Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Elusive "Nde Guapo!"

There's one phrase every PCV wants to hear from their community.  Whether you're in Africa, Eastern Europe, or South America, you want to hear people saying you're hard working.  When in site, you know your language is terrible, you know you generally have no idea what is happening around you, you don't get to choose your food, etc etc etc... You just think to yourself "As long as they think I'm a hard worker, I'll survive this."

Up until today I hadn't heard how people viewed my work ethic.  I knew that I read a lot of books, sent a lot of text messages, and took some long naps.  This, of course, had me worried.  But today I FINALLY made it out into the field to do some kapi'i-ing (cleaning) in a cotton field, and then heard the phrase I'd been waiting 5 weeks to hear.  "Nde guapo!"  This phrase means something entirely different in Spanish, but in Guarani it means "you're a hard worker!"  Finally.

Some Paraguayans have the perception that getting up between 5 and 6 in the morning makes you guapo.  Others think that walking a lot, or studying a lot, means you're guapo.  In San Jose Boqueron, it has everything to do with physical labor.

Even as I was working along side two other people, I couldn't help but revert to my conventional large-scale agriculture line of thought and thought "What do you mean this isn't round-up ready?  Let's hop in that air-conditioned tractor and blast this kokue with some glyphosate!"  Haha, that is NOT how things work here.  In Paraguay, you grab a hoe, put on your sombrero (recently tied with string), hike out, and start chopping.  It was hard work, but well worth it for the result.

I spent the rest of the day talking with my contact and met up with Jose, the KOICA volunteer that works out of Ybycui that I think I mentioned in an earlier post.  The afternoon gave me a chance to practice both my Guarani and my Spanish.  Overall, a very productive day!

1 comment:

bren said...

That is so wonderful Bryce!!! :) You are working so hard, and it is such an answer to prayer for you to recieve such encouragement!!! :) We love you Bryce, and we think about you all the time! Oh - and your pictures are amazing! You live in a very beautiful area :) Love you, Bren :)