Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Aregua and Obama

Hello everyone,I have had a beautiful couple of days. We went to Aregua for a halloween party and I was Miss Peace Corps, dressing in my typical volunteer outfit with a sash. A little lame, but the best I could do at the time. After the party I'll just say I hung out in Aregua for "a little while." I think you can see why from the photos.
We drank terere, we had ice cream, we cooked, we read, we laid in the hammock. We took turns putting our iPods into the speaker dock and playing whatever chill music we had, Beck and Feist and Bon Iver and Radiohead, while the bugs crawled over the stacks of our cards as we played hearts. People kept saying, I kept saying, ok, I have to leave. Then it would rain, or then someone would say, "But we're going to have Indian food for dinner."
I had the kind of time you hope to buy with all that vacation savings. For all those women freaking out that you're not married yet: Alone is another word for free.

Last night in Asuncion we gathered to eat grilled food and watch the elections on CNN en Espanol. My eyes just kept tearing up as I realized it's possible, it's happening, that Obama is winning. And they continue to water, as I read the news today. Behind it all in my mind are two books I recently read.
The first, "The Known World" by Edward P. Jones, about slave culture in Virginia, about the buying and selling of humans called property. Then "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin, by a white man who traveled the segregated South in 1960 after making his skin dark, and saw what it was like to be treated like walking garbage for his skin color. I recommend both books.
And now, in 2008, I see that we've come so far as a nation that we chose as our leader someone who could have been bought when our nation started, and someone who couldn't have sat next to me on a bus just fifty years ago.
I just sat there and thought that whatever force it is that can break through hundreds of years of terrible legacy to change this world for the better, into a more unified, more intelligent, more peaceful place, this is what I want my life to be about. Here, I can look around and say, Yes, I am a soldier in that army.

Now let's look at pretty things...
The lake

Flower on a tree

A secret castle near the lake

Paraguayan dock graffiti

My friend Josh's house. He has a gardener.

This lady lives in Josh's yard. His house belongs to an artist, with her workshop right next door.

New buddies Josh and Jenny during the halloween party

Peace Corps feet of my friend Stu. I'm on my way there, Birks style

The view from a Paraguayan bus ride


Jak said...

I have the same Chaco's Stu has, ha ha.

Tía Hillary said...

I've been hearing from some right-wing Missionaries in Asunción that Obama means "just left" in Guarani. Can you find out if this is true? I'd love to prove 'em wrong. (je je je)
Love your posts - am catching up again on your blog. Tal vez el año que entra, cuando mi familia estará en Asunción de nuevo, podemos reunir, ?Okay?
Felicidades en tu ksa!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your comments. I was Peace Corps II (1968 to 1970).

I returned to manage a ranch near Concepcion, Paraguay in the early 1970's.

I worked in assistance to the government in ranching and lived at Estancia Barrerito near Quyquyo.

Good luck - those were the best of years being a Peace Corps volunteer.