I’m back! Back from the cold, back from seeing friends and family. Back from the land of thai food and Indian where you can find out-of-season-vegetables at the grocery store. Back from blending in comfortably in the streets (or at least pretending to, when I was lost in all conversations pop culture related).
And although I’m probably sitting in a pool of my own sweat by the time most of you read this, it’s good to be back. I’m back in my neighborhood where people may not all know my name or where I’m from but they are happy to see me when I say hello. I ran into our new sister “G” (group) at the Asuncion airport on the day I came back. Got a great big bear hug from my boss who said “welcome home.”
Before coming back to Paraguay, I had dreams that I was lost somewhere in it, on a red dirt road, luggage in hand, trying to get to the airport to go on vacation. Now that I’m here, I’ve dreamt about Dallas and the people I love there for the first time in awhile. Mostly stress dreams about traveling and not being able to find people. And one reoccurring dream I didn’t realize was reoccurring until the other day. And now I can’t even remember what it was about! Maybe this is just my jumbled mind trying to sort out the details and catch up with where my physical self is.
But now I am here. And it’s still as hot as hell. Not as hot as some of the days I had before I left, but they tell me that the last rain we’ve had was before I went to the States (more than a month ago) and Paraguay’s suffering. Rain is our natural AC. It brings the temperatures from unbearably, mind-numbingly hot to something that feels like bliss. After weeks of waking up sweating through my sheets at 4 am in the morning, rain brings relief. It’s a natural sigh, an intermission for summer. Without it, we have no cheap vegetables. Farmers cannot grow anything. Livestock suffer. There’s not much grass for my neighbor’s pet sheep, Prince, to graze on anymore. Wells go dry. Even the city’s water supply, which I use, is low – the water’s here sometimes, and you turn on the tap half an hour later and nothing comes out. Even when it does, it seems warmer. Usually it’s cooler, insulated by all the land between it and the sun, but now it comes out warm for a long long time. So, the schedule of my life here is mandated by water. When will I shower? Wash my dishes? Flush my toilet? Refill my empty water bottles and buckets? Wash my clothes (and have clean underwear)? Whenever the water is on again, if I’m home, I rush to get all of this done.
The sky keeps on flirting with our senses – black clouds we see, dust kicked up by the wind that smells like rain, rumbling thunder somewhere out there – but it hasn’t made it here yet. People say we need to pray harder. I’m thinking about rain dancing.
As a PS – I’m so glad I came. I am a better, happier, more confident person for the past year I’ve spent in Paraguay. It’s hard and frustrating sometimes being far from home, but it’s so rewarding. But this is just an aside and not quite full thought for this blog post. More on this another time.
This is a scatterbrained post. Sorry!