Saturday, September 30, 2006

Miami a Guarambare

Hey Everyone,

I´m here. Our flight from Miami to Brazil and then to Paraguay went seamlessly. All of our bags made it in and all 34 arrived to the training site in Guarambare safely and on time. The picture to the left is from our plane over Brazil.

Our initial night at our training site involved meeting the other coordinators and trainers. After a tour of the site, we were given a ride to each of our respective host communities. I was introduced to Marina and Carlito (See below) who are my host mother and brother. I eventually met Juan (the father) and was shown my room. I put up my mosquito net and began to attempt to communicate with the little Spanish that I had (They didn´t speak a word of English). At dinner, it was just Carlito and I and he had a good time giggling at my poor pronunciations and incorrect usage of the masculine-feminine. I accidentally called my soap ¨sopa¨(which means soup) and he lost it. I had to stop their puppy from dragging my shoe out of my room twice. My place is great.

The next day, all of the volunteers returned to tell about their first nights and we all had some funny stories. The rest of the day consisted of information sessions around integration into the community, basic language skills, spanish interviews to assess our levels, and our medical interviews. A good day overall.

I returned home and continued to chat and laugh con mi hermano, Carlito. We have every meal together and I am slowly understanding more and more of what he is telling me. He still occasionally rolls his eyes at how poorly I´m doing, but for the most part, he´s really patient.

This morning we had our first language class at our local training center and also a lesson in how to drink terrere (their local tea). It was really great. We got a rundown of what´s to come this week (doctor visits, technical training--time with the bees, language training, among other cultural adaptation workshops) and returned home for lunch. Carlito and I chatted it up and his mom told me how he was asking about me while I was gone. I promised that we would play frisbee tomorrow and he has reminded me about 7 times: ¨jugamos disco al domingo!¨ I lucked out with my host family.

I have so much more to write but there is a line behind me at this one-computer computer lab. However rest assured that my time here has been fantastic, and it´s only the beginning. My fellow volunteers are just as excited, my trainer is really passionate about our assignment and the country, my family is very welcoming, my language teachers are patient, the food is great, and my stomach feels fine. Life is good.

I´ll post again when I get the chance. Write me if you´d like and I´ll write you back.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pre-Service Orientation

I'm in Miami. In ten hours, 33 fellow vounteers and I will be getting on a flight to Brazil and then ultimately Paraguay. The past few days have gone by quickly. Here's what happened:

After arriving at the hotel, checking into my room, forgetting my welcome book, locking myself out of my room, getting through registrtation and an ice -breaker, our orientation began.

We were welcomed to the beginning of our training and given brief introductions to the staff and other trainees. All of the volunteers were friendly, and everyone shook hands and smiled, but I was anxious. Everyone seemed to be a lot more qualified for their positions and more prepared then I seemed to feel. That feeling slowly passed as the sessions went on.

We discussed our personal definitions of success, issues of safety and support, and our various anxieties and aspirations. Mine varied from being excited about meeting our communities, being able to make some lasting change, and speaking another language, to feeling anxious about not being properly accepted, missing home, and this.

After dinner and a good night of sleep, we began our second day of training which dealt with "How to Deal with unwanted attention", managing risk, and various policies that will get us fired (such as riding a bike without a helmet!).

It was nice to learn through training that the Paraguay program has a) A very low turn over rate b) one of the best Peace Corps doctors heading up our Medical Office, and c) the lowest crime rate out of all the South American Countries that the Peace Corps serves in. So that's pretty good. (Although we are at risk for Dengue Fever)

Many cultural introductions, ice breakers, and pre-departure logistics later, we were let out, free to explore Miami and enjoy our last night in the States for who knows how long.

My group turned out to be a lot of fun and I think I am the youngest by a few months. The age range is from 22-34, we have two married couples, and the avg age is 26. All interesting folk.

All right. That's enough. Thanks for reading. Now on to Paraguay.


Saturday, September 23, 2006


Well here I am.

Checking and rechecking my to-do and packing lists, I attempt to prepare myself for the next step. After applying about year ago, the day has finally come. I leave this Monday (September 25th, 2006) for Miami. After a broad "Welcome to the Peace Corps" 3-Day Orientation, I catch my next flight to Paraguay for 3 months of training and then 24 months of service.

Hopefully with this online journal (Blog is such a strange word) I can keep everyone up to date on my service. I kept one last summer (Australia/New Zealand) and it ended up being a great place to document my trip and stay connected.

I hope to keep this site interesting and somewhat entertaining so it's worth checking out. With my new digital camera I can post pictures and short movies. I think I'll have my fair share of stories and (bad) jokes to at least make it enjoyable to read. For example, here's a movie I made to help document what my siblings and I are all doing in our lives. This isn't my first movie (, but I think it's a good way to start this journal:

During training you will be able to write me at:

PCT Casey Hudetz
Cuerpo de Paz
162 Chaco Boreal c/Mcal. Lopez
Asuncion 1580, Paraguay
South America

Sorry this message is so brief. I'll put more up when I get the chance.

Thanks for reading.