I finally got my site assignment. I will be in the department of Caagazú, very near the border of Alto Paraná. Apparently, weeks of intensive studying and paying attention in class, as well as mad-Guaraní skills, actually paid off. I got the site I wanted, I got the prize site. You have to cross a river to get to my site! (which is especially exciting in a landlocked country. The lake is actually the result of the Itaipú Dam, meaning it is man-made) There’s a balsa (barge), which takes people, motos, buses, and huge semis filled with bananas across the lake. Being that this is
The name of my site means “there’s work to be done,” which is an incredibly appropriate name. The volunteer before me was super-guapo (hard-working), super-active, meaning I have a lot to live up to. Hardly anyone speaks Spanish and he spoke pretty fluent Guaraní. For the next several months, while I learn the language and observe the community, I’m going to be known as “that quite girl who never speaks.” It helps that I’m the complete opposite of the former volunteer; they’ve already commented how they’re trading the blond blue-eyed boy for the morocha (“burnt skin,” basically brown) girl. But, I’m still absolutely terrified of not living up to the high standards the past volunteer has set for me.
To completely contrast with that, I’ve spent the past three days in Asunción in “chuchi-town.” After our swear-in, the entire group of us checked into a really nice hotel which offers discounts for Peace Corps volunteers. To celebrate our swear-in, and because we know we won’t get it for a while, we’ve been treating ourselves to good food at nice, super-expensive restaurants around town. For the past two months I’ve been contrasting
My address has changed. It is now:
Pooja Virani, PCV
Cuerpo de Paz, CHP
162 Chaco Boreal c/Mcal. LópezAsunción 1580, Paraguay (South America)
Pictures of my future site: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2112995&l=0d4a4&id=7402849