Ways that Paraguay has changed me for better or worse.

I made paper mache penguins with 3-4 year olds last week. That was probably one of the worst decisions of my life. They look cute. Here.


  • I’ve learned to put up with a lot less shit and gotten better at removing negative influences in my life.
  • I can uncork wine with a piece of wire, hammer and pliers.
  • I generally put healthier food in my body.
  • I have found my limits in life. On how much nutella from a care package is OK to eat before I feel like dying. On walking the fine line between loneliness/needing alone time. On talking and not talking to family. On exercise. On work and pleasure.
  • I can cook quite decently now, how cliché is that?
  • Public speaking. No more fear in Spanish, and I think I’m going to rock it in English.
  • Acting like I know what is going on.
  • Getting lost, being OK with getting lost, asking people for directions to get un-lost.
  • Napping.
  • Because my ancient gas oven sucks (read: does not work safely at all) I can cook bread in a pot within a pot. It’s like baker’s Inception.
  • Acting like a bored, pretentious, uninterested cat that is excellent at not making eye contact when life involves large groups of drunken men.
  • White lies. “I was working on my VRF this afternoon or doing something else respectable, definitely not napping.”
  • On being OK with not having a plan. Tranquilopa.
  • Peeing anywhere. I’ve got that down.
  • Sleeping through mobs of barking dogs, yelling, gunfire, firecrackers, political rallies, and people driving around with crazy loud music for absolutely no reason.
  • Sin vergüenza. No shame about most anything these days. Should this be in the debatable category?


  • Baby animals: I probably look at a lot of them and think “How delicious would that taste cooked?” Instead of “How cute.”
  • I have gotten very, very, very comfortable with being alone. Solo dance parties and youtube. Trying to teach myself cumbia on youtube. Asking my dog to tell me why she is completely covered in cheese. All these things normal people do not do.
  • Camel toe, completely acceptable in my book at this point.
  • Pop culture. I just found out what Nicki Minaj looked like last week (see solo dance parties and youtube bullet point).
  • Low standards. Such low standards for men. “You know how to flirt intelligently???? You don’t have 3 other girlfriends? Let’s get married.”
  • I have gotten quite lazy about dental hygiene.
  • Hygiene in general.
  • Being on time.
  • Details. Así no más!
  • Binge eating. American care package foods. Must I say more?
  • Eating socially acceptable dinners. One day I ate ice cream, an orange, a can of sardines, another orange and chocolate milk. By Paraguay standards, it’s a miracle I didn’t die.


  • Curves? I’ve got them and I love them! Embracing femininity. Bring on the spandex. Spandex is the only reason this is in the debatable category.
  • Tereré addiction. Complete. Where am I going to get the yerba in the states???
  • Being OK with having absolutely no idea what is going on. Embracing that. Negative people would say I’ve gotten too good at zoning out.
  • Building up walls. Can’t touch me now, but got to take them down at some point.
  • Drinking on the down low. I feel like a teenager, or an alcoholic sneaking around. I wish social drinking was more acceptable for women here.

About Nicole FR

Just an old soul in limbo.
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4 Responses to Ways that Paraguay has changed me for better or worse.

  1. Connie says:

    my favorite: it’s like baker’s inception. that’s gold. i miss you nicole!

  2. Gustavo says:

    I’m nobody to tell you this but see, this is what I think about it: Every situation in life changes our view, our perspective and our customs. Every moment we take and live, will, for ever, modify our mind. Every step we make can be right or wrong… both or nothing… but most of all, I admire you and I think you are a awesome person! Lol.

    • Nicole FR says:

      It’s true, Gustavo! I just don’t think I’ve noticed it as much as I have here. Plus, this was a medio-silly post. Thank you for always keeping us safe :).

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