Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in Paraguay

I returned to Pguay with the dark pink lazpacho trees blooming. Spring seems to have already arrived here, and I love it!

After being gone for awhile, I notice the distinct smells of my town: smoky, like there's always a bonfire, sugar carmelizing for cocido /burnt sugar with burnt yerba mate with hot water. Also asado, or steak; some flower that smells like jasmine but I think it actually something else. The few times I have been walking around since my return I smell it, then look for the jasmine but don't see it.

This past weekend was our fiesta patronal for BA's patron saint, St. Rose of Lima. Her feast day is Aug. 30, so on that day the town decorates the streets where her statue will process with streamers, flags and paper flowers. Everyone and their mother comes out to process after the high mass at three pm. For nine days before the 30th, there is mass every night either in the basilica in the center of town or in chapels throughout town. Different schools are responsible for singing in the liturgy or presenting something special for the mass. There are also music festivals, a torin / like a bull fight but there's just rough play with the bulls rather than killing. In the torin there are three guys that dress up like clowns and they tell jokes in Guarani. I went last year but didn't understand a thing they were saying. There were THREE torins on three different nights this year for the fiesta patronal. I didn't go because I am still recovering from my trip. There was also a jineteada, which is basically a horse show. People ride their horses around a full tilt to show off. I'm not a huge fan / I've been to two others before, so I took the opportunity to organize my house and rest. Saturday night there was a huge dance party at the main soccer field. There were hundreds of people there; I went and left at 2:30 am whereas most people stayed until 6 am. I'm still really tired! Just today I finished unpacking my bags. Now I have more clothes than I know what to do with!

It was so nice to see my family while I was at home. After spending time with you I miss you even more now!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Good to be back...

It's nice to be back in a familiar place where I have experienced so much and to see my family. I have been tired and on the run since I arrived, or at least it seems that way. In spite of there being no time difference, the 13 hour trip sure takes it out of you!

I have been waking up at 6 am after going to bed about 10:30, but I am still tired when I wake up! I didn't take a nap today. I'm missing my occasional siestas! Call me lazy!

The lawns here are so manicured and everything is so controlled, bridled and manipulated. Most fertilize their lawns, so there are no "jujos", or weeks (some of which can be remedies to put in terere!)

I know that I will adjust to being in the States after awhile, but being here feels less real. It feels distant...I feel the same way I felt being here that I did before I left for Paraguay. OK, but not joyful or happy or content. I can say that I was happy in Paraguay. Why does happiness have to be so complicated? Why do I have to think about whether or not I will be happy in the future? Why can't I be happy RIGHT NOW? I have never felt like I've truly been living like I was there. Is it wrong? Should I stop? How do I know if I'm doing it right? The more I live and the more people I talk to about how to be happy, I don't think there is any way to know if I'm making the "right" decisions. I just live, and whatever decision I make, I live with the consequences.

I went to Vaquero's today and had to stop myself from not mixing Guarani with Spanish. Christie and I took the guampa into the restaurant with us; I had to explain to them what it was, ha ha.