Happy birthday America/sex ed/CHE ROGA!


Well, I’m back from some good ol’ 4th of July celebrations in Asuncion!

The embassy at the capital throws a picnic every year so mobs of hungry, chili-dog-craving Peace Corps Volunteers make the trek from site to eat hot dogs, chili dogs and dozens of different desserts on blankets thrown out on the lawn, compete in 3 legged races and egg tosses and do other 4th of July-ish things. We outnumbered the other ex-pats easily.

The only weird part about was that it was cold! Usually, I am in Dallas, TX this time of the year and I am (for a lack of a better way to put it) sweating my nuts off! In Asunción, it is the beginning of winter, so I was wearing my long underwear, thick wool socks, gloves, hat, & scarf.

I got back to site and reality and cold bedrooms yesterday. And that’s ok!


I have a reading club that meets twice a week for 1st – 3rd grades. We read about a chicken’s life cycle the other week and after I read it to them, their job was to draw a picture of one new thing they learned from the book and write it out as well as they could beneath it (usually just a title for their picture). Then, they usually bring their notebooks or pages back home to show their parents. I’m walking around the room and there is the usual stuff: picture of a nest (“the hen needs to sit on her nest to keep the eggs warm”); picture of a chick inside an egg (“chicks eat the yolk inside the egg”); picture of a rooster (“roosters have larger crests than hens”); picture of a rooster and hen (“I learned what mating was”). Wait what?? Well, that’s going to be an interesting talk when she gets home:

Mom – hey honey, what did you learn today?

Girl – We learned what mating was!

Have I mentioned I live in an extremely Catholic country where sex ed in middle school is frowned upon? We’ll see if she is ever allowed to come back.


Winter break starts on Friday! We have two weeks off if it’s warm, three if it’s cold. Schools here do not have heat, and some kids do not own warm clothing, I’ve even seen a 5 year old show up to school in flip flops on a 37F/2C degreed day. I’m still not too sure I am ok with that logic. In the poorer neighborhoods, are the houses any warmer than school would be?

I’m doing a reading/theater camp Monday through Wednesday with help from the Supervision who also wants to organize a book fair at some point in August. Am I already turning into my mom?

 CHE ROGA UPEIGUA (my future house):

OK, this is a sad picture but it will be prettier and not have broken windows when I move in! A girl in the neighborhood, Mila, promised to tell all the kids to stop throwing rocks at the empty house because Teacher Nicole is moving in. Thanks, Mila.

I move into my HOUSE / che roga / mi casa during break too (July 18th ish). Meaning, I need to get things that a houses needs. Like a mattress to sleep on. A stove of some sort. A dresser or armoir-y thing. Forks, knives, spoons, cups, plates.

It’ll be the first time I’ve lived alone ever, I’ve realized. I’ve always had a gang of amazing roommates and/or Kyle. And I’m doing it in Paraguay! How odd. But really, I feel like I will never be alone. There is a gang of 5-8 year old neighbors that roam around the neighborhood and I have lots of friendly neighbors.


About Nicole FR

Just an old soul in limbo.
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