Instead of dwelling on being disconnected, I have taken advantage of the extra time to read, study guarani and hang with my Paraguayan family. In the past few weeks I have unraveled some stories and created a few stories worth repeating of my own. Like last weekend when my sister, fellow PCV Ashley and I had a close encounter with a blood thirsty toro (bull) that chased us off the empedrado (cobble stone street) into a concrete wall, where our only defense was to crash into each other haphazardly, limbs and umbrellas flailing, and land in a panicked, bruised and muddy heap, which of course drove the rabid toro away. This is my second encounter with a cow here in Paraguay, and I was certainly pondering my animal karma as the owner of the bull stood in the near by field laughing hysterically.
The last couple weeks have also revealed stories of hardship and faith that exude a strong sense fatalism and realism in Paraguayan daily life. Religious ceremonies and festivals are omnipresent as the last week has been filled with celebrations of San Juan, the saint who apparently dictates young Paraguayans' relationship statuses (San Juan dice que si, San Juan dice que no), and doll-like effigies of virgins passing by in candle-lined streets followed by a procession following their virgin to the neighborhood chapel. I've heard an incredible Paraguayan story of a pilgrimage to the basilica in Caacupe while six months pregnant with a one year old on her back to thank the virgin of Caacupe for miraculously bringing her sick child back to health. And most recently, there's the story of my young Paraguayan friend who has had to make some difficult choices because of her abusive family situation. In her words, si dios quiere (if god wills it) she will survive.
Overall the time has flown by and although I have been missing much of the events of the outside world and the community I used to know, I have been able to take a closer peek into the lives of my Paraguayan friends and family. Please excuse me if my lack of technology has taken me away from my former network, but be assured that in the long run being absent/or more present has helped me to aprovechar (appreciate) the Paraguayan stories that are to be told.
Until my next post...