Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Summer camp, English class, Twilight, tired of traveling

Here are some photos from a youth summer camp I helped out with the week before Christmas. From top to bottom:
1. Making Christmas collages/drawings
2 and 3. Playing Simon says

January 13, 2009

It finally rained today! It was so nice. English class went well today...we played Simon Says to review the parts of the body and also practiced saying our birthdays. During the whole class they were harassing me to play Bingo again because we mark our boards with Argentinian M and Ms (aka Rocklets) and the winners get suckers. Next class is Thursday, so I'll be back at the internet cafe to hopefully get them to be more active and to do some check for learning activities. I also want to have other students answer questions instead of a select group of three. One of those in that group goes to Asuncion to study English and already knows quite a bit, so she's often answering the questions. The students understand more than they say, which is normal when learning a foreign language, but I'm hoping to get them to pronounce and say more. It's more fun and they learn more that way.

January 7, 2009

Besides preparing tomorrow’s English class, I have to pick up my laundry in a neighborhood about a fifteen-minute bike ride away. Somehow another day has passed in site. It’s sad to be away from a place up north where I’d like to finally lay down roots. Thinking about that makes it hard to enjoy this experience. Most people in Peace Corps fly by the seat of their pants so much that it’s scary for me: that a lot of people are open to living in Paraguay or anywhere else in the world for the rest of their lives. They make laying down roots an absurd, unreachable aspiration. To “plan” or hope that such and such thing will happen is crazy, because with Peace Corps “you never know what’s going to happen.” The saddest part about being in Peace Corps is that there’s no one that I’m sharing this experience with right now that will be with me to understand after August 2010. I’m jealous of the married couples in Peace Corps!

It’s hot again. The kind of hot that makes you want to stick your head in the freezer. It hasn’t been this hot since I returned from Buenos Aires. When the heat starts creeping back like this, I first think that it’s not that bad. I usually think, as I’m riding my bike down the main road in town, “Man, it’s warm. But it’s not that bad.” But when I finish my ride, I realize that I have back sweat and I smell different than when I first started. I don’t know if you have experienced something similar while running: During your run, you can’t feel yourself sweating so much, but when you stop, it’s like the sweat comes all at once and it’s rolling down torrentially.

I’m not doing so well on my New Year’s Resolutions so far. I get bogged down in my to do list and end up not doing anything at all.

I’ve recently reached the point where I am very ready to move out. I want to organize my room more but there’s not that much space. There’s lizard poop at different places on the floor and walls of my bedroom. My seƱora and I don’t have the same schedules. Mainly, she is taking her siesta while I want to be preparing my lunch. I can’t make zero noise in this process. Even though she’s never yelled at me for making noise, I feel uncomfortable, like I have to walk around on eggshells while I’m trying to cook. Not only at lunchtime, but also in the morning when I go walking or jogging. My bedroom door and the bathroom door alike drag along the floor a lot when I try to shut them, making it near impossible for me to shut them silently.

There’s a lady that lives down the road who said she knows of some places to rent. I might just take a nap and then mosey over there to drink terere with her and analyze the prospects. That is, if she’s not sleeping too. Sometimes I’m asked what the heck I’m doing outside between noon and 4 pm because the sun is so intense. I’ve had at least three people tell me that I need a straw sun hat with a big brim instead of my Uruguay baseball hat to cover what seems to them ultra sensitive skin. It seems that way because I’m so much fairer than most. However, I did see an albino girl in the despensa the other day. She was whiter than me!

Speaking of the sun and my skin, I believe that I do have some sun damage if the white marks on my arms are any indication.

I started looking for flights home today. I found a good one that routed me through Lima to Miami and then to Columbus on Travelocity. The return flight was Dallas-Ft. Worth to Santiago, Chile to Asuncion. Unfortunately the Internet decided to shut down because of “an unexpected error”, and when I re-searched for the same flight I couldn’t find it; the best one had me going through three different cities before reaching Cbus.

I am going to lie down and finally finish reading The Economist that Courtney sent me in the mail.

I would like to personally welcome my older sisters to Facebook. Don’t let yourself get addicted! ;)


Twilight was excellent. I saw it in the Abasto mall in Buenos Aires in glorious air conditioning. The best things about it:
1. It was in English.
2. The main vampire guy was gorgeous.
3. It was filmed in Forks and Washington State!
4. It made me forget about life for a while.

Speaking of movies, I have spoken with various other Volunteers who agree that watching movies in English, particularly in an air-conditioned theatre, make you feel like you’re back in the States. In fact, I almost cried after I saw Sex and the City in Asuncion. I walked out of the theatre only to realize that I was still in Paraguay. In addition, when I saw the Cincinnati ATP tennis match on the TVs in the food court outside the theatre, I literally hurt inside. Movies really have the power to transport you.

January 6, 2009
I am so glad to be back in a familiar place here in my site after two very full weeks of traveling. I may be reaching a point in my life where I am tired of being a tourist. It can be exhausting; feeling obligated to see as much as possible in the short time one has to explore a place. I am torn between sleeping and pushing myself to see more new things.