05 May, 2014

Settling In and Setting Out

Today is my first official day in Paraguay. Yesterday, I decided, really doesn't count, because I was too exhausted to communicate in anything longer than a facebook post (so apologies if you also are my facebook friend, because some of this is gonna be review). It's early days yet, but so far I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing.

The trip was long. By "long," I don't mean "I have to go all the way across town?!" I mean long. I left my house in SW Missouri at around 11:30 on Saturday morning (and all the thanks in the world to the dear friend who made it her business to get me to the airport), left Tulsa, Oklahoma around 4:30, stopped in Atlanta, Georgia, which I left around 10:30, and landed in São Paulo...sometime the next morning. From there, it was a short flight (relatively) to Asunción, and an even shorter drive to my hotel. I got to my room around 3:00 on Sunday afternoon.
The view from my balcony is beautiful.

My hotel is lovely. Asunción is lovely. And most of all, the people are lovely. So far, everyone has been more than willing to work with my sad lack of Spanish (resolved: I am going to learn Spanish at least to the level at which I speak French), and I've even shared a few jokes and smiles with the hotel staff. They are good people, and I feel comfortable and safe here. Carlos, my driver from the airport, pointed out several cool places, most notably a 40-block park (Paraguayans seem to love parks; I've seen several already, all beautiful and full of people.) and the President's mansion (which looks almost exactly like you'd think the President of Paraguay's mansion would look).

Aguyjé, Emilio!
Emilio, the waiter at dinner last night, joked kindly with me about my attempts at Spanish and taught me to say "thank you" in Guarani after I told him "muchas gracias" when he placed a beautiful cold plate of ham and hearts of palm in front of me (it's "aguyjé," if you're interested). 

This afternoon, I will be driven to the Universidad Católica to meet my colleagues and my students. After today, I plan to walk (both Google Maps and Carlos assure me that it's about a five to ten minute walk), but for the moment I'm content to be a passenger, at least until I figure out what's where. My class meets today for the first time, and I'm the usual mix of excited and nervous.

Anyway, that's what's happening around here. If the whole trip is as happy-making as the last 24 hours have been, I may never leave! 


  1. Hello,

    My name is Kati. I work with you're mom at the pharmacy. She has been talking about your trip for weeks and she is so proud of you! Today she gave me the address to your blog to follow how your trip is going. I think it is awesome for you to have this opportunity. I wish you good luck and I will continue to follow your blog through the rest of your time in Paraguay.

    1. Hi Kati! I hope you enjoy it. I know I am. I'm glad to know someone is reading. :) Take care.