After a few days at Reconnect with our original training group, Isaiah and I headed to Villarrica, the town where our fellow volunteers Jon and Nalena live. Nalena’s dad was visiting after some work related travel to Buenos Aires and the 5 of us had a blast together.
We spent most of Thursday leisurely cooking and chatting and snacking until the big beautiful meal that was well worth all the preparation. We made citrus rubbed chicken, bacon mashed potatoes and gravy, rosemary dinner rolls, roasted carrots and beets in a ginger sauce, and apple and raisin stuffing. We all agreed it was absolutely delicious food – and not just for Paraguay!
We had to wait until breakfast the next morning to try the apple pie and pumpkin pie made from a squash from Jon and Nalena’s garden. I was impressed and pleased with our first Thanksgiving meal as Peace Corps Volunteers. The leftovers have been just as good.
With around 50,000 residents, Villarrica is a much bigger town than where we live in Yuty. Such a city, in fact, that it has an actual coffee shop with good coffee, layered yummy drinks and complimentary fresh squeezed orange juice and cute sprinkled chocolates. Whoa Villarrica!
It’s true I spent a lot of time exclaiming things like, “Whoa, you have ______ here?” when I saw things that we spent two days hunting down in the heat of Asunción. We’re discovering where we can source food or products and it looks like we’ll have more reasons than Jon and Nalena to visit Villarrica again (although
their good cooking they would have been reason enough).
They even have carpinchos (capybaras), the largest rodent in the world, waltzing around near the lake in the town’s park. One of the big guys startled me when he galloped away when I squatted down for a photo-op.
Isaiah had more success beside two of them.
So our first Thanksgiving in Paraguay has set the bar very high for future holidays. Delicious food, fun people, huge rodents–it doesn’t get much better than that. And we’re excited to attend a special event tonight. You could even say we’re going gaga about it.
What did you cook for Thanksgiving this year? Anyone else have an up close and personal experience with a capybara?