Thursday, July 1, 2010

Familia, Niños, y Asunción

I love my family! i was picked up by my host parents from the Paraguay orientation on Sunday around 11:30. Everyone here greets each other with a kiss on each cheek. We climbed into their car and drove home. they insisted that i sit in the front because i am so tall. When we got home, my siblings Gabi, Guillermo, y Andrea came out to greet us. Everyone was very excited. Everyone here is pretty short, and i´m pretty tall, so I´m about a head taller than everyone in my family. I share a room with my sister Gabi, who is also 15. We are already really good friends. About 10 minutes after i got home, we all got in the car (again, they insisted that i sit in the front because i´m so tall), and we went to lunch at the Club Internacional de Tenis (CIT), which is a very nice sports club. Everyone eats a really big lunch here and there was a buffet of food that we could choose from. it was all very good. then my siblings and i walked around the club, and came back for dessert.

i love talking with my host siblings. The first it was hard to understand most things, and i ended up nodding my head a lot and saying "si, si." But Monday (day 2), was much easier. Everything wasn´t blended together, and i could pick out more. my sister and i listen to the radio sometimes, and i can understand some of what the radio guy is saying. We watched at paraguayan T.V. show Tuesday and i was surprised that i could understand most of it. I can tell that everyday i pick up more things. responding faster is getting easier, i´m understanding more, and not feeling as lost as the first day. Working with the kids in the guardería is super helpful too because they talk to anyone and don´t care if you don´t understand. i know i´ve picked up a lot of simple words from them.

Asuncion is the capital in Paraguay. i live basically in the city, not a suburb or anything. We leave around 6:15 most mornings when i drive with my parents and Gabi to the school. We drop off my mom at the office (it is some kind of mail/package business), then Gabi at school, and finally me at the guardería around 7. so it takes about 45 min to get there, but that´s because there is a ton of traffic! Oh, and by the way, driving in Paraguay is crazy!! People like to go fast, plus, they don´t like to slow down for a bus or anything, so they just zoom around. people literally have to run across the street because there are so many cars/buses/motorcyles in the mornign that they would never get across otherwise. Lots of students take the city bus to school, and if you look at the buses when driving by, almost all of them are crammed with students (who all have to wear uniforms :D)

i go to the guardería everyday from 7 - 12 (ish, Paraguayan time is never ontime). There i play with the kids, who are all about 2-4, most of them 3. The place i work is called Hogar Infantil Santa Teresita. it also has a school for kids ages 4-6 ish. the school is run by the government for children who have single parents who mainly work street jobs. Some children spend Monday - Friday there. Those who do sleep get baths and new cloths. All the children get breakfast, snack, and lunch. Those who spend the night get dinner. All of this is completely free. I feel like this is such a great program. We don´t really have anything like this in the U.S. (or at least in the Corvallis area). all the children are so cute, and latch onto you the first day you are there. They all call me Tía, or auntie. i work with two other women, and one of the woman´s daughter comes to help after snack. All these kids want to be with you, sit on your lap, have you play with them. they love going down the slide on my lap. i feel so lucky to be able to work with them, and i know that they will always leave an impact on me. Yesterday a little boy came up to me, grabbed my hand, and gave me a dead fly. ¡Que suerte! haha :D I hope that i might be able to work with some of the older kids later on.

overall, i´m having a great time hear!

1 comment:

  1. Erynne,
    I am so excited you are enjoying your time in Paraguay AND getting to see a little bit of how other places in the world take care of disadvantaged kids. My nerdy education heart soared to hear (or read) you refer to such a great program. I can't wait to hear all about your trip the next time I see you. I am so proud of you!