Here it is! After almost a year of nothing, your lazy blogger hostess finally feels compelled enough to entertain all zero of you followers with today's non-groundbreaking post. =)
Okay, sarcasm aside- I guess what I really want to say is that, up until this point, I haven't had the motivation nor desire to publicize much. To give a VERY brief recap of the last 7 months:
*Trips (of the friend, family, and FUN sorts) to Peru (January, 2011), Argentina (March), as well as several interesting hotspots within country (Salto Cristal, Encarnacion and the Jesuit Ruins, the campo-aka another volunteer's site- for quite the Paraguayan Passover seder experience!!)
*Work related project news: Started a gardening/environmental education class with a new school, here in Alberdi, this year. Working with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to satisfy the Paraguayan educational demands to teach kids about "traditional" home gardening. I like to call it: "The opportunity for Jen to shove as much ecology/environmental education into kids' brains" project. =) Topics have ranged from the food chain to composting- with a wonderful sprinkling of hands on gardening with the kids, right there in school! Hope the little plantitas can withstand the upcoming winter freeze!!
In addition to this, there's the one ever-morphing community project that I've mentioned in previous blogs- the one intended for the community entrance. Well, there's really no way to do justice to what a process- time and energy wise- this has been. But I'm proud to say that this experience was, and will continue to be, quite the learning curve for me and my community counterparts. The project is exactly where it needs to be, for now.......
* Other exciting Paraguayan events: the Bicentennario- Paraguay's 200th birthday celebrated by flying reds, blues, and whites in every nook and cranny of the country. Here in Alberdi, a big parade and many other school festivities were held in commemoration of the date. Classic Paraguayan moment: rain on the scheduled date (May 14th) of the festivities/parades. But, the show DID go on.......only a few days later no mas. =) Also, I'm happy to say that all chipa filled Easters, Christmas, San Juan's, and all other important Paraguayan holidays were well spent, in site. I really, really need to visit my old host Guarambare family....but more on that topic later.
For those who've kindly read this post thusfar: you've surely noted that it's full of "blogger snark" (thank you StuffExpatAidWorkersLike.com) What a perfect way to describe how it feels to be here, right now, 3/4 of the way done (or, to be precise, 22 months into service). But, to be clear- the bumpy road has not necessary been an impossible one, nor even a terrible one for that matter. I have been fortunate to live fairly comfortably, for Paraguayan standards, and have had the continual opportunity to meet and work with various people. I know I have put my heart and soul into the majority of what has been done here, and for that I am also my own biggest judge and critic. Sometimes, I wish there was a way to telepathically communicate all that I've seen and experienced here- it would speak volumes more than words ever could. Egotistical snark aside- this truly has, and continues to be, quite the didactic journey. I think I prefer it this way. Because, let's face it, that's life. The best we can hope for is the continual chance to take whichever path we prefer. Many don't even get that luxury.
The old refrain "You Reap What You Sow" doesn't quite fit for this line of work- not when your mentality needs to be that of "never-ending sowing," rather than "Wait.....how come I still haven't reaped anything I've sown over these past two years yet.....!?"
To all my beloved friends and family back home, I wanna take this opportunity to thank you- from the bottom of my heart- for your continual support. I couldn't be more grateful. You all have helped me keep sane throughout this entire journey. =) I wish each and everyone of your the best in your own personal endeavors. I can't wait to see you in less than six months.....and counting down!!