So, this past Sunday marked the half-way point for my exchange. Which included receiving an email from AFS about my return-trip itinerary. Let's just say this isn't a good thing. So much has happened these past three weeks it is really hard to believe that I came only 21 days ago. It is now a joke within my family about my lack of speaking the first day, which amounted to a lot of "si, si" and a nod of my head. Though, probably about half of my "si"s realy should have been "no"s.
So, here is a summary for you.
Day One: Si, Si, Nod of head, wait, no!
Week One (minus Day One): Ok, i can understand somethings.
- Worked at the guarderia Monday - Friday
- Friday, shopping
- Saturday, Toy Story 3 (which i miraculously could follow)
Week Two: Understanding more every day. Speaking more every day - Thank you Ninos :D
- working with the kids everyday helped me understand so much more. It is quite amazing, the vocabulary that children have when they are 3.
- Shrek 4: understood the majority of the movie. Woot woot
Week Three: Large conversations, understanding the majority of things said
- Well, i thought i was going to get a vacation, but no. Still went to guarderia (but that's ok, i like it)
- Finished my book, and was desperate for another one, so I started reading my Spanish Grammar book (pretty helpful, actually)
- Trip to Villarrica
- 1/2 a dream in espanol :D
And now I am here, Monday, 4:58 pm (16:58). I have exactly 3 weeks left, and I realize now that what I thought would be a long time, sufficient enough to quench my thirst for exchange, is only just a teaser, leaving me hungry for more (You could compare it to how eating snow just makes you thirstier).
This weekend Gabi and I went to Villarrica, a small town about 3 hours from Asuncion. There, we stayed with my abuelo, and I got a taste of traditional Paraguayan music. Here goes. Saturday, we went with some of Gabi's friends to a Traditional Paraguayan (polka??) concert. this was definitely one the highlights of my 3 weeks so far. Even though it was freezing cold outside, I got to enjoy the variety of Paraguayan music. There were two groups that played. The first comprised of about 5 college-age chicos/as. The 2nd, 3 older men who played the guitar extremely well.
Paraguay is rich in tradition and culture. From music to the streets to everyday life, people are immersed in their traditional native Guarani culture. I love drinking Terere and Mate (both made from Yerba, an herb, Terere is cold, and Mate hot). Horses pulling wagons are still used on the streets, and people live a much more simplistic life. No one has a dishwasher, and few have microwaves.
Well, my time here has been excelent. I only wish that I could have gone to school to meet more people. Chau!