Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vida y Comida

So, here in Paraguay, things are different, obviously, but in a good way. In the U.S., people have a small (or large) breakfast, medium lunch, and big dinner. Here, Paraguayans have a desayuno pequeño, or small breakfast (yogurt or fruit, maybe a little cereal, or coffee), a very large lunch, almuerzo, (this is the meal of the day and is like the American dinner, normally meat and some form of pasta, potatoes, or mandioca). Then there is merienda, or snack, where one would drink coffee or hot chocolate, eat bread with jam or cheese, or maybe have a piece of fruit. Cena, or dinner, is also small, and very late at night (9 ish). Normally it is a small sandwich, or a few small empanadas, or nothing at all (depending on the day and person). Paraguay is big on meat (always with lunch, mainly with a small dinner, sometimes for breakfast). Basically a vegetarian wouldn´t last here, so for two months, i´m an omnivore again, or more like a carnivore.... But, all the food is super good, and I love all of it.

To mention a few funny things:
1) Milk, or leche, doesn´t come in cartons, it comes in bags that are about a quart. There is a special bucket thing for the milk bag, cause it doen´t have firm sides, just flimsy plastic.
2)Celusal is common here, or salt without fat (i think)
3) eating ensalada is not what most people think. in the U.S., it is shredded lettuce with tomatoes, vegetables, sometimes meat or fish, salad dressing, and croutons. Here, ensalada is eating whole lettuce leaves with a fork, no dressing, and commonly with salt. people eat the lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers separately, again, with salt.
4) Yogurt you drink, no spoon, as it is very liquidy (but good). A common brand is bebible. beber is to drink, so it translates roughly to a "Drink It".

But, aside from these funny observancies, i love paraguayan food. People love to give you more, and share what they have.

Tereré is a tea that is very common. Basically everyone drinks it here. Maté in the morning, tereré in the afternoon when it is hot. Maté is the same herbs, but with hot water, and tereré is with ice water. i love it. it is very refreshing, and cultural. Here, people share drinks, so you share tereré with your friends and family. i have it every day at the guardería, and a lot of days when i come home with my sister. you drink it from a guampa with a bombilla straw, which prevents the herbs from being drunk.

Here is what my average day is like:

5:30 - 5:40 -- wake up
6:00 -- breakfast
6:10 - 6:15 -- leave in the car with my family (we drop off my mom first, then my sister at school, then me. it is absolutely necessary to leave not later than 6:15 as there is a crazy amount of traffic in the mornings)
7-ish -- Arrive at the guardería
7 - 8 ish -- kids play with toys/breakfast
8:30 -- craft
9:00 -- snack for the niños, then they brush their teeth
9:30 - 10:30 -- go outside to el parque
11:00 ish -- lunch with the niños (i eat a little to be polite, but i have lunch when i get home, so i don´t eat too much. normally it is soup with other stuff in it)
11:30 -- Niños take a nap
12:00 - 1:00 -- My parents pick me up, and we go home
1:00 ish -- lunch at la casa
2 - 3:30 -- nap, read
4 - 5:30 -- read some more, hang around the house
5:30 -- merienda
7:00 -- my sister and i sometimes go to the gym
9:00 -- cena/dinner
9:30 - 10 -- bed (i´m super tired by the end of the day!)

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