Saturday, August 8, 2009



Gracias al juez/thanks to the judge

y el anillo/and the ring

"accepto"/ "I do"

el momento/the moment

esperando todavia/still waiting

esperando el juez/waiting on the judge


Saludos a todos!  Espero que este correo les encuentre bien! Les escribo desde Springfield, Missouri. Muchos de ustedes ya saben que vivo aquí. Después de una dura búsqueda, he conseguido un trabajo federal con el Departamento de Labor. Tengo un mes viviendo aquí y poco a poco me estoy acostumbrando a Springfield. Nunca veía a Oklahoma City como una ciudad diversa, sin embargo, dado que a Springfield le falta diversidad me costará un poco en acostumbrarme a esta ciudad.  Pero no les escribo para hablar de mi traslado a Springfield.

Les escribo con mucha felicidad. Les escribo para anunciar que hace una semana Karla y yo nos unimos en matrimonio! La semana pasada no casamos por el civil y para el año que viene haremos la ceremonia religiosa. Tenemos planes de hacer una ceremonia sencilla e intima con nuestras familias. Estoy sumamente feliz. Ya nos mudamos a Springfield y estamos buscando empleo para Karla. El último mes se nos ha pasado como maravilla y al mismo tiempo ha sido un mes lleno de estrés a causa del cambio de lugar, trabajo nuevo y planes de matrimonio. Pero aunque haya sido medio difícil, estoy muy feliz y no hubiera preferido pasar por esta etapa con alguien menos mi querida Karla.

Con el departamento de Labor, estaré trabajando como investigador en la división de Horas y Salarios (Wage and Hour Division). La división de Horas y Salarios establece normas de salario mínimo, pago de sobretiempo, contabilidad de horas y pagos, además de hacer cumplir normas para el empleo de menores.  Este trabajo requiere que investigue negocios para confirmar que están conforme a las leyes federales. En la solicitación de empleo, encontré que buscaba alguien que hablara español y sentía que esta carrera me convendría. Así que, aquí me encuentro trabajando duro y estudiando todas las regulaciones federales de empleo. Durante este periodo de capacitación he estado saturado de trabajo.

Les agradezco por mucho por sus oraciones y su apoyo durante este tiempo difícil. Me estoy estableciendo en una ciudad nueva en una carrera nueva y con mi esposa querida. Para ustedes en Paraguay, les quiero agradecer especialmente. Mi tiempo ahí con ustedes cambio me manera de ser, mi perspectiva hacia mí fe y me ayudó a desarrollar un fervor renovado hacia la vida. Siempre guardaré un espacio muy cercano a mi corazón. Gracias y que Dios les bendiga a todos.

Próximamente estaré actualizando mi sitio de web con fotos del casamiento civil. Favor de revisarlas cuando haya tiempo.


Mark Allan Carter


Sunday, July 12, 2009


First, I want to start with the obvious. Now that I'm back in the states, and not in Paraguay, I'm not quite sure what purpose this blog serves for me. Therefore, I ask that you bear with me while I figure out what to do with it. I suspect that I will be posting rather random tidbits of what I find interesting. With that said, let's talk about "TRAINING"

This past week was my first week on the job. I didn't' actually work, but I spent the whole week in Kansas City doing all of the preliminary paperwork and introductory preparation for the job. The week went smoothly and without many problems. The people were friendly and willing to make me feel comfortable. The Kansas City office is the district office. I will not be working in this particularly office (I'll be in Springfield, MO), but I will be in contact with the people there often.

Throughout the week I was handed what seemed like endless forms to sign and endless booklets and packets of information to read. I thought I would drown in information until the Friday, the last day. The last day I was handed 3 gargantous Field Operation Handbooks. Honestly, each one was about the size of a phone book. Worse still was that it requires an index in order to find anything in either of the books. Lastly, I was give still another huge book of Labor regulations! I guess I'll have to learn it, but it sure does not look promising :)

Wish me luck as I dig in to all of this starting tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Hello everyone! I hope this correspondence finds you doing well. My last posting was a cry for help. I first want to thank everyone who contacted me with advice, a comforting word or a job posting. I also want to give thanks to our Lord and heavenly father for helping find employment, especially given our economic situation here in the States. I have been offered and have accepted a federal position with the Department of Labor in Springfield, Missouri. I will be working as a Wage and Hour investigator. In a nutshell and investigator seeks to make sure businesses are in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Acts.

The Labor Department was seeking an investigator who spoke Spanish to work with the Latino community. When I saw the posting for the position I thought to myself "Hey, I could do that!" For those of you who have known me for many years, I'm sure can remember all the long summer hours at our neighborhood McDonalds' restaurant here on Rockwell next to P.C. North. At the time I was there, I didn't think that working at McDonald's would do too much for me. I realize now that our Lord must have been working behind the scenes. I realize now that working there has played a critical role in my decision to major in Spanish, to serve in the Peace Corps, my choice of a fiancé, and now employment with the Labor Department.

Again, thanks to all of you for your help and prayers. God bless and please keep in touch. Thanks again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I continue....

I've been home for a while now. But I still find it difficult to put it all into words. A little less than 60 days ago, I was in a country that was proud to no longer rank in the top 3 most impoverished countries in the Western hemisphere, a country that is also proud to NO LONGER be ranked in the top 5 most corrupt countries in the world. Paraguay has changed a lot over the last decade. Nevertheless, I was born in the U.S. and any comparison another country is shocking to say the least. Though I go through the motions, know how to behave socially and based upon all appearances look "normal", I think I am anything but normal. I don't know if I will ever be the same again. It's a good feeling and at times a painful feeling. I am sometimes filled with pride to be in my country of birth and see the great and wonderful things that have been accomplished. I am filled with pride to see the good things that our country does across the world. In the same moment, I am sometimes pained to see how short sighted we (I) as Americans can be. This has nothing and everything to do with our political and economic situation. I'm not attempting to describe any one particular issue or person. If I could sum it up in one illustration, it would be that I am sometimes saddened how our culture and society (individuals, politicians and parents) will choose expediency over what is the obvious good for our country. I love my country and would trade it for no other. I guess, it is the deep love for my country that allows me to care as much as I do.

On a lighter note, I continue looking for employment and am open to any ideas that you may have. This weekend I took sometime off from my job search and enjoyed a wonderful Easter Sunday. Below you will see a picture of Karla and I before heading to church. God bless and may he keep you in his love and guidance.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A New Beginning …

As I look back, I find that it has been a while since I've updated my blog here. One may assume that there has not been too much going on or one may assume that perhaps I've been so busy I haven't had time to update you all on what's been going on lately. I guess I should say that It's been a little of both. I am here in the states and will not be returning to Paraguay. I first want to say that Paraguay is an unforgettable place. Even more difficult to forget will be the friends and families that I met while there. In short, the time spent in Paraguay changed my life. I think it would be unfair to ask me to explain exactly how Paraguay has changed my life. This is something that I think those of you who know me well, will see during interaction with me and will hear about over time. I think the best start would be reading my blog, reading the feelings and thoughts expressed as each event occurred. I guess what you are wondering is "why" is it that I will not be returning to Paraguay. Well, I'm human. I enjoyed the work. I enjoyed the people. I enjoyed the experiences and I enjoyed the Paraguayan culture. Honestly, I think of very little that I disliked about Paraguay. What I did not enjoy was the distance between my girlfriend and me. We've had plans to take our relationship to the next level for a while now. However, being so far away pulled at the very essence of my relationship in a way I didn't think was possible. So what does this mean for Peace Corps. Well, it means that I won't be going back. Though I miss Paraguay, fellow volunteers, my site San Juan Bautista, the friends and families met and though I feel that I have let many people down (here in the U.S and back in Paraguay), I am certain that I will not regret the decision made. My girlfriend Karla means the world to me and finishing my service in the Peace Corps and whatever benefits would come with completion would me nothing if she was not by my side. I appreciate all of the words of support already received from many friends and family. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Thanks for all of your support.

So now, I'm faced with a new beginning- a new beginning at one of the most difficult times in our country's history. I NEED TO FIND EMPLOYMENT. So this post also serves as a S.O.S. I have returned from Peace Corps in one of the most difficult job markets ever. I have been doing some searching and have yet to land a job. While this post is read by many people, I hope it reaches you in a personal manner. If you know of positions available (or soon to be available) in your company (or perhaps you have your own business), please contact me ASAP at . Thanks in advance for all of your help!


Last, I don't know what the future of the blog will be, but hopefully I can turn it into something worth reading. Stay tuned for more information.


God Bless you all and thanks for you help.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Top 10 Most unsanitary practices in Paraguay….

....of which we do on almost a daily basis

1) Sharing the same guampa and bombilla (drinking cup/bottle and metal straw when drinking Terere). In other words drinking after others using the same straw.

2) Being served and huge central trough of food among many people, and all sharing one set of silverware.

3) Being served a plate of food on a plate recently used by someone else, and not yet cleaned.

4) Being expected to use the tablecloth as your napkin, that is, grabbing the table cloth and wiping your mouth and hands on it. (I have yet to adopt this practice).

5) Sharing a glass with any acquaintance remotely known, when drinking almost any beverage.

6) Eating meat that was just recently sitting on the counter (hanging in the open air or in a bin unrefrigerated).

7) Watching just about everyone go to the restroom and continue cooking without washing their hands

8) The absence of soap in almost all public and private restrooms

9) Nose picking in public (this apparently is not seen as something gross here)

10) Continuing to consume food after finding a bug or insect in it.