Friday, November 9, 2012

Dear Paraguayan Diary,

I received three beautiful, leather-bound journals as going away presents before leaving for the Peace Corps.  During training, I frequently recounted my days and put into words my fears, frustrations and little victories in the journal’s pages.  However, after moving to site, my journal entries have become sparser for a number of reasons.  Despite the staggering amount of “free time” I have here, I constantly feel like there is something else I should be doing and when not doing something I should be doing, I have so many other time-killing ways to procrastinate that I enjoy more than journal-ing.  Further, this experience is so unusual and extraordinary, to try to sort my feelings and emotions into logical sentences feels overwhelming at times.  I know journal-ing is a healthy release and so I’ll be more dedicated in the future, unless I have other things I should be doing or other more fun ways to procrastinate, of course.

I thought I would share with you a sampling of what my journal might look like if I kept one somewhat regularly excluding the long, twisted self-evaluations and heart pouring that even I don’t want to read.

Dear Paraguayan diary,
Today I went to a baptism and the 5”3, 30-something godfather with a rat’s tail hair-cut and jean patches on his sneakers asked me to marry him and take him back to the United States.  I then preceded to eat almost an entire chicken, minus a few choice cuts, for the sake of not insulting the host at the barbecue that followed.  When I was the first one to leave after spending eight hours in their neighborhood, I succeeded in insulting everyone.  Even the newborn twins looked miffed.  Cultural integration is hard.

Dear Paraguayan diary,
I had a great day today. I built a brick oven with another volunteer to help out a family in my community.  The family was grateful and the entire experience was rewarding.  Later on, I saw that the owner of the goats that live in my yard finally put a leash on the youngest goat that eats everything I own.  I celebrated so noisily upon the discovery that the neighborhood dogs started a mild canine riot.  The next time I left my yard I told the baby goat to “suck it”.  So to summarize, I helped a family to avoid cooking on the floor and its consequential respiratory problems and I told a baby goat to suck it.  The goat scenario was my favorite part of the day.

Dear Paraguayan diary,
Today I gave a geography charla at my school and asked the children to draw maps of the world after I showed them example world maps including the one we painted on the wall of their school.  The majority drew circles with some blobs in them labeled with places like, Paraguay, Chile, Mexico and Buenos Aires and Ciudad del Este. Not one country from another continent or other continent was drawn.  This is going to be a long charla series.

Dear Paraguayan diary,
Please remind me never to try to make hummus without a blender or roasted vegetables without an oven again.  Thank you.

Dear Paraguayan diary,
Today I climbed Yvytyrusu (Cerro Tres Kandu), the highest mountain in Paraguay with some other volunteers and Paraguayan friends.  No big deal.  As a side note, all the safety precautions and waivers that we must follow in the United States at our national parks are pretty beneficial.  I realized this as I was holding onto to a tree branch and a thin metal cable with my feet slipping out from under me and staring at the steepest descent of the mountain.

Dear Paraguayan diary,
Today my dog went into heat.  While asking my neighbor to keep her male dogs out of my yard, I accidentally told her that I don’t want to be pregnant instead of saying that I don’t want my dog to be pregnant.  Please Lord Jesus, help my dog to keep her doggie panties on while we wait for her to be spayed.  That, or at least help me to catch any wandering male dogs with their treacherous, seductive canine ways.  I don’t want Paraguayan puppies. One is enough.

1 comment:

  1. Too funny. The world we don't live in is wild! Suck it goats!

    Chuck and I wish you lots of luck and would love to send you some hummus!~ Hugs & Love, Laura and Chuck