It’s definitely the start of summer! It’s watermelon season which confuses my brain since I’m always thinking that it should in fact be time for the 4th of July and not Christmas. Mosquitoes are out again and there are days where I can’t do anything but sweat. Thankfully I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom, or else I don’t think I would ever be able to sleep.
Speaking of lack of sleep – puppy ownership definitely encourages that habit. Jazz is my new roommate and she is a 6 week old mutt. Meaning, she is still very much a baby and needs to eat often, go out often and sleeps a lot during the day (and sometimes not at night). First night here was a fiasco. It was her first night away from mom and I’m pretty sure she kept the entire neighborhood up. I’m glad I brought earplugs.
I don’t think I’ve talked about Paraguayan buses yet, but here goes. I went into Asuncion on Tuesday to pick up Jazz from her mom’s owner who was flying back to the States for Christmas. I wake up at 5 am to catch the 6 am bus. It doesn’t show. Neither does the 8 am. Meaning: everyone trying to head to Asuncion from our direction was on the 11:30 bus with me. Meaning there were no seats. Bus travel here gives me a LOT of time to just be with my thoughts (round trip to the capital is about 9 hours). Especially when I’m standing because I cannot just conk out and sleep for a couple hours. I’ve thought more here than I’ve ever thought before because there are fewer distractions!
Bus travel also reminds me how awesome Paraguay is. True, common courtesy & lines do not exist when you are boarding (it’s a free-for-all, no matter if you are old, young, male, female, or were there first), but the rest makes up for it. The people I sit next to are generally really friendly and talkative. Sometimes the buses are so crowded that you end up holding someone else’s child for the next 4 hours. It’s not uncommon to pass babies and toddlers out of the bus windows to the parents if it’s too crowded to carry the child out (bags are also passed out this way). It’s hot, but the windows are all open and you have hot air blasting in your face, hair flying everywhere, listening to 7 different songs that people are playing on their cell phones. Yes, standing on a bus for four and a half hours does suck and I’ve spent many of those hours glaring at able young men peacefully taking naps in their chairs. BUT, it’s just one of those moments where you are like holy moly I’m in Paraguay, South America and I get to live here for over two years.
I went to my friend Marisa’s site for Thanksgiving and when I got there there was a live Turkey tied to a fence in the back of her yard. She named him Muy Rico and we googled “How to Kill a Turkey.” We realized that if we needed to google it, we probably shouldn’t do it, so the lady that Marisa bought Rico from came over and did the deed for the price of half a watermelon and some of my cornbread muffins.
It was one of the best, freshest, juiciest Turkeys I’ve ever had! He was delicious. It was the first time either of us had roasted a Turkey on our own, and we didn’t have any cooking string so we had to tie him up with shoelaces, but he came out great! I’m never going to be afraid to host Thanksgiving in the US. It was cake here so it should be easy there. She had guests over (one friend from the states and 4 paraguayan guys from her English classes) and we all went around the table to say what we were thankful for this year. It was beautiful.
Guess what? I LOVE AMERICA. I’ve never really been quite the patriotic type, but man, living here has given me a whole new appreciation for the land of the free/brave/AC & washing machines. I. Love. America.