Hey friends! I am NOT dead! I've just been in the middle of a perfect storm of circumstances that made blogging difficult:
1. It's Big Brother season. I love it... not as much as Survivor, that would be impossible, but as a substitution for Survivor when Survivor isn't on. Problem: it's on three times a week. This is no issue in the US when I just set my DVR and watch things whenever I want. But because it airs in real time (not pre-taped, like many of my other reality shows), I've needed to concentrate more on using my online time to cosechar episodes. Pathetic. I know... Does rooting for fellow-Spartan and Michigander Dan make up for it? Probably not, but oh well. Sometimes a guy just needs to laugh at another guy wearing a spiritard. There's no explanation that makes sense...
2. Alphabet Soup. Sometimes I forget Peace Corps is a government agency. Last week, I had to deal with IST, VRF, CNA, and PTIP (In-Service Training, Volunteer Report Form, Community Needs Assessment, and Plan de Trabajo I-something P-Something... I don't even know). I was busy, alright? Haha. I thought I'd left the days of USDA, NRCS, EQIP, WHIP, CSP, CStp, FFRP, OMG SRSLY behind me. Guess not.
3. Hammock Time. I finally got my hands on a hammock, so when I'm not running around doing these other things, I'm laying in my hammock listening to music, reading horrible novels, and sleeping. And eating tons of grilled cheese sandwiches. Ayala, I love you. Never lose your cheese selection!
So what's new with me? Project-wise, I'm still figuring out how to manage this chicken coops project. I don't want to think about it right now, so I'm not going to write more about it. It does a pretty good job of breaking my brain when I think about it. I've also started a charla series on Natural Resources Management, the first of which is soil:
A charla is basically just an informal gathering where I get to talk in broken Jópara about agricultural things. Peace Corps Volunteers love them some Charla paper!
Other than that, I spent Monday finally getting my demo-plot officially cleared and plowed. I bought some sweet corn and watermelon seeds at AgroField in Asuncion, and I also have some crotalaria and kumanda yvyra'i abonos verdes seeds to plant within the next couple of weeks. I've been composting like a beast and working a lot in my garden. I'm actually growing things for once now, haha.
What I'm really excited about though is happening today. My parents are flying in! I'm SO excited for them to come and take part in my life here! I'm really looking forward to watching them react to things, and also point out differences. I've been here almost a full year now, and I've forgotten how things are in the US. I expect it to be pretty hilarious. ;-) We'll be spending a few days in Asuncion, hopefully getting to Aregua before the strawberry festival is over, crossing the border to Argentina to see Iguazu Falls, and heading down to Encarnacion to see some Jesuit Reductions. I'm looking forward to going on a vacation and checking out of my PCVness for a bit. I love being a volunteer, but to get to be an American traveling abroad just for a few days is going to be SO REFRESHING!
They're also going to come to my site for a couple of days, and I'm going to show them how to live in the campo. Maybe do some laundry by hand in a palangana, maybe plant some stuff in my demo plot, eat some campo food... I can't wait!