Talk about culture shock!

Trip Start Feb 06, 2007
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Trip End Apr 26, 2009


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Flag of Paraguay  ,
Friday, February 9, 2007

WOW'...talk about cultural adjustment. So, I have only been here in country for two days and I have learned so much. While the word I would use to describe my feelings is overwhelemed, I await anxiously the learning experiences ahead. The flight was late getting to Buenos Aires ' and we were supposed to be changed in professional attire before the flight to Paraguay '''' so needless to say, this white boy was running to catch his plane right after brushing my teeth and taking a quick bath in the bano in Beunos Aires. LAnded in Paraguay, we went straight to the training center in Guarambare where we met the training staff who will be teaching us how to survive during our service in Paraguay for the next 2 years--. the plane lost one of my carry ons since i had to check it in ...by the way.....i was way over the limit when checking in for the flight in Miami ...but thank God they didnt charge me. I was 22 lbs over the international limit.....they ended up charging 2 of the volunteers. one of my bags didnt make it though...which had my toothpaste and shampoo and deodorant....so i had to make do without it for a night. it was strange...i had to borrow from my family.

which brings me to my family. i have a nice host family. they live right off a busy highway. i live in a small house with four other people ''' my host mom is 56 years old ...her name is Lorenza. she is married to Luis for 39 years ...he is 86 yrs old. i have 2 host brothers. their names are luis, 25, and nelson ..not pronounced nelson...by the way who is 24. both go to the universidad in Asuncion. my older brother is graduating in two months ... so i look forward to that cultural experience. my host family is a farming family....they have  ALOT of animals....oh letīs see....two cats, 7 cows, five dogs, at least 15 chickens asnd a huge fat pig...all of which run around the farm not tied up....last night, my mom fixed pizza....it was just as good as my real momīs in usa....anywho, three chickens flew up on the roof of the outside dining area where we eat at a small table...one chicken...oh letīs see...eliminated while on the vines....and it landed on my pizza....i was completely flabergasted!!

i have my own room ' there is a fan...i have a lock...a wardrobe thing should be coming today. my bed is much smaller than a twin size bed in american...the matress is razor thin...but it will do. i have to put my shoes on a shelf. ...here in PY, you dont leave your shoes on the floor...you have to wash them everynight with your family and hang them out and then put them back on the shelf.  paraguayans take huge pride in their feet and shoes...and only keep them in tip top shape...even sandals that we would buy from a dollar store or something...myhost brothers live in a separate house on the farm out back next to the pig. my parents sleep in the house with me right across the room. they have a very small tv and i was forced ...well not really...to watch the futbal game...huge here in PY. the kitchen is small...we wash dishes outside. we have a small refrigerator....this morning i had milk from a real cow...well ' we had to go out and milk it...i just watched, but i am going to get to try very soon my brothers tell me. the bathroom is very nice..compared to other volunteers having to hike out to the outhouse. we have a toilet in a room ' that we pour water into to flush it. they have a shower that gives no privacy ' and the water is somehow pumped out from the well. i havenīt had the well drawing experience yet but i am looking forward to it. the clock just hit 15 minutes..so that means i am near my limit that i paid for )1.000 guarani....anywho....did you know that in PY you donīt flush the toilet paper down the toilet....no, you have to wipe and then dispose of it in a little bin next to the toilet. very weird for me right now...i havenīt eliminated though yet since i have been in the country, but after the chicken i had today for lunch, i feel something coming on....sorry to be so frank...but

the CHP or training staff gave us a dictionary to use...most of the PCTs have strong language skills....i am really alone in a small group. therer are 35 of us in the group....about 3 of us i think have poor spanish skills....the spanish they speak here is muy diferente than what i learned at school. i dont leave home without it '''' or even the room to room without it...

we have school tomorrow until 12. we have started at 745 the past couple of days. there is no bus that goes out to my village....so we have to walk. ohhhhhhhhh....it is about a 30 min walk to and from. on certain days we all meet at the main training center, but on most days, we break up and spend the mornings at a satellite training center much closer to my home where we learn the skillt hat i will be doing....teaching in the PY skills. so thatīs not that bad when we meet there...

several things to pray for....please pray that i will get to first learn how to operate the PY computer keyboard ''' keys are in diff. places and they obviously dont believe in using a mousepad which makes it much harder to navigate around. seconldy, please pray that my host family will continue to put up with my poor language skills....i feel bad many times, because i dont understand what they are saying or if they understand the simple verbs that i am putting together in what i think is a sentence without any nouns....i have so much to learn, but all i can think about is how my host family feels....so that is a huge subject to pray for because most of my learning takes place from them. thirdly, there are personal things you can pray for ''i have a couple of unspkens that i would like to lift up .... so please just remember those in prayer...what can i say- this is what living in a 3rd world country is like....we have it soooooooooooooooo made in america....if any of you just spent 72 horus here you would say the same thing....so please be grateful for what we do have. PYs here have soooo very little, yet they are sooooo very happy people and share everything.....one thing i have had to get over quick like is smelling bad, sweatin like a pig, and drinking from other people. all throughout the day PYs drink yerba matte...a specail drink....my host mom even gave me the famiyl bombilla and matte and the thermos to take with me to school day....the CHP Staff couldnīt believe it...so i know my host mom wants the best for me..anywho, you have just one in the family and you pass it around to the person on the right...if someone moves, you have to keep the bombilla in order and refilll....it tastes like a strong methol water...but iīm growing accustomed to it....finally, please pray that i will learn the language....

met with the doctor today and i wills tart my vaccinations next week....i have to take 9 of them...they will be spaced out.....typhoid, malaria, dunge, hepatitus again....and some more that i forgot. so keep that prayer in the back of your mind...i have a huge packet to reado n the side effects and i am ptuting that off because i am frightenedabout it....but oh well....plenty have done it before me...so God will be with me!

i love you all very much and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love, prayers, and support......again please do not send packages over 2 or so pounds....if you do, a...you will regret the price and secondly, it wonīt get to me without paying big time custom duty on it....but please write me....and please do it as soon as possible...woudll ove to get a letter from home....i volunteer had family write them in the midd of january and it just got to her today....only if you get a minute though....

iīm smiling right now for each of you and blowing you a kiss and saying very slowly....ADIOS'''as you do in PY for show of respect and love for others...

until next time....
your ambassador to the world, trevor
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Comments

vweible
vweible on

Hello..Trevor
I am glad to hear that you are adjusting well. I know you will be fine. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your new family. Please be sure to take lots of pictures of your journey so you can treasure them in the years to come. I loved your email...I could actually picture you there in this small house with this chicken getting your pizza...LOL! Please keep us posted on your adventure. Good luck with your shots as you have probably already had now. Take and God Bless you!! Velvet

hunyhmlton
hunyhmlton on

Trev....
we love you honey & are praying & thinking of you daily-& all the prayers u needed will be said tonight.I cant imagine the pizza being as good as your moms! wow-& how did the fresh cows milk taste?

kestacey
kestacey on

Yo, Trevo!
It's so good to hear from you. You're gonna do just fine. You are tough, and things worth doing are never easy, so hang in there and know how much I love you and miss you.

mrease
mrease on

Hey Trevor!
Hello, trevor it is so good to hear that you are with a good host family. Things are still the same here other than Jenn has a three carat rock on her finger! The wedding will be in June of 08! We knew it was coming! I am enjoying hearing you stories and am looking forward to that phone call soon. Be safe and We all love you much!
Ps. I am alreading working on your care package hope you like it!
Marissa

agoodman
agoodman on

WOW
I am sure that the cultural shock is plenty to deal with Trevor.

You are a truly wonderful person to be able to do what you are doing. Just remember, not everyone can do it.

I love you and pray for you nightly.

Missing you,

Angie

snowlover77
snowlover77 on

Thnking About You & Praying For You
Hi There Trevor T, Just wanted to send alot of love an prayers your way today. I hope your training is going good for you and that you are learning alot. I know there is SO much for you to learn but I also know that if anyone can do it..it is you. You've got that special gift that God blessed you with...it's called love of learning. From the time you were just a small boy, it was obvious how much you enjoyed learning and it never stopped. To love to learn is an amazing gift too. Not everyone has that in them.
Have you had any monkies fall in your arms while you were out walking yet? LOL! Well, I will sign off for now. Remember...Shoot for the moon and you'll land among the stars!!!!! Love...all the way to the moon and back...Mom

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