Saturday, June 13, 2009

parade etc...

yesterday i took a wandering walk...and came upon a random parade and fair...I first noticed boys in uniform and then scantically clad girls in uniforms and I was wondering what was up. Maybe another holdiday or something so I followed a couple girls in hooker boots and cheerleading looking uniforms.And then they were everywhere and there were a ton of people watching this parade next to a park, and there was food and music and rides on the grass. It was really cool. I asked a woman what was going on and it was a city wide parade of the schools. There were marching down a long path. They all had different uniforms and and some of them were in marching bands for each school. The girls in the hooker boots were in the marching bands or in the baton twirling groups. I´ve never seen any marching bands that were SO...um sexy lol...I don´t think that would fly in the US teenage girls in black stilleto hooker boots marching down the street. I know my mom was in the marching band and highschool and I know that would not have flown in ohio lol.But this didn´t seem to bother anyone else, especially the young men and boys oggling them on the sidelines. I had a good time though, it was cool to see that many paraguayans together celebrating school and parauayan pride.There were a lot of flags, and cheering, pride, and joy. The only downside was that the haves and the have nots was never so obvious. These kids parents crearly had money to pay for these very nice uniforms, instraments, schools, and hooker boots...And there were poor kids and families selling food and other things on the sidelines. It was really sad I could tell this one little girl who was colleting empty cans towards the end, wished she could be a part of it and march and get her hair done like the other girls and wear a clean pretty uniform. I think a lot of people here are just kind of immune to the poverty because its so wide spread and they see it everyday. No one bats an eye when kids run around with no shoes, and a 6 year old tries to sell you a chicklet for next to nothing.But I still get a pang in my chest everytime.I usually try and give them something,and sometimes a I buy chicklets and tell them to keep the change. A 6year old should not be shoeless and husteling socks or whatever with their older sister all day long. They should´t have to worry about money and where their next meal is coming from. On cold nights when it rains hard I wonder if they have a safe place to sleep at night.It seriously breaks my heart because there are so many of them. Its brought me close to tears a few times, especially when I look them in eye and they look back at me with sad hungry eyes.I want to take them home with me, and feed them, and bathe them, and read them a story, and put them to bed under a warm blanket.Every child deserves those things. And I think I might have been one of them...if I had´t been adopted.I´m one of the lucky ones I guess...which also sometimes makes me feel guilty for being lucky, for having more, for not having to worry about where my next meal will be. But my guilt and sadness is nothing compared to what these poor kids have to go through. It just hurts because even though I have more I can´t fix it all,its beyond me and them its the whole country it needs a massive restructuring to helps its people, my people. I think the first major movement should be a massive distribution of condoms and birth control. Which maybe hard to do in a very catholic county but seriously there are too many starving children running around barefoot, and mothers who work hard but can barely take care of them. Planned parenthood is the best kind of parenting.Anyway, I´m all cried out on this one, sorry if this was morbid but these things way heavy on my heart sometimes. Hopefully, the kids marching in the parade will make this country better for everyone the future is in their hands.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Itaipu dam, zoo, and Guarani museo...

Yesterday, I did A LOT of fraking walking once again. My feet were trobbing by the end, but it was worth it. I had a fund day.I couldn´t fidn where the damn bus was to Itaipu so after being tired and lost this cab driver offered me a ride. I was apprehensive at first but he seemed legit and it wasn´t too much money. So, I put up my feet and he took me. On the way there of course I saw where to take the bus!It´s the same bus that goes to Hernandarias. But whatever it all worked out.I had to bring my passport becuase the dam is co-owned by Paraguay and Brasil, so I was techiqually in both countries. There was a bus tour, by this nice very informative lady. The dam gets power and energy from the rio Parana, which is separate from the Iguazu river, apparently thats more south. My geography is still a little messed up over here...I think I may have said the river was the rio Paraguay, but its the Parana.Anyway the tour was cool, and the damn is freakin massive!Then the tour guide told me that the zoo was close. So, I asked the driver if he could drive me there too.I offered to pay him a lil more, and he accepted.He told me his name, but it was hard to say and now I don´t remember of course lol.Anyway, he was nice and toured the guarani museo and zoo with me. The museo had artifacts and info on the gaurani people on one side.And on the other it had info and specimens on local animals and flora and fauna. Then down the road from the museo was the zoo, which was´t that big but had a few curios creatures I´d never seen before which was cool. Then he drove me back to the hotel, it was a long informative fun day. Then I had dinner at the hotel and had amazing pork with some sauce that was really good! Oh and on a side note the asian food is good here too.The night before I ate this place and the food was really good and they had HUGE portions.
This morning was really annoying though...! Who does construction at 7 in the morning on a Sunday! I woke up to the sound of loud construction workers yelling, and slamming shit around. Conviently, they were done by 9! wtf?! I had planned to move hotels anyway, so I did this morning.I was going to move to this Austria place my tourbook recommended, but it was as cheap as it said it was.So,I found this spot down the block.It looks new,clean, has internet, breakfast,tv, and nice views. This street that its on has like 5 hotels on it, including that Austria place. So, I think I´m good, and its cheaper :) It´s really quite it today, a lot less cars and traffic. I guess because its Sunday a lot of places are closed, people go to church and chill out. I think I´m going to take it easy too.It´s sunny and a little warmer too, which is a nice relief from the cold. Oh I also bought a cute pair of jeans for like 12 buck :)I´m hungry now so I´m gonna go grab some food.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bienvenido!

Bienvenido Fina a mi blog tambien!

Foz de Iguazu

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in Brazil. It took me 3 buses but I made to the falls, and it was so worth the trip.One brasilian man tried to help me out at one of the bus stations, but he spoke no English and barely Spanish and he completely confused me. So, I exchanged my guaranies into reals and they directed me to the tourist info desk and luckily the woman spoke English.I am still trying to get a grip on Spanish! lol and Portugese is a whole other ballpark.Anyway she gave me a much needed map and directed me to which next 2 buses I had to take. The buses weren`t that long and I got to see a lil bit of Brazil, the city right over the border is basically called the Iguazu ciudad, simple and to the point like ciudad de este.When I there I was hungry to I got to carne empanadas which were really good, and there was this British guy there who offered to take my pic in the front. I wanted him to capture the flags...but he missed it.He was nice though. Then I bought my ticket.The falls are a part of the parque nacional.So, they have these buses that you take through part of the park to the falls. Along, the way you can get off and take nature walks, go canoeing, and other activities they offer for an extra fee. I didn`t do any of the extra stuff. The falls were enough...They are huge and spread out wide across these cliffs. They have these smalls paths that you can walk up and down to get different views of the falls. It was beautiful, lush, tropical, and green. I had a great time walking up and down the little pathways. They had friendly amd informative parks people around who spoke many languages. And random people offered to take my picture infront of the falls.There were these little animals, that they told me were cousins of racoons that walked around looking for food. You are not supposed to feed them, but people have in the past.And now a lot of them are having health problems like high cholesterol from eating human food! They were cute and funny looking, and they got really close to me which was a little scary but they are tame. Parts of the paths were scary and really close to the edge of the cliffs, and made me think of my death lol. But other parts were beautiful and peaceful. Mostly it just made me in awe of nature and how powerful and beautiful it can be all at the same time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

welcome

Oh and welcome my new follower Novo...whoever you are :) Enjoy

I walked to Brazil...

Yesterday, I walked to Brazil it was really cool!Oh rewind...I am now in Ciudad de Este, I arrive the day before yesterday. I took a bus...it was a long day...6hrs but I got to see the middle of the country. Which is a lot like the middle of the US farms, cows, crops, green, and mostly flat. The main differece is the ground is red...like deep red clay.And not just the Amish drive horse drawn carts...People got on and off the bus sometimes in the middle of no where...I´m assuming someone was picking them up, in the middle of the road or something. I´m staying at this hotel called Convair which from my travel book is not that expensive,has a pool, a resturant, free breakfast, room service, and a good location. And it is nice, BUT to my suprise they are under construction! The pool is outside, small, and un-usable...they are re-doing the lobby and the pool area is a holding area for their tools and stuff. Which sucks! The resturant is nice though and the breakfast spread is big and also nice. My room is also big and very comfortable, with a nice firm mattress.And the location is good right next to the main shopping area, and the bus to the Foz de Iguazu is right on the corner.I still might change hotels though...tonight the resturant has pasta night though... :)Oh and they have WiFi too! Which I didn´t know, otherwise I would have brought my laptop...instead of being in the internet place listening to bad spanish rap...
Ciudad de Este basically sprung up during the creation of the Itupau dam, which is also right near by. Brazilians and Argentians come here for good deals on a large variety of goods. Yesterday, I walked around. And the city is basically like 34th or 125th times ten. It is literally rows and rows of stores, and covered markets selling a ton of the same crap over and over again.It´s a little insane.The city is very hilly unlike Asuncion, and kind of like San Francisco...there are some big hills! But at the top of the hills are very pretty views of the rio Paraguay and Brasil, and probably Argentina.I´m not sure where the Argentina Brazil border is, but I know it close...and apparently the best views of the falls are on their sides.
During my walk I went into a random spot for some food. The pollo frito was not that good but the waitress was really nice. And she started to ask me a lot questions. This has happened to me 5 or 6 times now...where shops keepers or whoever are like... aren´t you paraguaya or you´re not paraguaya? And they give me a perplexed look...lol. Because I guess I look like them, but obviously when I speak I don´t sound like them at all. I didn´t really notice the accent until I went to Argentina and came back.And Argentine speak very differently!Daniela who is from Cordoba has a different accent, and her brother in laws friends who were from Buenos Aires spoke differntly also. Then when I came back I realized the Paraguayans speak diffently too, especially the ones from Asuncion. I think that is why I have a harder time understanding Leis and Karina.They are both born and grew up in the city.I don´t know how to explain what it sounds like...but its different.
Anyway, back to the waitress who´s name is Sandra.She has a brother who is working in NY. I ended up telling her my whole little story.And she said she knew some Miranda´s and said she would ask them if knew of an Adolfina from Hernandarias. Which was cool and very nice of her. She seemed normal and around my age too, so we´ll see what happens.She gave me her number and I told her what hotel I was staying at. It´s a start at least, becuase I honestly did not even know where I was going to start and look for my birth family.Her sister brought her niece over the the resturant and I chatted with them for a bit then I headed out.Her niece was really cute and fat.
Then I walked around getting a little lost for awhile, and thats when I walked up one of those big hills and saw the river. I was trying to get down to the river to get a better view and take some pics, and just when I was about to head back to the hotel and almost got run over by bikers and truck I saw the bridge! It´s called the friendship bride, or aduana puente de la amistad.It´s the friendship bridge between Paraguay and Brasil...so I walked to Brazil! It was really cool and fun. There are these guys on motorcycles that can take you over for a small fee. But I prefered to walk its better for my health, the environment, and my mental state...because motorcycles frankly scare me! I didn´t want to be holding on for dear life to some random man. One of them actually grabbed my arm to offer me a ride and I was so pissed, I gave him one of my infamous dirty looks and yelled no at him. Then the other guys stopped asking me too. Plus there were plenty of other people walking over too. The view was beautiful, and it was a nice sunny day...my midday it had warmed up to the 60´s. On either side of the bridge its lush greenery, and the river winds around like a snake.There is an island on one side of the brige and I wondered who´s was it.Because there was a marker in the middle of the river at separated Brazil from Paraguay.I took lots of pics :) Crossing over is nto too formal, you don´t even need to have your passport stamped. I didn´t stay in Brazil for long anyway, it looks the same as the Paraguayan side except its in Portugese, and you have to pay in Reals, and its an hour ahead which is funny because its like 10 maybe 15 walk and you´re and hour a head. I walked back on the other side of the bridge and took more pics. It was beautiful. And that is actually one thing I remember...from when I was young everything being very green. Then I went back to the hotel to rest and shower.I watched the General´s Daughter, which is very a disturbing movie, if you haven´t seen it. It was good but distubring.Then I ordered room service, I love room service :) hehe.
Today I´m going to take the bus the the Foz de Iguazu...I´m waiting until it warms up a bit. I think this winter is especially cold, because Wilma told me it rains and its cold for a few days and then its back to the 70´s-80´s. But that has not been the case the past few weeks.Even on the news this morning they mentioned donating warm clothes for students, who don´t have them.Because a lot of people especially poorer people don´t own that many clothes period let alone sweaters or coats.Luckily, I packed some. When I first got hear I thought I packed to many sweater but I think I packed just enough.I actually even bought a cheap hoody last week.
On a side note, there are a lot of Asians in the city.A lot of Japanese,Taiwanese, and Chinese.So, maybe I am part Asian!lol.I just helped this Japanese girl on Skype.She spoke no Spanish, but English.Maybe they have decent Asian food here, I´m going to ask her if she knows a good Japanese place.Anyway, that´s it for now.
Ciao

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pregunta...

Oh does anyone know why I can't upload pics from my iphoto?! Its really annoying...
Oh and post comments people!
K thanks bye

Raining and Cold...No me gusta!

Ugh...so it's been raining, cold, and overcast this whole week! I DO NOT LIKE IT and I am so over it...plus I may need to buy warmer clothes and better shoes for the rain...flip flops do not cut it...this sucks I hate weather like this and it makes me want to do nothing and stay inside the whole day. I had planned on going to the botanical gardens but I don't think I will enjoy it much in this weather...
Also, side note the teachers on on strike and because the government wants to change the whole public school system and have it run by local officials....yea sucks. This one guy emailed me back about teaching at an english teaching like institution and I emailed him back but haven't heard anything since. Blah...
So, my plan as of now is to go east to see the Itapau dam, Iguazu falls, Ciudad de Este and my hometown Hernandarias and there attempt to look for my birth mom. Then I think I'll go home, because I might as well be unemployed there...I trying but our bad economy and our bad pubic school system is like 10 fold bad here...
Oh I forgot to write about my other days in Argentina,,,let me try and remember...I ended up going to a Mennonite church which was interesting...there were like 30-40 people and one guy kind of led stuff but he was not the minister, no one is. They have elders who volunteer to lead. Then other people can talk about the bible and their experiences/problems and stuff. I would call that more of a large bible study group then a service but whatever they did sing songs too. I guess that is how the first churches started. Then we had a nice big lunch, and this 80 year old little man was like in love with me, it was funny. He was sweet not like a creepy old man, and he looked good for his age more like 60 haha. He asked me lots of questions and said I was beautiful :) Which was nice to hear. There was actually this woman from Indiana who was studying there, but she was a little weird and tried to hide the fact that she's American...lady it was still obvious! Anyway, Rosie from the student center came too. And Dan the Mexican minister who cooked us asado the other night. And Luchie's sister came too. I had a nice time and the food was bangin. Then I went over to Laura Sol's new apartment. It was really cute and they have a little balcony with a nice view. Some of the walls are lil fucked up and one room is a total mess but I know she'll make it nice. We had mate and chipa she made, and caught up. She got the apt with her boyfriend Lukas, who is Swiss. He is coming back next month to continue his studies. She showed me lots of pictures of them they look really cute together. And now she is learning German which she gets a lil confused with English now, it was funny. Then I went to this meeting with her that was pretty boring and Daniela was supposed to to meet us there but she didnt show up, she was cleaning up from the lunch. So, I took a cab home cause it was cold by then and I wasn't dressed in enough...like right now. Ugh I hate crappy weather...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 2 in Buenos Aires

I'm breaking these up...so they are not insanely long to read...lol

The next day I was on a visiting Museums mission because they have a lot here. My Footprints on South America tour book has been really helpful so far, the maps were great in Asuncion. But here not as much. I guess because they change things here more than Asuncion. But the first Museum I tried to visit was not there anymore! The modern museum of art,,, Which was really annoying. So, I walked around for awhile and then stopped for some food. The waiter was very nice to me and my Spanish was good, I don't know if people are just being nice when they say that to me or if it actually is sometimes. It really depends on what people tell me. Anyway, then I went off to 2 other museums that didn't look that far on the map. The first one was closed, the second one was open but it was small and and a random assortment of old photos, costumes, and set designs. It was called the Museo de Teatro Nacional Cervantes. Basically, its an old theater. I was done quickly with it. So, then I went on a mission to find an adapter to charge the camera battery which had died. And it didn't fit into any of the outlets in the store. Luckily, I found one on the way to another Museum. On the way there I passed by Plaza de la Republica again and the Plaza de libertad. The nieghborhood the Museum was in was very nice and richy rich. Nice buildings with door men, air conditioning, and nice little shops, and resturants. Even a few embassy's. I passed by the Isreal embassy. I also passed by this really cool gallery. It had really beautiful comtemporay art. This one artist I loved her sculptures. Silvana Kelm. I made sure to write down her name so I could google her later...lol You should too! Her sculpture had dancers in movement and acrobats, and in the gallery they were hung in mid air which looked extra cool, it was like they were flying. Here is a website I found... http://www.silvanakelm.com.ar/
After, that I finally made it to a real museum! The Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano. It was beautiful. The actual building used to be a mansion of this rich architect named Martin Noel. It was called the Palacio Noel. It was white and big, with beautiful archways and high ceilings. There was also a garden inside and surrounding it. At little piece of quite heaven in the big city. A small church was also next to it that had beautiful tiling. The garden also had pretty benches that had pretty mosaic decorations. I was sad my camera had no battery. I might go back just to take pics. Inside the museum they had metal work in silver from Spain and Portugal, as well as beautiful leather and wood carvings in chairs and furniture. It also had a good amount of indiginous crafts of various tribes. There were also christian sculptures and paintings of the madonna and baby. It covered the history of pre Europeans to the early 19th century. There were 3 floors I had a fun time exploring. Downstairs I watched a movie loop of colonial dress, and one of the museum guys sat down and talked to me for awhile. He didn't speak much English though, so once the conversation a little confusing he brought in this women who helped translate a bit lol... She told me about the history of the house. Then it was getting late so I decided it was time to head back. There were also a bunch of other galleries but the road where my bus was, was far away Rivadavia, and I was on Arroyo...like 15 block and like 6 avenues... I grabbed an ice pop on the way it wasn't that great though, and this little poor kid asked for it on the street so I gave it to him. Poor people live on the Plaza on the benches and random dirty mattresses they picked up its sad. I got off the bus prematuraly though I had to walk an extra lie 20 blocks. I was exhausted and my feet were trobbing!!!! I finally made it back and Daniela was worried. She had called the students center a few times lol. I called her back took a quick cat nap and headed to her house for Asado,,,grilled meat! Yum Luchie's sister was there, and the man Daniel from Mexico I had a great time, drank wine and took a much needed load off! I slept like a baby on a sedative lol. This morning I was sore and my legs felt like jelly so I took it easy today. Oh I forgot I met up with Laura Sol this morning too for breakfast and another walk around town...lol. It was nice to see her after so long. We had a yummy breakfast of pastries.I'm probably going to see her tomorrow too. Now I have to go to Daniela's we're going to her brother in laws birthday... ciao!!!!

Buenos Aires...

So, I've been here a couple days and I am really enjoying myself! :) It is a lot bigger of a city then Asuncion and much more developed. Also, it had a lot more people which I like. Daniela lives in an area called Floresta, which is a little ways from downtown, but there are a lot of buses here, which are also more modern than Asuncion, but don't have much seating. The first bus I took I tried to give the bus driver the pesos and he looked at me funny, but thats what you do in Asuncion!lol I was just getting used to guaranies and now I have to think in pesos...Anyway, what else? Oh I'm actually not staying at Daniela's but a student center a few blocks away. Daniela and her husband just moved, and they literally still have a room filled with boxes. The student center is not a hostel though, but similiar it houses students for cheap or free who are studying here full time. So, unlike a hostel they stay for long periods of time. There are mostly girls, but not that many. This one girl Rosie is from Honduras, another from Columbia, but she just went home. Another girl is Argentina but from another area. And there is one guy from Columbia Bernando. He showed me where to take the bus to Plaza de Mayo. And Mira showed me where the grocery store was :) They are all very nice and helpful. I have my own little room upstairs and free WIFI! Which is awesome :) I have a great connection here.
So, the first night I went to Daniela's place and had dinner with her and her husband Luchie. Luchie is learning English and he is a counselor from drug addicts. They moved to an apartment attached to a small Mennoite church. I didn't know this but Daniela's father was a mennoite preacher, and her great grandfather was too and came from Ohio. Ironically, Daniela is an atheist...lol. She even attends atheist group meeting. She also works in a christian organization doing administrative type work.Which I found to be funny. Luchie is also involved in the church. She said she likes the people in the church but so much the rest. Well to to each their own, I guess. They are going to be in NYC in a few weeks actually. She has family in Pennsylvania and other areas but they've never been to the city. So, I told her which sites to see. After dinner they took to the student center, and gave me my key there which has a Paraguayan key chain lol.
The next I went to the grocery store with Mira and Bernando took me to the bank, to get money and change for the bus. Then I took the bus to Plaza de Mayo which was really pretty and packed with tourist. One man offered to take my pic infront of the casa rosado, which is the presidents place. Then I walked around for a while and found this street called Peru with cool vendors and crafts people. I was super thirsty though so I had to stop and drink and eat. Then I walked over to the Plaza de la Republica and the Obelisk. The Obelisk looks exactly like that tall white thing in DC which I forget the name of hehe. Then I took the bus back, and suprisenly I got off the bus just at the right place purely on intuition haha. Then I took a lil nap and showered. Daniela picked Rosie and I up to go to Daniela's for dinner. Rosie's boyfriend Luciano joined us later. He is Argentine and works for a honey company the is called Organic World but he can't say world... Luchie is worse in prouncing it though lol. I guess it is a hard word for Spanish people.

update...

I don't know where to start...the day before i left for buenos aires i visited the horizonte school in lambare the american woman started...I took right bus this time! lol That day I got lost Wilma told me bus 44,28, and 30 go to from downtown to the house...44 does not! Or if it does it takes an awefully long time to get there! I didn't risk finding out this time. Anyway the school was very nice and bigger than I thought it would be. Sue was very nice and ohio. She is middle aged, blond, with blue eyes. She said she ended up coming to Paraguay because she had a couple friends who were missonaries down there. They had invited her to come. She intended just to visit, but she ended up helping start this school and eventually became the director. Lambare is a fairly poor suburb of Asuncion. Like Asuncion it has nice areas too, but also a lot of poor areas. A lot of the students come from these poor little nieghborhoods that the government buys and sells them small plots of land to live on. The plots are very small and close together though. There is no room for them to grow fruits or vegetables on. It was sad to see. The school has been trying to bring the community together though, and get the parents involved in the students school. The school started in 2001 I think...and they want to develope more and add more classes and students. I was very impressed with the work they are doing there. As I mentioned before students usually only attend school half the day, which I found odd and so did Sue, so at the school they have extended hours. The school gets help from churchs and non for profit organizations in the US and in Paraguay. Its a well oiled machine. If they don't mind Presbyterian help, I will ask my church about helping the school when I get home. Sue was a little preachy about God but it is a Methodist school so...She invited me over for lunch at her house though which was very nice. We ate with her house keeper...ummm I forget her name, but she was very sweet. After that I went back and observed a class. The students practiced their English on me, it was funny. After the class I spoke with the teacher and we had a pretty functional conversation Spanish! She was from a town in the interior which she missed, but she said she liked teaching there. And I told her my whole little story, which she thought was cool. And she wished me good luck on my journey. Then I went back to downtown and attempted to check my email but the computers weren't working because of the weather which was rainy, overcast, and cool that day. So, I went back to the house and attempted to read my gmail there...which was not working on the house computer because it is SO tempermental and annoying! But I managed to read Daniela's email about her address in Buenos Aires.

Friday, May 22, 2009

en buenos aires...

hola amigos,
its been a few... i am now in argentina and having a great time :) I went and explored plaza de mayo, the presidents office which they call the casa rosado, the pink house lol like the white house... and walked along this street called peru with vendors and crafts on the street. I had to stop there for awhile though because i was really tired and i think dehydrated. i usually drink a lot of water and i hadnt had any by that point and it was in the middle of the afternoon. i guzzled down a bottle of water with a quickness. then i followed it up with a yummy empanada. i feel like i'm forgetting to write a lot ...i had dinner with daniela, her husband luchie, and this girl and guy and i forget their names,,,,i'm really tired now...so ima pass out...more lata...

Friday, May 15, 2009

dia de las mamas y independia dia...

today is mothers day and independence day in paraguay... yesterday was also kind of independence day there was a small parade but the weather was crappy so not a lot of people went. apparently jaunjo marched it, i happen to come across part of it on my way to the post office.so there is another 3/4 weekend...once again i´m suprise at how much less people seem to work and go to school, its so freakin laid back. I guess its so shocking because NYC is so go,go,go and people work at least 8 hours a day i know other people who work 10hr or even 12/14hrs work days...I´ve worked 10-12hrs days! Which is a little crazy, but sometimes is necessary to get the job done, my friends like Lil work crazy overtime.And that just does not seem to be the mentalilty here at all which is refreshing and totally perplexing lol.NY is also so a 24hr city up and going never stopping and instead people here drink terere with family/friends and take a siesta from the heat. Even in humid hot august at my old job at hmf...my lunch break was still only half an hour with no siesta time...i had 2 15 min breaks, i could take or put together but that was it!After the quick lunch it was back to work pronto because orders had to processed, deadlines had to be met, supplies needed to be ordered, emails needed immediate respones, phone calls needed to be made.I´m still obviously trying to get used to this more relaxed way of being. Maybe thats why its been a little hard to get a job here...lol...speaking of job maybe i should have joined the peace corps, but they can´t guarentee the country of you choice...and for obvious reasons I wanted to come specifically here. Its more about putting you where you needed of course and you may get your region of choice like latin america...but that could be anywhere from mexico to chile! And the program is 2 years of service and I dont know if I could do that...2 years of my life...Honestly, some days I don´t even know if I can stay here a year...

Today I met Wilma other sister who lives in Incarnation...its south of asuncion a few hrs so she doesn´t come often her name is Gladys too. We had another asado with the rest of her family, her mom, her other sister who i forget her name. Her brother is in Italy and she has another sister in madrid! Big family and carlos is one of 7! Julia went to visit her sister and niece. I played with johanna the niece again she is so cute! Unfotunently, my stomach hasn´t been feeling great the past couple days so i couldn´t enjoy all the food as i would have liked. I think its from the salad i had the other day, i don´t think i´m supposed to eat that but i did... :( i think my stomach is calming down now though. Its also but cold today! At first I was regretting bringing sweaters because its usually so hot, but today I am happy I did! Anyway not much else much to report

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Things I find odd/strange/weird and other observations here...


-They eat burgers and hotdogs with no buns or ketchup
-Instead they put this soy sauce tasting sauce on the bugers, and eat salsa with the hotdogs
-The ketchup is dark and sweeter here too
-In this house there are key in the locks of almost all the doors,cabinets, and dressers,and closets...why???Whats the point of keeping the keys in the locks...anyone can unlock them
-The country has a navy with no oceans,coast,gulf, or even reall a huge lake.There are 2 big rivers but it takes awile to get to the ocean on them...
-There is no hot water, lukewarm at best.Which is usually not a problem becuase its so damn hot, who wants to take a hot shower. But I worry about how sanitary things are especially the dishes...
-They put mayo on random things like salads, rice etc... but not on sandwiches
-People ride motorcycles without helmets and shoeless with babies and small children in toe...
-There is no law requiring helmets or seatbelts I think because Wilma rarely wears hers
-Wilma´s car has japanese writing in it, because they get there cars from japan via chile...its cheaper apparently
-They keep their dog Peco tied up in the back almost all day. He probably would be so hyper everytime he gets let free, if he was actually free most of the time...but I guess he´s luckier than the stray dogs walking around in a hungry daze
-People wake up freakishly early even on weekends
-They also don´t seem to be at work and school for very long, there day starts early and ends in the middle of the day
-There are 3 tv´s in the house in ppls bedrooms but non in the living room
-The outlet for the microwave is not like any other in the house, they use an adapter
-The phone in the kitchen can receive international calls, but can´t make them.There is no answer machine and its not chordless.It also has an odd low ring
-It appears people rarely wear contact lenses, because everyone asked me what they were when they saw them in my room
-JuanJo never goes out by himself or to meet up with friends that I know of. I´m sure he´s tired from being at military academy all week, but I find that odd
-I´ve realized since being here that I wear a lot of black, but maybe thats just the new yorker in me...lol people don´t wear a lot of black here.
And here´s a pic of me in my room bored...lol

Friday, May 8, 2009

It´s cold and rainy today...




So, its a cold and rainy day today. The first cold day since I´ve been here...I´d say 50 degrees...And it was thunder and lighting a good part of the night, so I didn´t sleep well. Wilma is in to hospital today, I don´t think I mentioned that she had to get surgery for a hemoroid I think it is. Her, Carlos, and Jasmine left early this moring and I heard them rushing out too. I was going to go to the post office today, but screw that its cold, and rainy, and I´m tired. I think I will take a nap in Juanjo´s comfy bed...its one of those days. I heard from Mom,B,and Imnet that its been raining in ny... I guess it spread over here. This is the most rain I´ve seen too. It´s rained once since I´ve been here and it rained then for 5 minutes, then it was sunny and hot again.Anywhoo...I feel like I´m forgetting to mention something, but maybe not, I´m tired... lol Here are a couple more pics, enjoy.
besos,
glady

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Woohooo!!!


I´m booked and going to Buenos Aires in 2 weeks! 20th-25th :) I´m super excited to see the city and Daniela and Laura Sol who I haven´t seen for...3 years! Yea summer 06 is when I went to Italy for that month and met them at Agape, yay I love reunions :)I hope to some day go back to Agape too it is a little piece of Italian heavan on earth I swear.Oh and I decided to fly, the flight was pretty cheap, and if I decide to go again maybe I´ll take the bus then...and check out the scenery. K um I don´t really have that much more to report, I´m just super excited :) Oh I re-arranged my room today, it looks awesome too.Oh and I got mom an awesome mothers day gift...she´s read this...so it will be a suprise to everyone :)I love the internet...seriously what did people do before the internet?!snail mail, which reminds me I need to buy stamps...
besos
glady

more fotos




uploading pictures on this legit takes forever!!!!!!!! its like using moms computer...oh vey...this will be it for now because i am losing patience...but I have so much more i was to share...oh later...i´m getting hungry! oh and on my last blog i meant it was a great end to a long day...its also harder to type on their keyboard a couple things are in different places...and i forgot how to right click on pc´s since i´m used to using my mac...i have to tell myself right click right click lol...come on!ugh its still not finished.I could download this thing that would make uploading faster, but its not my computer so I don´t know if i should...better not.and everything is in spanish on this computer too, i dont want to fuck anything up.
oh and random side note...ex president strossner´s number 1 henchman is back in the country after chillin in honduras for 20 years. a lot of people are pissed off because he has alziehermers now and they want him to pay for toturing all the people he did. but others are like he is really old and doesnt even reall know whats going on...so it is kinda un fair he never really had to pay. but i wonder if he so sick in the head how did he make it back to paraguay. there are even tv commercials about how he should pay for his crimes and that paraguay should never forget. also they found petrolium in the chaco...i´m not sure if that is good or bad news for the country hopefully good news...and the government will use the profits well to help everyone! and lot let outside sources like other countries influence how they use and distribute the petrol... the end the pics finally loaded!

fotos around asuncion...enjoy :)






Oh and last night was Karina birthday, which I totally forgot about but I had a great time :) A night ending to a LONG DAY! We stayed up late and I cuaght up on some much needed sleep :) Today I´m taking it easy...hence I have time to upload pics yay. xoxo
Glady

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Downtown...

Hi,
I´m downtown again chillen in an internet spot...I´m in no rush to go home. Today was a really annoying day. I got my first taste of over protective fathers...I have never had a father so maybe this is way they are, but its annoying! lol Carlos was home this morning when I was trying to leave to go to Lambare.He made me empty my bag, and leave my wallet and took out the map to see where I was going.I already knew where i was going. He had me leave my wallet, which I thought was weird and put money in my pants pocket along with my passport. Which I also don´t think makes sense because thing tend to fall out of pockects especially when you´re sitting on a bus, but whatever he was worried about pick pockers. But my bag has like 10 zippers, its the cute one jess got me and I have had no problems so far. Then he had Leis write down the home address and number, which I told him I already had! I mean its really nice that they care, and stuff but it took me like 40 minutes to get out of there! It was a little ridiculous. And Leis was tellig me to take another bus number 3, but Sue told me to take 41.2 and carols made julia and leis even more nervous than they were yesterday. All the fuss they made I think jinxed me because then I got insanely lost all morning! I never even made to Lambare, I got tired and really really hungry so I finally got a bus back to downtown and went to the Lido Bar again and did some more exploring and hanging out in the plaza de heroes again. I also found this Espanola hotel where I was thinking of staying before Wilma invited me to stay her place. Her whole family has been so nice and generous to me, but sometimes like today I felt trapped and sufficated in suburban hell! I know they have reasons to worry because I´m a small girl with not great spanish skills, but still I clearly made out just fine yesterday!And its just so quite and boring there, in there big pretty house. I need to look into a cheap apartments near downtown...I called Sue, to let her know I got lost and I´m going to try and visit the school next week. I called julia too to let her know I was alive and going back later. Sue was very understanding, and I hope julia understood what i was saying lol...It´s 3pm now here..I think I´m going to go check out that musuem I missed yesterday and then head back to the house. It´s been a long day so far...lol frustrating so I just had to get that out. Otherwise things are the same cinco de mayo means nothing here fyi lol. ttyls
Besos,
Glady

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

traveling around asuncion...

Today I took a bus to downtown Asuncion...where all the action is :) Wilma told me which buses go where, and I found my way fine. It was cute tia Julia and Leis were all worried about me. I had to call them when I got there to make sure I wasn´t lost or kidnapped or something. And apparently, Carlos was nervous too and said watch the news tonight if she doesn´t show up lol. But like I said Paraguayan´s are nice and helpful.I also read my travel book the night before which had a little map to get an idea of where things are in relation to each other. I got off the bus at Plaza Uruguaya which was actually really sad to look at. There were displaced people living in make shiff tents made out of paper bags.The actual plaza was nice with trees and flowers and benches. But I didn´t want to take any pictures or stay there long. There was also a lot of police all lined up and armed with shields and stuff. And they had blocked off a couple streets.I continued on and passed my a musuem which I should have gone into, but another time. I was in a walking mood and I wanted to see as much as I could. Downtown is pretty developed and feels more like a city with taller buildings and lots of stores and resturants. And to my suprise I found the Chaco Hotel where me and my mom stayed 20 years ago! I took a couple pics of it. It´s nothing to amazing on the outside but inside its really nice. I was like wow, I´m retracing my footsteps 20 years ago... then I walked on and found an atm where I took out a little more money, which I didn´t really need. But I figured it was good to have. Then I saw Plaza de Heroes, which is basically this kind of park like Bryant Park, but its sectioned off into 4 parts and each part is dedicated to passed war hereos or leader. One section had an outdoor market with all kinds of crafts,clothes,and jewerly. I didn´t buy anything though I figure I´ll do that before I leave. All along the made roads people were selling watches and stuff on the street like on 34th street. And Native American were selling there crafts too. I got insanely thirsty and stopped in at the Lido Bar which I read about in my book...I got the biggest empanada I´ve seen in my life, it was really good though and limon pulp soda drink. It was kinda like an oldscool 50´s diner set up...most of the waitresses were fat and short and wore these funny orange uniforms. I walked around a little more and then ofcourse I had to use the bathroom so I went back to the lido bar. Then I decided it was time to call the house so tia julia and leis knew that I was alive lol. I had trouble using the phone at first but then I got through and she told me were to get the bus back.I also tried calling Mom and Maria on a whim but they both did not answer, and I tried calling that Isle lady about teaching,I didn´t get through to any of them.I did get through to that lady Sue who has the school in Lambare, and she invited me to visit tomorrow. She sounded very Ohio, I don´t really know how to explain it but they have a slightly different way of speaking...and once you get to Columbus they almost have southern/midwestern twange. It´s suttle but its there, and it was nice to talk to someone who knows exactly what I´m saying! LOL...Even Wilma doesn´t understand me sometimes hehe. Anyway, then I walked back in the direction I came and stopped in the Chaco Hotel to see the inside and they were nice I just looked in the lobby and sitting area. I told them I had stayed there 20 years ago. And the the mand at the desk asked if I was Paraguayan and he gave a knowing look, so I guess the adoption agency set up everyone there. Then he gave me directions to the bustop going back and I rode home, insanely hot a sweaty. The local buses look about 50 years old, and the rides are bumpy and fast with no a/c. The bus driver on the way back went so close to cars infront of him, I thought we were going to get in an accident. You can pretty much get off and anywhere along the route, you just have to hail them and let them know when you want to get off. The buses don´t always come to full stop either so people literally hopped on and off it was kinda funny. Men came on the bus too to sell, Paraguayan souvenirs and candy, and fruits, and chipa bread. These people are industrious...they would hop on and off in less than a minute. I took a few pictures of my little adventure today, but not too much because I didn´t want to look like a total tourist lol. I getting the hand of this guarani money thing too, the bus rides are 2.1mill guaranis which is something like 0.40 cents I think. My empanada and soda were 11mill guarani, which is like $2. Anyway, thats it for now...I´m kinda tired since I woke up early and I have to wake up early tomorrow...I´ll upload the pics tomorrow maybe, they take awhile on this computer...Oh and who is the last follower on this page? It has crazy letters that mean nothing...who are you mystery person?!
Besos,
Glady

Monday, May 4, 2009

I can´t believe its May already!


It´s lunes 04 de Mayo! I can´t believe it...time is seeming to speed up suddenly. Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, I wonder how the Mexicans will be celebrating with that swine flu floating around...Anyway, good new today :) I feel better, drank liquids and slept a lot.I also finally got batteries! For my damn clock/alarm... there is another little bodega a few blocks away that had them, and I was able to get some more shampoo and conditioner.My hair is just recovering from the day I fried part of it lol. I am slowly discovering this little barrio I´m in :) I said before there are random dogs that scared me at first but they are pretty tame and look tired and ragged. I still cross the street when they come my way, just to be safe lol.There are random chickens too in peoples yards and sometimes they make their way into the unpaved street. I don´t know if I will ever get used to the unpaved streets, well riding in a car esp...with my boobs and everything boucing around!lolI hooked up my laptop, so I have music :) And I have all the right connectors to power up the camera and ipod...oh small joys and truimphs lol. Wilma had me correct one of her students translation of this song. For some reason Wilma doesn´t hear the difference between street and straight, and she prounounces yummy as Jummy...lol. I make silly mistakes like that too though, like ser and estar, I still get those mixed up sometimes.We just have one simple to be! I think I´m going to take dances classes in traditonal paraguayan dance. Karina just came back from her class and when she goes next week I´m going to go check it out and the prices. I don´t think they are that much though. When I exchanged my money I only exchange $46 and I got 230 guarani´s. Which I think is a pretty good amount of money. I get a little thrown off when they say mills though everything is 1milliones, 9milliones, and I´m like 9million dolars?! I have to get out of the dolar thinking. It´s 9miliones guarani´s which is like almost $2 american...
I told Maria this online, ironically I think I am losing weight you would think the opposite, for how much I mention eating food lol. But I pretty much have one big meal a day and snack the rest of the day. Thats what they do here...dinner is not really a big deal, there is no set time and usually we eat lefters whenever, or if dinner is made its small.They also kind of have a tea time around 5-6 with marmalade and bread and warm yerba mate.Breakfast is usually light too, which I like. Plus all the food is local and freshly made which I think makes a difference. And to my suprise my clothes actually feel looser! Yay :) Not that I need to lose a lot of weight or anything but 5-10lbs wouldn´t be bad though hehe. Tonight they made hambugers, but with no buns, and this watery,milky,rice with bits of white cheese I think...I was not a fan of the rice... :/ But the burger was good and a made make shiff bun out of a roll. The ketup is darker and sweeter here, so I actually had to add salt.

Oh and I´m pretty sure I´m going to Argentina in 2 weeks :)to see my Argentine friends I met in Italy yay :)I know a couple people from my college are out there too, but I´m not very good friends with them, they are more friends of friends. But I might message them for a drink or something.I´ll see...there was a lady at my church too who said she has family down there. I have to look for her email...Or mom if you´re reading this...can you get her email again for me? It was that blonde, british lady that has lived in a lot of different places...I forget her name.Anyway I need to pee now, and Wilma wants me to help her with something...
besos
Glady

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I never know what to title these...


Hola Amigos,
I fear I may be getting a cold, my throat is sratchy and I´ve been sneezing...cold´s are so annoying. Anyway...on the latest Friday was another holdiday dia de los trabajores/labor day a day in which no one works lol. We had a bbq and I met Wilma´s mother, one of her sisters, and her brother who is a priest. Because her brother is a priest we had an impronto mass before eating. It was a little awkward because we were right next to the grilling meat, the dog barking, and wilma´s niece Johanna who is 4 and has no attention span was running around and changing seats every 5 minutes,and asking questions... it was pretty funny. But we all tried to keep it together. Wilma thought I couldn´t take communion, because I didn´t do their studies of communion...but I apparently I could according to her brother. Ah whatever. After this we had a GRANDE lunch! I looked like Carlos was grilling the whole entire cow! We still have meat left over. But it was really good, and there was rice, and salad, and manioc, and chorizo, and sausage, and bread...i´m probably forgetting something it was a lot! And the whole time Wilma´s mother was giving me more food to eat...I swear they are trying to fatten me up here. One thing I tried was this dark colored sausage that tasted odd, I asked Wilma why it was that color and it was because its cows blood... :/ ewww. Ignorance is truely bliss. Then there was dessert which I had the smallest bite of. Wilma´s sister and mother are both blond, dyed but at some point it might have been real because they are both pretty fair. You could tell her mother was quite the beauty back in the day, she looks look for 70ish I´d say. She has pretty hazel green eyes, and sweet disposition. But I´m sure back in the day...all the men were after her.Johanna the niece was SO freakin cute with little curls, and she ran around the house like a chicken with its head caught off,but she was adorable. I had no idea what she was saying half the time but I had a fun time playing with her a sponge bob doll.hmmm now everything is blurring into one day...
Yesterday, I finally got to exchange my money! :) And I did a little shopping! In a mall :) Nothing crazy though, I mostly windowshopped...I bought some postcards, and maps, and a junior wopper and fries at buger king lol. Then Wilma picked me up and we went to some other relatives house and had beyou...and sweets.They had cute twins a boy and a girl also I think about 4. They boy was staying near by at Wilmas sisters in law...I can´t remember any of their names of course. She was showing them lingerie she sells on the side.The boy twin is a skinny little runt, and the girl twin is big and fat lol. I bet she beats him up, cause she was telling us that he was her son not brother lol. Today has been slow and boring...laundry, lunch, siesta...sunday. They all wake up freakishly early even on weekends they are up before 8 or 9.10am is considered really late to wake up. Church is at 8:30! I don´t think I would ever make it to church at 8:30. But I guess it makes sense because they start work and school at 7!I still find it odd though. I asked Julia to wake me up at 8 tomorrow though. I want to go downtown and explore, and she wants me to teach her some English too. And I still need to buy batteries for my clock/alarm clock. On the workfront...this lady emailed me back saying she didn´t have work for me, but wanted me to check out her school. She is actually an American teacher from Canton, Ohio...How random right?! Anyway she started a methodist school down here for needy families. Which I think is pretty cool.The barrio is called Lambare, its a little south of San Jorge. Sometime this week, I will take a bus down there. It will be nice to speak to an American :)Oh and I have to call this other woman about teaching also. I was going to last week, but thurs, and friday were holidays so I figured I should wait until Monday... So, I am attempting to wake up early to be more productive, because the middle of the day you can´t do anything and everyone is home from 12-3! ugh still getting used to that.
I contacted Laura Sol one one of my argentine friends, so I think I might go out there for a few days this month. I´m checking with her and Daniela to see what days work best for them.I´m debating over bus or plane...the plane ride is only an hour and half...so thats like driving from ny to ohio...10-12hrs by car...to Buenos Aires that is to get to Argentina its only like an hour or 2. I´ll check out the prices to see if its worth it...hhmmm i dunno. Hope all is well with all of you! I heard you can´t eat pork...lo siento.
besos
Glady

Thursday, April 30, 2009

ahhhh...finally this computer lets me post something...


Hola Amigos,
Finally this computer let´s me post something...its tempermental...the other day it kept on kicking me off my gmail, so I couldn´t read my emails. And the past 2 days it has been kicking me off blogspot everytime I log in SO ANNOYING!
Moving on...I just came back from the retreat center again, this week we were sending off women for their first retreat. This week I actually knew a few people which was nice :) They practiced their bad English on me, and I practiced my improving Spanish. I learned how to say how are you in Guarani, but now I forget it lol...I need to write everything down or else I forget. I did write down the names of the food they had though... butifarra, mbeju,gascoa, and empanandas.Wilma asked me how we say empanadas in English...and I was like ahhh empanadas! lol Today, I took a much needed long walk, which was very nice, and insanely hot! They need more trees here! I was looking for the oficina de cambio, office to change my money. But I didn´t find it and I got tired and insanely thirsty. I either didn´t understand this taxi cab driver who gave me directions or he led me astray...either way it was nice to take a long walk. Paraguayans are very nice and helpful people. One lady asked me where a certain bus went and of course I had no idea, but she was very friendly and nice when I told her no se. Of course there were a couple gross older men eyeing me in that gross way, but I think gross older men are universal... I paid a dolar for a bottle of water, which doesn´t sound like much, but since I had no guarani, I paid too much but it was all I had and I didn´t want to give the guy nothing so I told him to take it oh well.
Today, somewhat ironically is teachers day so everyone had school off.Including Wilma but she had to work at the office for part of the day. I still feel like people don´t work or go to school as much as we do. They wake up earlier and start everything earlier at 7 am, but they are home by 12-12:30 maybe 1 till 3ish... and the girls in the house don´t go back to school that is only like 5 hours of work or school. Wilma sometimes go back to the office or has a random meeting, but still I don´t know how they get everything done?! Yesterday, the girls got out even earlier and at the schools they give the teachers presents and put on presentations the day before, which is nice but our teachers actually work on teachers day. Tomorrow is another holdiday...labor day. Everyone has off labor day and bbq´s similiar to the us :) I´m looking foward to that, but once again how to they get shit done?! lol Yesterday, I also met some of Wilma´s students they were painting an advertisement for a fundraising event next week on the side wall of the school. They were high schoolers, but mostly shy to practice their English with me. Except one boy, oh who was black, 18, skinny, and tall. He had really pretty curly hair, clearly mixed but black and like I said everyone is mixed here. He asked me a lot of questions about NYC and what music I like, and of course if I had a boyfriend stuff... I don´t know why everyone asks me that, whats the fixation?I don´t really want one, let alone need one. Very rarely have I felt spark, chemistry, that je ne say quoix (which i know butchered in my spelling)but you know what I mean that like magnetic kinetic connection with someone. And I need that I can´t settle for luke warm...whatever it is phermones I dunno I think it worth waiting for.Anyway, I tried to reply mostly in Spanish. For some reason the event was called Pac Man like the video game...I asked them why and they i dunno just because.It was cute they painted the pac man image on the wall. Um what else...I think the icecream is better here, Jasmine and I went down to street to a lil bodega like place and got icecream i got fruilla(strawberry) and i was amazing!
I´ve been on the job search and so far nada...i might put an add online for tutoring in the mean time.The school year started in Feb so maybe I came too late...we´ll see I´m hopeful and having a little faith...that things will work out. I´m going to give it 3 months though. Even faith needs a little deadline lol. And I know a lot of you are non religeous, but my faith has led me to a couple beautiful places in the world Italy and Alaska, both of those trips were free by the way...So, I really do believe God, Jesus, an angel someone up there is looking out for me. And I am grateful :) I think whatever greater being led me here to this house with this loving family too. Even Wilma told me she gets a lot of emails about teaching english and moving here and she ignores them, but there was something about me...Today she asked me how I was feeling, happy, sad, excited, missing home, likin paraguay. And it was hard for me to explain because I feel all those emotions and more any given day any given time. Sometimes, I feel all those things all at once. I guess I just feel emotional period...lol It´s very peaceful here sometimes I like to sit on the back patio, and listen to the birds, and watch the flowers, and feel the breeze, and the rustling of leaves. This afternoon I did that with Tia Julia while the sun was setting, at that moment I didn´t want to be anywhere else in the world. At that moment I was completely present. Last week I felt more out of me body, kind of in disbelief that I was actually here, and longing for home and the familiar. Now, I want to see more, explore more, taste more, learn more. My curiosity of this country and its people, my people has only grown more and more.
On the car ride home today I was thinking about my life. I was thinking about everything I´ve been through that has led me to this point, this place, this day. And I was thinking how different my life would have been so far, if I was raised here. Who would I be? How would I act? Would my personality be very different? Would I even know English? Would I be married with kids? Where would I live? Would I be happy? What would I want? Who would be my friends? The whole entire course of my life changed because of what my birth mom and mom decided to do with their lives. And I am grateful to both of them for the opportunities I was given, but now that I am down here I really just wonder...who I would have become. There is that whole argument over nature versus nature in the development of a child to adulthood. I think both play an important part in human development. I would like to think a good part of who I am would be the same if I had lived here the past 20 years. My love of art and beauty and nature in paintings, design, jewerly, fashion, and architecture. My love of babies and children, and sun and water, and sweets :)My calmness and kindness I hope would be the same as well. But no one will ever really know...and that´s ok, because generally I like who I am now.I think I´m done with my rambling thoughts now :) And I´m trying to make an effort to get to bed earlier, so I can wake up earlier...
xoxo
Glady

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I thought I was going to die...

Not literally die...lol...but die, the computer wasn´t working all day and I thought I was going to die!!! My main connection to the outside world! Lol but somehow it was fixed and all is well again :)phew...I had a new bread yesterday called chipa, its kind of like cornbread but better ;)mmmmm. I went shopping with Wilma yesterday, well grocery shopping and the place basically looked like our supermarkets with different stuff in it...hehe. My observation of paraguayans is that they basically look like latino people anywhere...all different shapes, sizes, colors...Some look really white and fair, others dark and native american looking. Most are somewhere in the middle...tan with dark features, which is not suprising since 90% of the population is mestizo (a mix of spanish and guarani). Basically, the conquistadors abondaned their catholic morals and did as many guarani women as they could...However, as with most nations where the Europeans invaded, the ideal is fair and rubio (blond).In the book that I´m reading, which is getting better and better. There is a saying in Gaurani..." kyra, moroti ha haguepa" to describe a desirable woman...it means, fat, white and with thick hair. I thought this was kind of sad and funny, because let me tell you i have seen no natural blondes here! Thick hair and big butts yes lol. Thick eyebrows also seem to run ranpid, which makes sense why I have frida kahlo-esk eyebrows. I however, pluck them to look normal lol. This morning I woke up, to the sound of a fly buzzing above my head that would not leave the room! And a splitting headache, which took awhile to go away. So, I was not very productive I had to go back to bed after lunch and nap, then it finally went away but then I felt groggy and the heat didn´t help.When I woke I was also suprised to see a man outside my window, turned out to be the gardner. Luckily, i was clothed but in tiny tank top. During the day its usually girl time with Leis and Julia who I speak span-glish too. Yesterday, I took a walk around town and took more pics, but then my camera died...and i´m not sure how to plug it into the adapter to charge. I also burned my hair, straightening the wattage is stronger here i guess. I have yet to visit wilma´s class...i think i said this everything and everyone moves slowly down here, which is nice but kind of annoying. I forget how much of a city girl I am till I leave the city for an extended amount of time...I´m in suburban hell!Slash heavan they really do have such a relaxed time. I´m just not doing much yet, so I´m bored and when I finish my book, oy vey! Oh speaking of oy vey i don´t think there are many jewish people down here, and I think it would be hard because they eat a lot of `pork! Oh I saw on the news that there is a pork flu in ny and mexico, sorry guys!be safe! The pork here is good :) I have also not seen any black people, or asians...though I am told there are a lot of chinese, japanese, and koreans, maybe they have their own nieghborhoods. I´ll investigate. So, to defeat my bordem i am starting a to do list of things I want and need to do...ie, get a freakin job (the story of my post collegiate life!ugh)change my freakin money which i still haven´t done! I havent spent a cent, which is nice but I feel so dependent which is a bad feeling for someone who is used to be fiercely independent. Plus i dont the family to pay for everything. They are seriously so nice to me! I also have to figure out the buses, maybe buy a cell phone, and call home a few people including mom who I need to talk to. I am def going to the international phoning place tomorrow. Oh and I have to call this lady about work...Oh and on totally random note i´ve managed to get 6 mosquito bites all on the right side of my body...my right leg, hip,and arm...isn´t that odd?!I´m going to put some bugspray on me right now actually! lol So, I´m missing you all and nyc, but i´m starting to feel more comfortable in my surroundings. oh and call me! to say hi on the house phone :) it works maria called me the other day and we had a nice convo, it was nice to hear a familiar voice.
hugs and kisses,
glady

Monday, April 27, 2009

y mas fotos :)


I thought these mugs were funny...hhhmmm for some reason its not letting me put more photos...annoying...oh well...dammit I totally have more photos, maybe I have to do another blog to post them. Oh and I figured out how to change the time on this too, it was completely off and in case you didn´t know I am actually in the same time zone! Yay :) I just had another new fruit mamoun, its long and green on the outside, inside its orange with a lot of green seeds in the middle that look like fish eggs. It actually tastes familiar, sweet but not too sweet...I think I might get more...

mas fotos...








These include the back of the house, tia Julia, Carlos y Karine, the perrito Peco, and me at dinner :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

more

So, to update Friday night we went out to dinner at a friends of theirs resturant called Garro. The friend that own is named Laura and she goes to their church lives near them too. The food was really good. And we sat outside, well most of it is actually outdoor seating, I think because its always warm! JuanJo said it was cold...at 72 degrees! I took some pics, I´ll upload them later, uploading pics takes awhile here so. Last night we went to downtown asuncion, which feel more like a city to me. Tall buildings bright lights, I was in heaven! Hotels,streets close together people. They showed me where the american embassy is too. The architecture was a mix of modern buildings and spanish/european architecture random and colorful. The president lives like right next to it which i thought was interesting.Apparently, he was a priest and is making up for lost time, by spreading his seed around and having a million kids...Downtown is also pretty developed with a lot of new stores and resturants. The nieghborhood where wilma lives, called san jorge is more residential 1 or 2 story homes, with unpaved streets, and not that many street signs. I don´t know how people find there way if you don´t actually live here. for example, the other day when she bough jaunjose a new mattress she had to draw them a map of how to get to their house for the deliver people. Also, the main road near her, there are run down old buildings, and business right next very developed modern buildings, which are right next to construction, which is right next to a crumbling building. It´s odd to say the least. Yesterday, we also went back to the retreatment center to bring the men icecream. I tried 3 different kinds, one was called americano...which was basically white vanilla...lol.I also tried mburucuya icecream which was alright. The best was uvas though! Grape icecream is the shit. While Wilma and Carlos were chatting it up, juanjose and i tried to communicate through his very bad english and my bad spanish. We generally succedded. After that, we drove to downtown as i said and sadly i didn´t bring my camera,but i´m going to go again. I´m going to be observing wilma´s class next week, which should be fun. And i´ll def make sure to bring it! On our way home, we drove through burger king and got a few kinds of empanadas, which i thought was funny. They were really good though. I drank mine down with good old fashion sprite :) I felt a little guilty though at the main stops lights the little boys were there again trying to make money washing peoples windshields, and here we were stuffing our faces in the car. Carlos gave one of them some money though, I think he felt a little guilty too. It makes me want to take them all home with me,but like the stray dogs i can´t. My back hurts now, so i think i´m going to lie down.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

fotos





This is a photo of sopa solida being made the tortilla like thing made out of maiz...


AND MY LOVE ON NYC

Friday, April 24, 2009

no se

I dont know what to title this...I feel sick, I still feel stuffed to the max from yesterday, I tried a lot of new food and Carlos and Wilma kept giving me more. I think they´re trying to fatten me up! LOL I likeed this juice made out of Mburucuya. It is a thick citrus,lemony ish flavored juice. But different, Wilma says it calms you or something. For lunch we had spaghetti with a beef gravy on top. The beef was very chewy. Dinner was steak with broth and onions. Then later on I went with Carlos and Wilma to this church gathering, at a retreat center. It was basically a party, with MORE FOOD! To send off these men that were about to begin their retreat. It was really nice full of people, food, and chatter.They have a lot of nice friends. They were all very curious about me when they found out I was American. They found out very quickly when one of the men asked me a question in Guarani and I had NO idea what he was saying.And since the food was traditional Paraguayan food I had to eat some! haha, no I did really want to try it and it smelled good, but I´m paying the price today.Crap I totally forget there names, I´ll ask Leis or Julia to write them down for me later. But there was a pork sausage, and this long white thing that was similiar to a potatoe, and then this thing made of maiz (like corn) that was kind od like a pita but not at all! lol I liked them all. Then we went into the kitchen and there was this kish like food. And Carlos loved these pieces of fatty meat in broth, with the potatoe like thing. I´ll get all the names later. I had some of the fatty meat stuff too, but then I felt like I couldn´t move anymore I was SO stuffed! Today I am taking it easy...Oh and Jasmin cooked this flat bread kinda thing too after lunch which was really good, and of course i had to eat it too.
I took picutures of all of this, sometimes I really food like I´m on another planet or I´m an alien because all of this is new and strange to me. I fell asleep watchin iCARLY en espanol with Jasmine. I´m suprised they actually have a lot of American shows that are dubbed or subtitled. Before bed I watched Mean Girls with Karine. Karine´s birthday is coming up, they´re still deciding what to do. Yesterday, Wilma painted the room I think I am moving into soon. I´m fine right here, but I think thats her plan. I really need to get a clock I usually have no idea what time it is. I feel kind of lazy and I want to do more, but I don´t want to be pushy since they are being so nice to me. I´m going to downtown Asuncion Saturday...big buildings yay! Ok I should go now...oh here is the house number... apparently they can recieve but can´t make international calling...(O21)671878 So you can call me :)I think Paraguay´s country code is 51 and you have to dial 001 first, look it up to make sure.Missing NYC and the fast paced life, but enjoying the peace and family.
besos

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So Far...

So Far...
Yesterday was an interesting day, it is really a whole new world down here...culture shock you might say, but so far not in a bad way. Where do I start...hmmmm. Well Sarah asked me some good questions in her email to me...So, I´ll answer those questions here too. The food:breakfast was simple tea and toast. When Wilma came home from work she thought that I ate bacon and eggs every morning at home, lol. I said I guess you could say that is traditional american, but most people don´t eat that every morning, maybe on weekends. And I especially have never been big on breakfast. I´m usually just not that hungry when I first wake up. Lunch Leis made two, things that are kind of like sheperds pie, but with different stuff inside. They were good. They both had potatoes, onions,and meat one with beef and the other chorizo. Meat is really big down here, ironically Wilma is a vegetarian. Oh, the family LOVED the american candy and sweets I brought. Especially, Jasmin (the 10 year old). She is very cute and shy at first. But after awhile she is bubbly and energetic like most 10 year olds. She also like to paint like her mom, and is very talented. She also doesn´t like salad which also came with our lunch lol. Siesta time is really, real here. Almost everyone comes home for luch and siesta time with their families, which I think is really nice. This ranges from 12 to 3ish and if they have work or school after they go back. Oh, I got the relationship with Leis totally wrong she is actually their maid I guess you could call it, she lives right off the house. She is 23, and funny and I would say a good part of the family. Julia the older woman is Carlos´s sister. She is loud and laughs a lot. She said I look like someone named Mae, I´m assuming thats a good thing. All of us had some good girl bonding time with Wilma´s other daughter Karmin, she´s 16 and really pretty with LONG curly hair which she straightened last night. Jasmin has long straight hair which she had curled before I came, lol. What do they say...the grass is always greener!haha Of course they all asked me if I have a novio (boyfriend) and I said no. Then Leis said they brother Juan Jose was looking for one...I made a funny face and we all laughed. I told them he was too joven(young for me) which they also found funny, because apparently Leis´s boyfriend is only 20! Juan Jose is 21...too young for me! Wilma drove me and Jasmin to visit him last night at the militaty academy. I have to say I was a little nervous of this, not meeting him but going to a forgien military place. Guns make me nervous I a guess. But everything was kosher. The only rifles I saw where at the entrance. I guess it was family visiting night, because in the center was a big open plaza with chairs and music, and all the army guys in uniforms sitting and talking with their loved ones. It was actually quite nice. Juan Jose is tall and slim, but I wouldn´t say very attractive in the face. He has strong features in face, which I guess could be attractive, but once again not my type. He was very welcoming though and asked me how far nyc was from Westpoint.His English is pretty poor though.His mom had to help translate a lot. We brought him the ´´I LOVE NY´´ shirts I brought for the family, but he couldn´t take it there. They are not supposed to take anything from the outside. But Jasmin snuck him some of the American candy I brought, she had packed up a bunch of it in a fuzzy pink purse :) There were some other cuties there though, there is just something about a man in uniform... Their uniforms are dark green, with gold buttons and labels. They where different shoes, belts, and uh these shoulder things depending on what their specialty is. Jaun Jose is in the artillery. He introduced us to a bunch of his friends. One of them was in the navy which I found to be odd,because they have no sea, ocean, or even big lake that I can think of...maybe they practice on the rivers. They do have those. Oh and I found out Carlos (Wilma´s husband) is in communications and technology in the armed forces.We a picture infront of the equestrian arms display. That is also apparently a speciality in military here. This I also found to be interesting. I think there are still real gauchos(cowboys) in the Chaco. In one part there were painted murals of the different specialities of the armed forces. They were very colorful and beautiful, and it turns out the students actually painted them. This was next the fallen soliders portraits which is always sad, because they are young men my age and younger. The military academy is about 30 to 45 minutes away from Wilma´s depending on traffic. The traffic there didn´t bother me though, I told her it reminded me of home lol. Plus I got to look around more. This may sound odd, but it kind of reminded me of Italy. The cars are small and there are a lot of motorcycles. The architecture is obviously different and everything is in Spanish.The climate is also warmer, but it was cool at night. Everything so far has been flat grasslands with palm trees and tropical flowers. Most of the buildings are small one, 2, or 3 stories a most. I got excited when I saw bigger buildings. Oh I tried yerba mate and terere yesterday, I liked both! The terere is nice cold and you drink it out of this metal straw that inside this cup out of some leather something. I forget the names of them, I´ll try and take a picture upload it.The yerba mate is hot and they usually put a little milk in it. Let´s see what else. Wima also took me to a market place where she bought her son shoes, that are like converses and they were $2! We also went grocery shopping and I took pictures of strange fruit I´ve never heard of, she thought that was funny and maybe not allowed but no one caught me. Carlos did not come home for lunch and seista but later on in the night. He is also very nice and affectionate towards his daughters and wife, which I found to be very sweet and refreshing. He gave them all hugs and kisses. I guess I haven´t seen that very often. He also very much liked the i love ny shirt i gave him. My presents were a big hit!Carlos does not speak much English, he also speaks fast so it was harder to understand him, but I´ll learn. Oh and one last thing they also have a cute little dog named Peco, he´s black and has curly hair. I have no idea what kinda dog he is. There are a good amount of stray dogs in the streets which is sad. At street lights there were also young boys trying to wash the car windows for money, which was also very sad to see. Wilma said she grew up poor too, and her and Carlos first lived with her mother in law with nothing but a mattress, table, and stove that was a wedding gift. But they worked hard and now have nice comfortable life.What else I woke up hot this morning, but the fan is loud, eh small annoyances I guess. I´m hungry and need to take a shower now...
paz

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I´M HERE!!!!! EN ASUNCION!!!!

Hola Amigos,
I am finally here!!!Wilma and the family that I have met of hers are all very nice and welcoming. My trip was LONG as all hell and I arrived completley exhausted! I was fed on all my flights and suprisenly the food was pretty good. I slept most of the way to Panama so I think I missed breakfast, but bonya was nice enough to take me to the airport and we had breakfast before I boarded. I woke up to watch Marely and Me, which was actually pretty good. And like the total sap I am I cried when the dog died. Sorry if I killed the ending for anyone who wanted to see it. And then I cried a little more when I started to have doubts about this whole thing, thinking am I totally crazy to leave my whole nice cozy life behind to go stay with strangers in a country I barely remember. But all those worries have been nicely put away since my arrival. I just had a nice chat with Wilma´s aunt or cousin or something I forget her name lol. She is very nice and talkative though, and speaks barely any English which is good for me. I understood most of what she was asking me, but I struggled on how to respond so I wipped out my dictionary and filled in the blanks of what I was trying to say lol. Wilma´s sister in law Leis is also here, and she gave me some breakfast. She also speaks very little English. I am staying in Wilma´s son´s room, Juan Jose. He is 21 and off at military academy. Her husband Carlos is also in the military, so I think I will be safe! HAHA. My flight from Buenos Aires was delayed so I came in very late, and met one of Wilma´s daughters, she was half awake too though. Their house is close to the airport and very nice and big. It has a very south western feel, high ceilings and the roof is shingled. It´s one floor with a nice big kitchen and living room. They even have that thing that washes your bitt in their bathrooms, I forget what they´re called hehe. They also have a nice out door patio with lots of plants. I found out that Wilma also likes to paint, a lot of her paintings are hung around the house. So, maybe I´ll paint with her one of these days. I found it interesting that the road to their house is not paved. And really randomly some guy was washing his car at like midnight down the road for them. Wilma and her husband are now and work and her 2 daughters are in school. Later I hope to get a tour of the city and nieghborhood. ttlçlove glady

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

For Tannaz!


This blog is for Tannaz who requested I update! LOL... Let's see I leave in exactly 2 weeks! I've started a To Do List, which I am slowly checking off as it gets longer by the day! I had to get a couple shots (including yellow fever), and have gone to all my doctors for check ups. As usual, I am health as a horse. I am temp-ing at a spa till the 15th, during their "Spa Week" they actually have pretty good deals check it out at http://www.tribecaspaoftranquility.com. Services are 30%- 50% till the 24th ... :) I got Bonya a job there too. I'm done with my little plug there lol... Oh, but I got a free tan too :) Its there new service.

Um what else...Mom is hosting a birthday/going away dinner for me Sunday the 19th which should be nice. And I'm having what she would call a "kid's party" (which is funny cause this kid is turning 24!) Friday the 17th and this chill lounge in LES. I'm getting pretty excited for both. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with people wanting to hang out with me before I leave flattered but a lil overwhelmed especially since I'm working now and have been going to these last minute doctors appointments. But I have faith that it will all work out. Oh you should all join Skype to call online, I joined! I am going to be staying with Wilma Vega an English teacher in Asuncion who offered to help me get settled and stay with her till I get my bearings. I figure I'll stay with her the first month. Her address is:
Capitan Martinez 2025 c/ Jaime Bestard- San Jorge
Asunción, Paraguay.

So, if you feel the urge to send me an old fashion letter or a package of American goodies (ie gossip magaazines and candy ;) You can do so at the above address, until I get my own lil casa. Oh, speaking of casa I've been a little lax on my Spanish practicing lol... But I kind of feel like no matter what I learn right now I'll still sound like a gringo or is it gringa lol... I'll figure it out and improve my accent when I get down there. I will continue practing with my "Teach Yourself English" book and audio though.
One of my good friends Simone, called me last night from LA and soon we will be 5 hrs a part! Which I am also getting slightly sad about being so far away from my friends and family. I haven't been this far away for so long ever. The longest duration has been 2-3 months a time I think. So, by the end of July I will probably be getting homesick. But friends like Simone and Maria have said they will visit me. Also, Mom will probably come down during the holiday season. I usually don't have problems making new friends though. I'm usually good at keeping in touch too, unlike some people! Tannaz for instance is in India or Hong Kong. I'm not sure the girl travels a lot, but we've kept in touch pretty well since college. And I made some good friends who I met in Italy, we're going to meet up in Argentina. That will be exciting too. I'm really looking forward to warm sunny weather all the time too! It snowed today in NYC! April 8th and snow! I hate to cold and snow. It can look pretty but I don't want to be in it for long. I was telling Simone this last night I have no interest in going to say Patagonia. When I'm in South America I prefer to stay in sandals and sun dresses and be tan and drink iced tea (avg temp is 75 degrees F ). Tea is apparently really big in Paraguay. Everyone, according to my reading drinks yerba mate cold when its really hot out, and hot when its cool at night. In Guarani its known as terere. I'll let you know if I like it :) Oh, also in my random readings... I came upon a blog from some college student who when to Paraguay to teach in some random village I've never heard of. She didn't know Guarani was the other main Language or that it was written. But anyway, that's not the point. Apparently, the teacher before her told her students that she had 3 tattoos. After which, all the kids laughed hysterically and the boys in her class wouldn't look her in the eye anymore. Tattoo means vagina in Guarani she found out later...lol... I thought that was pretty funny. So, I am going to try and learn maybe so basic Guarani too. Oh gotta go now... Maria wants to meet up for lunch.
Ciao till next time

-G

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This is my first blog ever...


Hola Amigos,
This is my first blog ever... I'm doing this to update people on my travels to the mother land, Paraguay. I'm not actually there yet, but I have a lot of time now being unemployed. So, I decided to start it early, it was a lot easier to start a blog then I thought it would be. I picked up my visa at the Paraguayan consulate yesterday so I'm good to go. Just waiting until April 21st, my departure date! :) I am totally exited and nervous and anxious. I want time to speed up and stop at the same time. I'm mostly excited though to start a new chapter in my life. In the meantime, I'm attempting to practise my Spanish, and gain employment. My plan if you don't already know is secure a job teaching English in Asuncion, the capital. If I can secure a job I will stay there for a year teaching English and hopefully improve my Spanish. I want to learn about Paraguayan culture, history, and art. Also, I want to learn about my own family history. After, I feel more comfortable and settled down there and muster up some courage I will try and look for my birth mom, brother, and maybe father.  According, to my records I was born in Hernandarias, Paraguay. It is a town north of Ciudad de Este, it is in the South East area of Paraguay.  Asuncion, is in the south west. Hernandarias is will I will start my search for my roots. Well that is all I can think of now... more to come...
Besos
Glady