3am – My alarm goes off and I sneak out of bed as to not wake the sleeping Isaías beside me.
4am – I’m on a bus heading north out of town. It’s bumpy and dusty and I don’t want to mat my hair down, but I manage to catch a few Zzzs.
9am – I arrive in Coronel Oviedo, location of an entrepreneurship event that one of Paraguay Emprende’s (the project I help coordinate) partners is hosting.
9:30am – I walk past the event location a few times but finally notice it. I enter to discover it started a couple of hours ago. The invitation said 9:30am. I wonder how everyone except all the Peace Corps volunteers who arrived around the same time as me got the memo.
10am – We volunteers ask about setting up a table to display our informational brochures. We thought it was what we were invited to do, but it seemed like news to the coordinators. And no other organizations were there with tables. Nevertheless, they found us a table, a pretty table cloth, and a way to hang our huge banner behind us. Awesome!
10:30am – Elisa, the director of our sector, notices that we are on the event’s speaking schedule. We don’t believe her since it’s the first we’re hearing about it, but sure enough, the Paraguay Emprende Team is scheduled for 10 minutes at 11:45am.
11am – Devin, another volunteer, happens to have a Paraguay Emprende promo video on the pen drive he has with him. We decide to give a quick intro to the project and show the video. Perfect!
11:30am – I nervously practice my lines.
11:45am – We get bumped until after lunch.
2:30pm – Success. Our short presentation was a-okay and gave us some good attention, which will lead to more support and participants.
4pm – I head to the bus terminal and catch the last bus of the day heading south to my site.
7pm – The crisp fresh air streaming in the bus windows feels great. I’m tired but happy. I feel a strange love for Paraguay bubbling around inside of me. Or am I a bit motion sick? I smile as we pass men in chairs outside their houses, passing time without a rush in the world, and little naked kids running in their front yards.
9:10pm – It’s dark but the stars are bright. Based on the time I know I’m nearly home. I start to doze off and then become alert and realize our bus has stopped. Not a normal stop to drop off a package or for the driver to run into a dispensa for a snack. Stopped as in broken down. The driver and money collector are outside with flashlights, working on the engine.
9:30pm – I call Isaiah and tell him the news. And that I’m really hungry.
10pm – A huge chorus of those awesome frogs accompany the men as the continue to fiddle with the engine to no avail.
10:30pm – With a roar and a puff we are going again. The engine sounds awful and I decide that when we break down again (it seems inevitable), we’ll have to be close enough to walk the rest of the way.
11pm – We arrive in Yuty without more problems. Isaiah greets me at our door with carrots and peanut butter and we tell each other about our days. It’s a rare occurrence to be apart for so long and to not already know every detail of each other’s day.
11:30pm – I fall into bed and am asleep before I can even tuck in the bottoms of the mosquito net. I sleep hard and long and it is good.