Tuesday, October 28, 2008
It´s been over a month since I arrived in Paraguay. Sometimes it seems like more and sometimes like less. My language is definitely better. I can now speak in simple Guarani sentences, but it´s definitely much easier to switch back to Spanish. Making my self stick to Guarani is probably the biggest challenge.
I´m getting more excited about being an Env. Ed. volunteer. At first it was a little hard to hear about what the crop extensionits are doing, but as a young woman in Paraguay I think I can do the most good through Env. Ed. We also get to do a little bit of everything else! For example, this week I am presenting on different agroforestry systems with the Agroforestry technical trainer. Yesterday we had a presentation about health and nutrition and how to use the school garden as a teaching tool. Plus, we get to learn songs and do arts and crafts like making glasses from wine bottles. I now know the song ¨Going on a Bear hunt¨in Guarani. The first line is, ¨Jaha Jaguata. Jahecha heta mba´e.¨
Here is some interesting Paraguayan cultural information...
A couple weeks ago we had a session about ¨Dating Paraguay Style¨ in which we learned all of the norms that go along with dating and relationships. First of all, there are designated ¨dating days¨which are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. If a man visits you on those days then he is interested in dating you. If you allow him to come over then you are returing his interest. If a man visits you on the other days of the week that could indicate that you are ¨la otra¨or the other woman. Also, it´s okay to be indirect and stand peolple up in Paraguay. So I could tell someone, yeah, I´ll come over, and then just not show up. Also, there is an unspoken rule that if you make a prior agreement with someone and then leave your window open, that person may come through your window at night. This is for the less ¨serious¨relationships. So, I guess I´ll just have to brave the heat and make sure I keep my window closed!
There is definitely a lot more I could write about what I´ve been learning/doing, but I thought that might be of interest! I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! We are going to try and celebrate as well and make lanterns out of pineapples.