone.

We sat on widely spaced planks that sagged every time the music started and the girl next to me started to dance.

The rodeo was kind of a mix of bull fight and rodeo. I don´t like the treatment of the animals – it seems to me like a jazzed-up version of boys throwing rocks at a street dog – but the fact that they were in there with angry bulls was something worth my 20 mil to see.

Bulls are huge. Sometimes, I’m walking down the street here, and I’ll think I see someone approaching out of the corner of my eye. Then I look up, and it’s a cow. It startles me every time.

And at night, when I walk from the separate kitchen to the house, the cows are sleeping right next to the fence, and I understand the word massive a little better.

People started lining up against the inner wall, meaning the people behind them couldn’t see. There was this one guy, who kept getting up to yell at the people in front of them. He was a local hero to his section. An hour in, people were seven deep standing all around, and he had parted the seas. It got to where he didn’t even sit anymore, just stood, waiting for his duty to call. That became a secondary show. He eventually lost the battle. But the whole time it was one of those awkward scenes that became like a secondary show.

Tuesday, Oct. 7: On the other side of the coin...

Not knowing where you’re going also means not knowing what you’re in for. Last night we went to the church for some event, I didn’t know. We stood in the back of the packed church for the longest time while my back ached from stepping up the yoga, watching a huge line of people take communition. This guy in front of me kept turning around and looking at me in a way I did not like. I nodded, like, Yes I see you there. Once I almost said, “Que quiere?” What do you want?

Suddenly I was suffering from my “social closterphobia,” where I’m in an uncomfortable situation and leaving would cause some kind of social weirdness, so I just stay and suffer my mental complaints.

I excused myself for a minute to call Sasha and blow off some steam. The carnival was going on outside still. The little boys had guns from the little shops, light in weight but realistic, from glocks to full-on semi-automatic molds of plastic. Some had them tucked in their pants.

Sasha lamented my situation and told me to give the guy the crazy face. The key, she told me, is that I have to look indignant.

We took a break to go a friends house and make some mate. At that house, my friend showed me some pink cloth and said that those were the clothes the virgen wore last year, pink Ao Poi. We came back with chairs to watch a show of Paraguayan dancing and singing. The girls danced in Ao Poi skirts pulled straight out on both sides.

At some point it became clear that we were waiting for the Virgin. Every once in a while the MC would say, “Que vive la Virgen! Que vive Yataity!”

After the show, people started making their way toward a cleared path lined with flowers. The man with the microphone on stage was saying thank you to the Virgin, for protection, for the happiness of the community. Then the bell started sounding. Fireworks blasted from the park. The man with the microphone was yelling. People were pressing in. A siren started like it was a techno song. Confetti fell from the bell tower.

From the doorway in the church emerged men with her on their shoulders, the same statue that seemed to me like paper mache when I saw it at the parade.

People waved.

They walked her up and down the aisle in all the blaze of it, people waving white cloth. They faced her to each section of the crowd.

And as the man on stage yelled, ´´Gracias Virgencita! Gracias!´´ The figure dissappeared again into the church doors.




Photos: Church carnival; swing ride, kitch for sale; guns, bbs and Mary clocks; and somewhere in Paraguay, my old car shows up (I will have a dream that night that I go back to St. Augustine and steal a Honda Civic.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rude...Teaching...Dance Party

Hi everyone. Just wanted to say thanks so much for the comments and the emails. I appreciate all the support!

Tuesday, Sept 23: Rude

I was on the phone with my sister the other day, and I heard her say to my nephew, during some of his antics: “That’s rude.”
Rude. Before it seemed such a concrete idea. Something was rude or it wasn’t.
Then I came here, and saw things that I was taught to frown upon. And I felt those negative emotions that had been ingrained in me in the way we pass on culture.
If I did some of the things people do here, back home, I could see someone say to me, “What in the hell’s the matter with you?”
Here it’s normal to start eating before everyone sits down, to eat directly from the salad plate in the middle of the table, to wipe your mouth with the tablecloth.
In the way we consider those things rude from our view, Paraguayans could see us as rude from their view. Here it’s rude to just flat out say no to an invitation. It’s rude to not greet everyone you see in the street. It’s rude to not share your glass.
Add to that our micro-cultures, what’s acceptable in one family being unacceptable in another, and is easy to see why we people sometimes have a hard time playing nice. We play by different rule books.
So the more appropraite thing, dear sister, would be to tell my little nephew that his tongue sticking-outing is considered anti-social in our family unit and in our regional and contemporary cultural paradigm. Let me know how that goes over with a five-year-old.


Thursday, Sept 25: Fat ass.

I went to visit my old host after two weeks away, and she told me, “Estas mas gorda.” You are fatter.
I accepted the comment and rolled on, later telling one of my favorite senoras that day that I was going for a walk because according to the other woman I’d gained weight.
She looked at me and scrunched her brow. “Aca, no.” (Here, no) she said, running her hand across her stomach.
Aca,” she said, putting her palm on her bum and looking at mine, “si.” She nodded.
I cracked up. Your ass is fat. Is that not the worst thing you could tell a woman in the U.S.?
I let her in on the joke, and she gave me a confused look. “Asi les gusta los hombres.” (That’s how the guys like it) she said. Then with a sucking sound effect, she traced an hour glass in the air with her hands and curved it wide at the bottom, rounding out imaginary cheeks with a popping sound from her mouth.

Saturday, Sept 27: Home Away From Home Away From Home

We’re in the Alpes once again for a group birthday celebration in the capital.
I’m sitting in the pitch-black attic as those around me try to get in a nap before Round 2 tonight. Last night we went to see our favorite American hits cover band. While they sang our Coldplay and Pink Floyd, our group danced and pumped our arms and sang along. Later they switched to some Spanish music, and they tables were turned, with everyone around us dancing and singing as we just kind of swayed, left out of the language and the pride.


video


Sasha and I spent today lounging by the pool waterfall in the lushly landscaped yard. As she was preparing to put in headphones, reclining on her beach toweled-chair with her face in the sun, I turned to her and said, “Toughest job you’ll ever love, Sasha. Just hang in there.”
“Thanks Paulita.”
To top it off, we had Lomito Arabe, which is our favority gyro-like Asun treat, delivered directly poolside.
However, I did help this week! Yes, I, me, was of use to another person of the third-world variety.
The cooperative got a request this week for a catalog of products, which they didn’t have. So I helped my friend take product shots and taught her how to use the camera, then we put together a catalog in Word.
Just making the catalog would have been ten times faster, but the important thing is that I’m not here to do things like that, I’m here to teach people how to do things like that.
The fact that I’m here to be a teacher, really, hit me in training.
Teaching is like walking a person through a path. You know the landscape well and want to trot along. They are blind with inexperience, frightened, shuffling along. You want to say, “Come on. Why are you walking so slow?” They want to say, “Wait up. Don’t go so fast.”
Add the fact that I’m teaching computers with the fact that it’s in another language, and I can feel that I have some learning to do of my own...on patience.
Any time I get frustrated, or I just want to yell “stop clicking!” I remember how blind I recently was in the world of Spanish. I had teachers who calmly held my hand and warned me of potholes as we went along. They never said, Oh god, it’s just a verb, it’s so freaking easy. In the way they grew up speaking Spanish, I grew up with the language of computers.

Ode to my friends
I got the chance to catch up with some buddies from the U.S. today, to hear the voices of my old life. I felt so refreshed with their encouraging comments.
Then I went downstairs, my ears numb from the headphones, and looked at all my new friends I have here and felt doubly lucky.
There’s Sasha, of course, party of one, who will break it down literally whenever and wherever, who gives me the crazy eye when I deserve it, and keeps me laughing with text messages all day long.
There’s Matteo, who starts talking with his hands and raises his voice with enthusiam when the conversation turns to music or spanish. He also does a killer impression.
There’s Timmy Charley, who tries to act all goofy but then quotes Yeats and does math in his head while I’m searching in my phone for the calculator. Timmy, who dances, we decided, like a robot with Parkinson’s. He’s always there to laugh at my “That’s what she said” jokes.
There’s Eric, our New Yorker, and his constant profanity-laced commentary on what sucks and what’s awesome today. His sweet side comes out when he talks about his girlfriend or his mom.
There’s Pooja, who’s always talking out a thesis and reminding me of the vastness of education that is over my head.
And those are just my fellow REDs. Our whole group is a mix of people from all over the United States, so many cultures mixed to come here and mix some more. And then there are my Paraguayan friends, who are becoming more three dimensional as my language improves. And I have my family, who I’m lucky enough to like as well as love.
In friends, I feel like the richest girl in the world.



Sunday, Sept 28: Salsa
We started Saturday by trying to watch the presidential debates via YouTube. They were on live, but with Spanish voice-overs. You’d think with two men debating, the translater would be male. Turns out not so much.
We passed the day shopping, buying tickets for an upcoming futbol game, using the internet.
I chatted for a while with Koika (sp?) volunteers, who often stay in the same hotel. There’s a similar program in Japan and Korea. So we meet all these Asians who are doing the same thing, and chat in our overlapping foreigner Spanish.
Saturday night we headed out to salsa dance, requested of birthday girl Pooja. At the club I saw these two couples dancing in a back area like professionals. My friend Joan and I sat to watch, and as we saw our other buddies walk by on their way to the rest room, we called them over to sit with us.
This guy was dancing around, his legs like a puppet, they seemed to barely touch the ground and support his weight.
Timmy Charley, always surprising me, was going on and on: “This is incredible. Look at them. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I want to dance like that.”
So we decided to take lessons. Turns out the puppet is also a bartender named Alex, who told me he would give us lessons for 40 mil (10 dollars) on Saturdays when we were in Asuncion.
Timmy and I decided we are going to dance like that at our despedida, our going away party in two years. Training starts on our next trip.
We left the club at about 3 and stopped at the Esso gas station/cafe, the 24-hour Denny’s of Paraguay. The late-night snack of choice is the Super Pancho, a gargando hot dog.