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.



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