The family was enormously generous and patient during my stay (and beyond), helping me with language, inviting me to meetings, helping me find my way with bus schedules, meeting the community, keeping me safe, teaching me to cook local foods, etc. One day while waiting together at the bus stop I asked about her husband. They are generally dull-plumaged, but the curassows and some guans have colorful facial ornaments. This new plan is for security reasons, though I really love that cute little thatched roof hut but it’s far off the road on the edge of the forest. These anaerobic biodigesters produce methane gas which is used to cook food, instead of the customary open fires on the ground that fill the room with smoke and cause a number of health and environmental problems. He promised to come back to dance with me again in November before I leave. This week I was smitten with some beautiful white flowers on the roadside called Ysypo. Their livelihood depends on the weather, hard work, and their expertise in knowing their land and crops. Other reasons for not attending school: kids feel they are ‘done’, there is no school nearby, and the biggest reason…they don’t want to go. VERY sweet! She’s been patient and forgiving with my language shortcomings, always has a smile for me, invites me to new meetings she thinks I might find interesting, is encouraging and open-minded when I want to introduce new concepts, calls or sends messages every birthday and all holidays, and is always sending me home from my visits with plenty to eat. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. “Pueblito!” she shrieked with laughter and tears stinging her eyes, nearly falling out of her chair from the hilarity of the idea. Those eyes. Before my community received electricity in 1986, people used to burn the castor beans like lamp oil. The sky was an eery, mysterious caldron of black swirling clouds wreaking havoc with the light of the sunset in a way I’ve never seen. None are endemic. Every day I have visited she has sent me home with bags of oranges and mandarins and pleas to take more. They have longish bills and webbed feet. Eeek. Fixing the plumbing and digging a 50’ trench in 100 degree heat was enough for the Professor to declare the ‘clean shoe policy’ henceforth. Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. Ellie is also an avid terere drinker, stopping to refresh with this popular Paraguayan tea (also used for medicinal purposes with the right herbs) several times throughout the day. Win-win. There are seven species, of which three have been recorded in Paraguay. While visiting this señora this week, we’ve had the most engaging conversations covering everything from kidney stones, ovarian cysts, menstruation (“Do women in North America menstruate?”), how our cemetaries and funeral proceedings are similar and different, why she leads the prayer for most of the local funerals (rezos) and if she gets paid for it (answer: no), and her asking me how flatulent I will be after eating the lunch of beans she prepared (this followed two days of working on the biodigester and many jokes about gas). The PVD then swiftly devours its prey, which includes ducklings of other species, frogs, and, ironically, venomous snakes. They are distantly related to the ratites (order Struthioniformes) that includes the rheas, emus, and kiwis. It never ceases to amaze me how little I know what goes on in my family until I read the newsletter at year’s end. Smelling different flowers in different stages brought some surprises: The freshest ones smelled like coconut, the older, spent ones smelled like coffee. When I first moved to my community in December 2012 I joined my host family for a New Year’s Eve party at this house where he and I danced and laughed ridiculously for HOURS until the rain drove us under cover (We made our own version of Dancing with the Stars, or better yet, Dancing Under the Stars). A little exercise, a bit o’ fresh air, wide open prairie space to clear my thoughts after a trying week. When I asked Rocio where she wanted to live after high school, in the campo or move to the city, she just stared at me blankly as if this question had never occurred to her, nor did it seem to even warrant discussion. Enter your email address to follow this blog and automatically receive notifications of new posts by email. They are large, bulky birds, with a small downy head, long legs and large feet which are only partially webbed. Very few people have seen the Paraguayan Venomous Duck in the wild, though it is well known to the indigenous peoples of the Paraguayan rainforest who use its venom to coat their arrowheads for hunting and warfare. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. The day was a total gas! Not bad for my first attempt. Toucans are near passerine birds from the Neotropics. Most, but not all, have plain coloring. The process needs to be sustainable to receive any type of consideration. Will I step on one only to have it catch a ride on my sandal or bite me? Recently, I was invited to make chorizo with the Espínola-Romero family (in PY and perhaps much of Latin America the husband’s name is written first followed by the wife’s maiden name; many women keep their own family name but the kids will have both; it is important to acknowledge your family). I made their day. So Celso made spaghetti with chicken, which he killed that morning and boy it was the best ‘tallarin con pollo’ I’ve ever had here. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or gray birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. I loved my husband and we had a good relationship but I’m enjoying my freedom! And what else? 4. 11 months ago. They have strong legs, well-suited to their habitat of grassland or forest undergrowth. Her soft belly absorbed the shudders that my tears brought. They gave me my own room and the four sisters moved into a room partially shared by their parents, Victor (46) and Isabel (43). Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. It was right outside my front, at a school no less! Chelsea points out in her article how North Americans are so eager to get away from family. Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. On subsequent days she took the moto. This family knows how to make people feel loved. Who learned I love watermelon and made sure there were always two in the house at all times. I think for the first year, the kids were afraid of me but one day as they returned from the local despensa with flour and sugar and our paths crossed while I was out for a morning run, they joined me. This family hosted me in their home during my first three months living in this community. At my school my principal doen’t aloud anybody to say venomous duck because he made up the lava otter. Unfortunately, we were so engrossed in our delicious lunch of spaghetti and beans with chipa quazu that we forgot about the seeds in the oven and burned them! Also, because I like to encourage attendance at these workshops, I often use incentives like awarding Certificates of Completion (which are wildly popular here and held in high regard). He lives across from his cousin, Felicita, her grandson, and her sister Flora. They are not afraid to ask for help for the smallest to the biggest projects or tasks and easily accept it. One afternoon recently I sat on my patio shelling seeds with one of the local girls and reflecting on the events of the prior week, which I would have to classify as one of the best weeks of my two-year service thus far, the memories of which are due in large part to a particular favorite family with whom I’ve spent many days. It’s also a good time to do errands, grab some great chipa and groceries, have a meeting with the other volunteers in our area, etc. We had a great time (at least I hope she did too!) Barefoot and hair askew they ran alongside me, occasionally racing me despite pounds of food in their arms. Belonging to the genus Dendrocygna, its full scientific name is Dendrocygna peligrosa. As I start down this path of closure I can’t help but reflect and appreciate all that these last two years have brought me. I first met Ña Celia in November 2012 during training on what was called “Future Site visit”, my brief, initial visit to meet the community a few weeks before I was to actually move here. Thank you for being a model of integrity, generosity, kindness, gentleness, and accepting others as they are without judgement. The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps. And not just with me but with each other. Seven species have been recorded in Paraguay. A super sweet young woman named Lynsey, arrived with all the hope and desire to do good in the world that frequently inspires people to become PCVs. I find it very enjoyable, educationally, and usually funny! Privacy and space is not needed or valued. “It’s always the right time to be happy.” – WW. It’s beautiful. It makes the giver feel good and the receiver gets a hand.
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