Friday, October 7, 2011

What is that donkey doing in the fishbowl?

One of our staff members used this donkey/fish analogy in our course today.  Honestly, it's pretty accurate.  We can integrate and learn the language and work along side the native Paraguayans, but we'll always be a donkey in the fishbowl.  We look awkward, we don't understand their world yet, and we definitely act a little different.

The training staff here in Guarambare is excellent.  Whether they're teaching us how to make tereré, correcting our Guaraní, or building up our cultural integration skills they really care about our success.  I'm really growing to appreciate the outlook that Peace Corps has on development and how to best go about it. 

Life with my family is going well.  I live with a woman, her uncle, and her daughter.  I also have a little host-nephew named Derlis who is a lot of fun.  They are getting very used to my constant "mba'échapa ojé _________________ Guaranípe" ("How do you say ____________ in Guaraní?") questions. 

It's really interesting how the culture here is set up.  Communities around here are definitely built on family relationships.  I live in a block of about 7 or 8 houses, and all of the families are related in some way or another.  There are 3 other trainees that live in my block: Mario, Mike, and Maggie.  Down the road, there are 5 other Agriculture trainees (Michelle, Chris, Emily, Laura, and Lauralee).  We've kind of taken over this area to some degree... we're the talk of the neighborhood.  Everyone knows what Chris ate for breakfast or how many goals Mario scored in the fútbol game last night.  It's pretty hilarious how fast word gets around.  But they're all used to having volunteers in the area, and so it's nothing new for them.

Speaking of fútbol, it was a blast to get back on the field.  I haven't really played much since college, and it felt great to get some exercise!  It's also a great way to get to know the men in the community.  

I'll bring this to a close for tonight because it's getting long, but I'll leave you with this--someone please use your super-convenient internet to find out what the heck Yingo is all about.  It's a TV show down here.  I've watched it 2 nights in a row with my family, and I have NO IDEA what is going on.  The whole show is really... confusing?


1 comment:

Tracie said...

You gave a challenge I couldn't refuse. Based on this page; http://yingo.paraguay.com/ it seems like Yingo is a "healthy way to entertain the family" and it's not just about competition but also "personal growth and artistic development". So is it like American Idol, but they have to do different stunts along the way? Foreign TV was my favorite thing to enjoy without understanding :) Praying for an awesome time with the Peace Corps!