Friday, May 30, 2008

Greetings from Paraguay!

I arrived safely in Paraguay as of 11 am, May 28th. We were greeted by the Peace Corps director and by some of our trainers for our first three months here. I was not prepared for how chilly it would be here! It is probably in the 40s today if I had to guess. I wore two long sleeved shirts, a fleece and my windbreaker to my first training session today in Guarambare, which is an hour bus ride from the capital city of AsunciĆ³n.

My host family is great so far, and the food has not been bad, either. I must go for now, but I will write more later!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bienvenido a Miami! ("Party in the city where the heat is on...")

I have arrived safely in Miami! I had a fantastic weekend with my family and friends. I could not have asked for a better send off than the one I had. I feel privileged and blessed to have so many people that care about me and love me for being me, idiosyncracies and all! I would not be able to make the decision to do Peace Corps if I had not been surrounded by the loving people I count as family and friends.

The hotel here is great so far, and I am rooming with one of the two people that I corresponded with over e-mail before arriving here at staging. We just ate at a Thai restaurant not far from our hotel and are now enjoying channel surfing and chatting. Unfortunately we have to pay for the Internet here in the hotel ($10/day), so I am using my roommate's computer now so that I won't have to pay for it.

There are volunteers here for training besides just those in the municipal services sector, such as rural economic development. I have only met two people (including my roommate) and will meet the rest tomorrow when we begin our first staging event here at the hotel. I am already hearing Spanish here and there spoken on the street and in the restaurant, so I feel am getting into my element. Still, I am comfortable here in my own culture still: TV is in English and we communicate in English as the primary language. In just two days I will be inundated in espanol 24:7. Well, actually Guarani and Spanish!

I hope to have Internet access during training at least a day a week, but everything is vague and unknown at this stage.

You are in my thoughts as I embark on this next adventure.