Saturday, May 31, 2008

El Terere

Terere is a herbal tea that people drink here. It´s actually kind of good, although it does not have much taste. It kind of tastes like steeped herbs. I guess that´s what tea is supposed to taste like. Not too bad though. However, here el Terere is a national past time. EVERYONE, and yes I mean EVERYONE walk around with their thermos of hot water (or maybe cold) and there little wooden cup (called a guampa pronounce "gwam´pa") and drinks this tea. Old people sit in their window and drink the stuff. Store owner, students, and construction workers and homeless people all do too. Well the interesting part, is how they share it. There are unwritten rules on how one shares their terere. There are unwritten rules on what ones is supposed to do with the metal straw, how to stir the tea, who can stir it etc. It´s kind of cool to watch the "ceremony" when people drink it. So how do they share it? Well they have one wooden cup and a metal straw. Then they pass the cup around so everyone can drink it. Needless to say EVERYONE drinks from the same metal straw. This does not make us too happy because we are not used to this. But I guess it will be something that I have to get used to and take my medicine and Pray that there are no serious risks to drinking the tea this way. Below is a picture.

Everywhere you go people carry these things around. It´s kinda like an country ritual. It´s pretty neat to see.

Terere es un tea medicinal. Me imagino que la mayoria de ustedes ya saben lo que es, asi que aguardense mientras que les aburren con mi explinacion y experiencia. Aqui en Paraguay se toma mucho el terere. Todos cargan su thermos con agua caliente y sus copa de madera (el guampa) La manera en que lo tomen es super interesante. Todoavia no he averiguado la signficancia de las maneras en que toman. Parece un ritual pero es super interesante. Lo mas me hace preocupar es el hecho de que comparten el tea entre mucha gente, todo bebiendo de la misma bombilla (popote, sorbete). Hasta ahora no se me ha emfermado de la gripe pero suspecho que me falta poco para enfermarme. Bueno no les aburro con todo los detalles. Esperen para la proxima actualizacion.


I have arrived here in Paraguay, and so far things are going well. My host family is wonderful and have taken me in like there own. The food has been good so far and should continue to be. I expect to lose some weight (which I need to do) and I suspect that I will be a bit more healthy. The food here is more natural than the food at home. Language? Uhm, yes the Jopara (Spanish mixed with Guarani) is rather difficult, but my family says that I will learn quickly. I hope I do.

He llegado aqui in Paraguay. Hasta ahora todo me va bien. My familia con quien vivo aqui is fabulosa. Me han brindado todo y haba abierto su casa como si yo fuera uno su hijos. La comida ha sido rica y parece que toda la comida sera media rica. Parece que me voy a bajar de peso ( eso es bueno para mi....el pansón) y creo que sera yo, sano. La comida aqui me parece mas natural que la comida en EEUU. Lenguaje? Ehhh, si, Jopara ( Espanol mezcaldo con el Guarani ) es un poquito dificil, pero me dice mi familia que lo aprendaré rapidisimo. Eso, yo espero.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Points of Departure....Puntos de Partida

Today we did the final touches of our training. I have been in my graduate program (International Studies) since august of 2006. I have been listening and preparing for this peace corps experience since that time. I don't think more training will fit in my head. Im ready to step foot in Paraguay and begin my work. Currently we are here in Miami waiting for our bus to pick us up for our ride to the Miami International airport. Though sad to leave my family and girlfriend, I think I'm ready....

Hoy terminamos los ultimos puntos de la capicitacion. Desde que emepece mi programa de postrgrado en 2006 he estado aprendiendo y estudiando todo del Cuerpo de Paz. Ya estoy harto de capacitacion y listo para pisar la tierra de Paraguay. Se que ahi me espera mucho mas para aprender. Sin embargo estoy listo. Ahora estamos esperando el autobus para ir al aeropuerto. Aunque me da mucha tristeza dejar mi noiva y mi familia, creo (espero que, ojala que) que estoy listo.....

Pictures of Miami Below

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I arrived here in Miami yesterday. Staging is not really much of anything other than an orientation before going to the host country. It's been very weird experience. It feels a lot like vaction (the hotel, the luggage, the new scenes), but with the uneasy feeling that it will end like anything other than a vacation. In training today the trainer told us to "look around at all of these people....these people will be your family...." The people look nice enough, but I just can't imagine that for the first few months these people are gonna be my "close" friends. I don't even know any of them yet.... I guess the peace corps knows what they are doing.

Tomorrow evening (wed) we board our flight for Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Word has it, that the same day that we arrive (thursday) each of us will each go to stay with our host family. I feel for the volunteers that do not know a word of Spanish.

Llegue aqui in Miami ayer. La orientacion, de verad no es nada. Es mas para ubicarnos y prepararnos para nuestra destinacion in Asuncion. Bueno, eso es Es una experiencia muy extrano. Es como una vacacion (el hotel, equipaje, ambiente nueva) pero la sensacion extrano es de que este "viaje" sera cualquier otra cosa aparte de un viaje al fin y acabo de todo. En la orientacion, el lider nos dijo que fijaramos muy bien en a la gente en nuestros alrededores, "porque" dijo el senor, "estas personas sera tu familia durante los proximos 27 meses. Ne entiendes mal, la gente me parece buena gente, pero es super dificil imaginar que estas personas seran mis buenos amigos durante el tiempo mas dificil, durante el tiempo de capcitacion--apenas los conoci. Bueno, manana embarcamos para nuestra Asuncion querida! Dicen que ese mismo dia, nos vamos a quedar con nuestras familias. Siento por la gente que ni hablan ninguna palabrita de espanol.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Next step may prove more difficult./ El proximo paso puede ser lo mas dificil

Phew!! Now that school is complete I can concentrate on trying to prepare for my tour in the Peace Corps. I honestly thought that once school was complete it would be easier to focus. However, the difficulty now is actually following through with doing this. I thought it would be easy to leave, like any other trip. But of course, this one is much different. 27 months away from my home and my girlfriend is going to be A LOt more difficult than I had orginally anticipated. I try not to let it show, but I think I'm a nervous wreck. This is not good! Or on the other hand, maybe this is normal...who knows....

Ahhhh, Ahora que he terminado con mis estudios puedo concentrarme en la preparacion para mi turno en el Cuerpo de Paz. En veradad, yo pensaba que cuando termine este semestre seria mas facil enfocarme en la preparacion. Sin embargo, la dificultad ahora es seguir con mis planes de ir y cumplir mi acuerdo con el Cuerpo de Paz y fisicamente pisar el avion para comezar mi turno. Pense que seria facil alejarme, como cualquier otro viaje. Pero claro este viaje sera pero muy diferente. 27 meses lejos de mi familia y novia va a ser MUCHO mas dificil que anticipaba antes. Trato de no demostrar el estres de que estoy sufriendo, pero en verdad siento que me estoy volviendo loco emocionalmente. Esto no es bueno....o tal vez es normal.....quien sabe.