A year ago Isaiah and I were in the 10-week training program that takes place before an official Peace Corps service terms gets underway. As part of that program, we traveled out to spend a few days with a current volunteer in an effort to see the life of a volunteer first hand. It was one of the highlights of training for us so we were excited for the chance to pay it forward by playing host this year.
We welcomed Braden and Shalissa, a married couple from the current group of Community Economic Development (our sector) trainees into our home for a few days. They were amazing so not only was it fun to be the experienced volunteers and pretend we knew a thing or two, but it was a wonderful experience to make some new friends.
Most of the time they were here the weather was quite rainy. So they learned how much that affects everything from events and classes being canceled to routes back to their training site being cut off due to the buses not running. It’s all part of the adventure that is Paraguay.
Even with some drizzle they were able to tour our town, speak with the manager of our local coop where we’ve taught some of our classes, visit a couple school classrooms, participate in the work of the soup kitchen, meet some of our Paraguayan friends and cook some great meals.
Oh, and perhaps best of all we all learned how to make traditional chipa, a delicious treat consisting of corn flour, yucca flour, cheese, and half a kilo of pig fat. Our friend and neighbor Alba showed us how it’s done. The kneading is super important and all 60 chipas turned out ricísimo, super delicious.
We were even lucky enough to have the rain delay their trip home meaning we got to celebrate Braden’s birthday with him. Including partaking in a chocolatey Texas sheet cake. Yum-my.
We thoroughly enjoyed our week with them. So much so that, upon their departure, the house seemed a little quiet without their positive, full-of-life presence. It’s quite remarkable to already be on the side of experienced volunteer but luckily we still have over a year left to realize many more projects and get to know quality people like the trainees we were lucky enough to host in our hometown.