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Lapacho (Tajy) signpost of a new season

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
Recent posts

Freezing cold

 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. 

4th CMA Paraguay National Rally

8:30 AM. We leave the capital city of Asuncion. Several trucks and a dozen or so motorcycles line up to travel for six hours into the great Chaco, also known and coined by the early settlers as the green hell. Water is scarce and the soil is not good for crop production.  3:00 PM. We arrive in Flor del Chaco is a nice and comfortable campground outside the town of Filadelfia. The place sits on 400 acres of real Chaco forest. Flor del Chaco is a  Mennonite retreat place - really perfect retreat place. No phone connection, no WIFI, no noise. The stars at night are breathtaking. Rodadores Redimidos - the local chapter welcomed us with cheers. Last year the event was cancelled due to covid. This year, they went ahead in spite of experiencing the worst yet during the pandemic. We had a blast and it gave us a reason to travel and join forces as CMA Paraguay. I traveled with my two oldest kids, Marcos and Nicole. So it turned into a family trip as well. It was our first trip into the great Ch

Covid Records

A year ago, when Paraguay shut its borders and we all hibernated, the virus did not spread. A year later, and without a good system to administer the vaccine, between 80 -120 people are losing their lives every day While some nations are gradually back to the normal, Paraguay finds itself in the worst period of the pandemic. Vaccines arrive in limited bundles, a little corruption here and there, and millions are waiting their shot.  Please keep Paraguay in your prayers. We thank God for his protection and rapid recovery when several family members tested positive in February. We are back and going full force. But many cannot tell the same story.  Paraguay has administered at least 240,584 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 1.7% of the country’s population. (https://graphics.reuters.com) As I think of the situation, I realize again how fragile we are and become in times like these. May the peace of God that transce

Anahi and Dominick are back in school - not just virtual

Last year was hard. South of the Ecuador, school run from February to November. Covid restrictions began in March; basically 2020 school calendar year was done from home. This year, back in school, our kids attend have adopted a hybrid mode. They alternate between going to school and staying home on their computer.  Both kids were desperate and ready to start going to school this past month. Dominick is learning to sit still and Anahi is back at her element - socializing - As 2021 picks up speed we are excited about the possibilities of life returning to some degree of normalcy - although vaccines are slow to arrive in Paraguay. Anahi has grown up a lot this year. She is now part of the 9-11 pre-teen group at our church. I enjoy to see her grow and succeed. God has a plan for her to prosper and give her a wonderful life.  Dominick is in pre-school. We don t know yet about Dominick and his music abilities. His voice is incredibly strong, maybe he will become a powerful tenor and worship

My journey with Covid 19 and grief

Picking up the Covid 19 bug does not seem like an unusual experience these days. I tested Covid positive last month. Exactly about one year after the first cases in China appeared and then gradually cascaded around the world.  When I tested positive, I did not know what to expect. Stories of horror abound. I braced for the worst but hoped for the best. As soon as I had the symptoms I retreated into my office and spent ten days in exile. I mean, I still had access to my family from a safe distance. I was given a plate of food three times a day. I drank from my own cup and slept on a mat on the office floor. I was trying to heed my doctors instructions to isolate and protect the rest of the family.  My son also picked up the virus. He was not too upset, since it gave him an excuse to sleep late, binge watch his shows on his TV and relax.  Between days 5-8 I got a little scared. I had some pressure on my chest, and needed to stay still for several hours not to put too much pressure on bre

Marcos turns 21

This past March 14th Marcos turned 21. He has grown into a young man. We celebrated with cake at home. We sang happy birthday in spanish, english and german and half the song in guarani. Marcos is usually more quiet and reserved, not one that likes to be noise or loud. He lost his dad when he was 11 years old. His dad was a heroe whom Marcos admired. His father with whom he had learned to drive the tractor and play ball was suddenly gone - thats ten years ago. His life changed in one afternoon when his father Esteban lost his life in a work accident. Four years later, I came into the picture and for some reason, God wanted me in Marcos story and my story to be affected by Marcos. I know healing takes differently in each one of us. Our boy has come a long way. Turning 21 is a major stepping stone into the adult world.  We all are always looking up to heroes and people that inspire us. In a small way, I want to be Marcos hero. And we will continue celebrating and finding new markers alon