Arriving in Paraguay

Estamos aqui! We are here! Our group of 28 trainees made the trip from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina and then to Asunción, Paraguay. We arrived around 5pm on Thursday of this week. With a 9 hour flight and then a 6 hour layover, it was a long day of traveling but the group kept good spirits and had plenty of bonding opportunities including handling the huge amount of luggage 28 people pack for 27 months of service.

Now we’ve been split into two groups and are settling into what are known as our “satellite communities.” Our main training center for Paraguay is located in a town called Guarambare, which is about an hour outside the capital. That’s where we meet for certain training classes that our whole group of 28 gets at once. But many days we will just train in our satellite communities with the smaller group. Isaiah and I were assigned to a town called Ypane (pronounced uh-paw-nay) and a great host family here. We’ll live with this host family for the remaining 10 weeks of our training.

My impressions so far are very positive. The Peace Corps training center seems on top of things and the language teachers there are top notch. We’re known as G-39 since we’re the 39th group to get trained in Paraguay and everyone at the center has been very excited to welcome us since they only receive new groups to train about 3 times a year.

I’m getting antsy to get done with some of this initial orientation stuff and dive into the language classes. At the same time, however, it is exhausting to think in Spanish! I am physically tired! Discussions with the training coordinators are generally in English but any class about culture, etc. is in Spanish which takes an incredible amount of discipline to stay tuned in and working to translate everything.

I dream of the day I won’t have to translate everything or think so hard – that it will just make sense! The day will come, but a challenge for me will be having the patience to endure the getting there part.

Well, it’s the weekend and we’re planning to attend a hand ball tournament with our host family tonight. Our host granddaughter plays so it’ll be interesting to see what that’s all about. We’d love to hear how you all are doing too, so leave a comment or say hi via email!

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15 thoughts on “Arriving in Paraguay

  1. Do good to hear that you are in Paraguay. Just relax & soon you will be dreaming in Spanish & that will be fun! I thought I sent an earlier note but think is is out in cyber space. Hope sometime you will hear the classical guitarist, Sila Godoy who taught our son to play. He has been in our home & came to the MCC center in Ausucion to play for the group when we were there. Have fun & enjoy life. Our love & prayers,
    G-Aunt Lucile

  2. So good to read about your experiences. This weekend Marvin and Toby are visiting, and–together with Jeremiah, we’ve just returned from a Bonneville Mill Park experience. Paraguay seems a long ways away! Love you.

    • So fun! We threw the frisbee with some fellow Peace Corps Trainees tonight and I thought of you and Jeremiah and Bonneville…glad to hear from you!

  3. Good to hear you have arrived safely, Allison and Isaiah! And fun to hear about your thoughts and experiences. Know that Jim and I think of you often. Isaiah, have you found any ping pong tables yet?!

  4. Hey, glad you guys are getting into the swing of things!

    As Ma said, we tripped out to Bonnieville and had a picnic, played frisbee, etc. Before that I went on a Pumpkinvine bike ride (12-14 miles round trip). So, I’m well-exercised.

    Buenos noches! (or something, did I get it right?)

  5. Glad you hear you made it and you are getting into the swing of things. I printed a map the other day and colored Iowa and Paraguay so Marie can “see” where you are living. Hope the weekend goes well!

    • Great idea! We were playing catch with a football tonight and I kept saying “Good snatch!” like Marie said when we were playing catch with the soft football. Made me miss her!

  6. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date! And so happy that you have a good family to live with. Stay strong and enjoy this wonderful opportunity!

  7. I heard if you sleep on a spanish dictionary, you will wake up knowing spanish!! We are off to dress rehearsal tonight for the girls’ dance recitals this weekend. Also just got a couple new vegan cookbooks that I’ll have to tell you about. How’s the eating down there?? Love, Eve

    • The food is definitely not Crazy Sexy Diet approved! Most meals revolve around beef and much is fried. It’s tasty but often I crave fresh veggies!! Make sure to video tape the girls’ dance recitals so we can see them eventually!!

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