Skip to main content

Getting to know the Neighborhood

These are our new neighbors.  They weren't here last week, but now they're building their home 500 meters to the west of us.  Their home is the ultimate in recycling:

In Paraguay, when people move, many take their houses with them!  This is a home that is being re-constructed on a new lot!  Paraguayans reuse any scrap wood, old roof tiles and flooring to create a humble abode. 

This is the soy field that separates us:


We had our very first neighborhood organizational meeting last night.  It was great, forty people of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds came together on logs, drank terere and were unified in our desire to better our growing neighborhood.  We are still considered "outside of town" so our district has not gotten too much attention.  We met primarily because we are increasingly concerned about the toxins that the farmers are spraying on the soy/wheat fields, so close to our homes.  We invited the mayor to come to hear out our concerns and we formed a committee to work toward bettering our neighborhood.  We were asked to serve on the environmental/beautification team. Since we've already planted trees on the sidewalk of the equivalent of 6 city blocks, we'll be able to continue 6 more blocks to have flowering trees on our entire street.   "Pilcomayo" will be the prettiest road in town!

The mayor also promised us that he would put cobblestone on our dirt road, because it's almost impassable after the rain.  This year is an election year, so it's typical for the mayor to do a lot of visible work in the last few months of his tenure to get re-elected, so we'll see what happens!  We're not holding our breath, because we're heard MUCHAS campaign promises!

This is leaving our driveway after the rain:



We recognize with such busy lives, we don't have time to talk to those closest to us.  We have another new neighbor that moved in on the east side last month and we want to stop over and give her a welcome plant.  She's a hard-working single mom with two daughters. It's so true what our former president said:

"As man draws nearer to the stars, why should he not also draw nearer to his neighbor?"  -Lyndon B Johnson

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Christmas in Paraguay!

If you're wondering what Paraguayans do at Christmastime, they have some great traditions, including the "noche buena" meal on Christmas Eve at midnight.  They eat lots chipa guasu (a type of corn casserole, stay tuned for a recipe), asado or grilled meat (some eat it cold), salads, especially fruit salad, watermelon and drink mucho terere.


Families travel from all over the country, many even return from working in other countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, to celebrate with loved ones. This is us at last year's Kurrle celebration in Asuncion. Festivities are anything but a silent night with fireworks, loud music and drinking cidra (hard cider). 



Most Paraguayans do not decorate Christmas trees (we decorate ours in shorts!) or emphasize Santa Claus.  Instead, they put beautiful nativities "pesebres" in their yards and in store fronts.  Kind of novel to focus on Christ at Christmas, isn't it!


To beat the heat, many Paraguayans go to a river to rel…

The Genesis of my story in Paraguay: Part 2

In Part 1, I shared how my first move to Paraguay was at age 5. At that time I was a minor, following my parents around. But my second move to Paraguay was at age 25 when after college, I—or better said, we—decided to move back to Paraguay. This time, the Genesis was a letter inviting us to help pioneer a new radio station there.


At the time I had just gotten married to my college sweetheart Julie. We were both enrolled in seminary, enjoying just being married and going to school. Among our hobbies at the time was traveling the U.S. and to any country that we had the funds to go to. During those days, we began running seriously and trained for our first marathons and adventure race. Our first marathon was the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Julie and I finished together in what I thought was a pretty good time of 4 hours, 12 minutes.


One day, a letter in our mailbox got us thinking about plans beyond graduation. The letter was from Walter Franz, inviting us to help establis…

Paraguayan Weddings

On Valentine’s Day, we had the joy of attending the wedding of Sandra and Anastacio, young leaders in the church. Sandra is my assistant with Children of Promise and Anastacio, apart from his carpentry job, has a popular youth-focused radio program every night at 8:00 on our station.

We’ve been to quite a few weddings, and these are some of the uniquenesses of southern Paraguayan wedding celebrations from our North American culture:

1. Nothing is fancy. Emphasis is placed on the act of marriage and not on the decorations or food.
2. It is not an expectation that parents help pay for expenses. Most families just make it each month with regular expenses and cannot afford to pay for eleborate feasts. Most couples have to spend months saving for their own wedding.
3. Borrow as much as possible. Many times wedding dresses are borrowed 5-10 times, because few women can afford their own. Flowers, decorations, shoes and ties (Norb loans out his ties often...since he never wears them!) are …