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!

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