Tajy is Paraguay's national tree. I took a picture this morning of this yellow lapacho full in bloom, as of this writing. Lapachos come in pink, yellow and white. And when they bloom, you know the spring is just around the corner. Lapachos are the emissaries, story tellers of a new season. The winter is passing, while the spring is peaking around the corner (sept 21). I love the image, the message Lapachos send us - nature speaks. We all need signs, posts and markers that help our minds, bodies and emotions transition from what was to what will become. Lapachos do that for Paraguayans every year. Tajy (in guarani) or Lapacho in Spanish is not only known for its beautiful flowers, but also for its artistical qualities. The matero or guampa to drink tea is also often made of lapacho. Great carvings use lapacho as row material. Its durable and considered very hardwood. Although lapacho now a endangered and protected tree, it used to be the favored wood for underground posts, outdoor
Although my friends north don' t think winters in Paraguay can be chilly and freeze, let me clarify - they can. These past two months have seen freezing lows and cold days. If you take into consideration that most homes in Paraguay are not insulated at all. So you get cold air coming thru the walls, from the roof and often poor window seals. 30 degrees Fahrenheit might not be so cold with all the climate control environments in other countries, it can in Paraguay. To stay warm, I usually start my day with some exercise early in the morning and then do something physically related, about every two hours. That helps the blood circulate and keep me warm. We do have some heating units in our home, but since our home does not have insulation, those units cannot really keep the place all that warm.