Monday, February 20, 2012

Another week of firsts

Things that happened to me for the first time ever this week:

1) I visited a foreign Emergency Room -- Even with all of my affinity for accidents and injuries, I never visited a hospital in the Philippines other than the university's health center for my required medical check-up.  I was walking with some friends in Paraguari and not really watching where I was going, and slammed right into a metal cage that was covering an air conditioner.  It knocked me right off my feet.  It wasn't my first time getting stitches... not even the first time getting stitches in my head (the third, actually haha).  But I ended up with three stitches and directions to see the PC Medical Office when I arrived in Asuncion.

2) I swam in the Embassy pool -- I gotta get there more often.  I was so nice to just float in the shade and escape the heat for a bit.  I think I'll be heading back there frequently.

3) I spent 2 days in Asuncion by myself -- I was supposed to have a meeting with the Alianza para el Desarollo de Pequenos Proyectos (Alliance for the Development of Small Projects) this morning regarding the chicken project I inherited from my previous volunteer, but my community contact in San Jose called to cancel last night.  So I ended up staying an extra two days in the city by myself.  Not that I'm complaining... I love my friends here but sometimes it's nice to be able to do what you want when you'er R&R-ing.  No mas lomitos!  haha.

4) I navigated the bus system without Elijah telling me where to go -- I depend on Elijah for a lot of things.  He and Lydia are my information source on organic farming and composting, he's a connoisseur of terere and knows about remedios, and most importantly he's the only one in our little crew that pays attention to where we're going in Asuncion.  I don't know if it's because we're in the southern hemisphere down here, but I can never figure out what direction I'm facing and I am basically useless for navigation... And usually I'm talking instead of paying attention.  But I managed to get myself around last night, and was all prepared to arrive in San Lorenzo at the ADPP office this morning.  I'm learning! 

5) I had bacon in Paraguay -- Last night I decided to see what all the fuss was about regarding Bolsi.  But let me tell you, I was so pleasantly surprised when I found out that my American Classic Hamburguesa came with bacon.  The burger was a bit over done (meat puck?), but it was still amazing due to the bacon.  I miss bacon.

I'm sure there are other things.  But for right now, it's back to site.  It feels like forever since I've been in my house or terere-ed.  The contrast of life here is so amazing between the campo and the city.  I leave my site where most people don't have modern bathrooms and have thatch roofs, I walk two hours to a bus stop and get off in a bustling city with a McDonalds, huge malls, and the fast-paced lifestyle that we're all used to in the states.  It's a crazy adjustment, and it's exhausting.  I am always tired when I get here, and I'm always tired when I get home. 

Anyways, it's back to site for me in a few minutes.  I have to get going on my garden and fencing, as well as start working through my Community Needs Assessment paperwork.  Lots of stuff coming up, and it's going to keep me busy, which is great!  I'll probably have another post up on Friday because I have to go back to Ybycui to get my stitches removed.

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