Saturday, December 17, 2011

What the Watermelon? The Nefarious Sandia

Well folks, the time has arrived for me to start writing about actual work at site.  Well... sort of.  My work right now seems to revolve around sitting in the shade drinking water and terere and trying desperately to decipher what in the world people are saying to me.  I´m hoping... PRAYING... that I will eventually be able to figure out this language that sounds so completely different from what my professors taught me in training.

I´m currently living with a family on the outskirts of the community.  They have two young boys and a baby living with them, all of whom are very vocal and energetic.  I´ll be moving to another family next week, and another the week after that... Basically I move around until I get my own house, which I´m currently pursuing options so that I can get started in my garden and compost pile.

Just a quick fun story--
This family I´m staying with usually goes to bed at 9PM.  Last night, they knocked on my door just after 10PM, and offered me watermelon.  Not just some watermelon--HALF a watermelon.  The parents and kids enjoyed one half, while they expected me to finish off the other... I was kind of in shock.  There´s something about Paraguayan culture you need to understand.  Watermelon here has some kind of mystic property that regulates when and where you can eat it.  You can´t drink terere with watermelon, you have to be careful what you eat after eating watermelon, when you shower, etc etc etc.  It´s a cultural thing I haven´t totally wrapped my head around yet.  So anyways, it was just bizarre to get brought out of my room seemingly late at night to eat half a watermelon right before going to bed.  I just laughed my way through it, haha.  I found this photo on another site and thought it seemed appropriate--
So...end of story.

My internet works well at site!  I´m encouraged by that.  I was able to talk with Mom and Dad for a while yesterday, and chat with some other friends today!  It´s a real blessing that God has given me the ability to contact home, especially as Christmas gets closer on the calendar.

I´ll be sure to post near Christmas... I have a great entry I´m working on that I´m kind of excited about.  Hope things are well at home, and enjoy the snow!


Chip & Megan Cogan said...

Wow, Bryce, this is fascinating! Who knew such intricate cultural practices surrounded watermelon? You must look into this more as you continue to learn the language.

Mandy said...

Ahahahahaha! That is a good story! You will have to explain the meaning of this as you discover the mystic significance of watermelon in months to come!