Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is he doing? What is that?

The arm you see is Jesse's. What he is doing is cutting is the layer of skin off of a slab of bacon before he slices it himself. Yup, we are starting to slice our own bacon. This is supposedly the best bacon our middle school principal has found in Asuncion. We'll let you know after we eat it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Club Mbegua

In an effort to get out of our suburbia bubble, I spoke with a few teachers who are married to Paraguayans to get a few ideas. One of those ideas was to take the ferry across the Paraguay River/Asuncion Bay to a place called Club Mbegua (pronounced Bay-wah- is Guarani for a type of bird). Apparently Paraguay is the birdwatching capital of the world, with more species in the country than anywhere else. The teacher that I spoke to said that it would be a good time to cross the bay because all the migratory birds are currently migrating and we might be able to see some cool birds. Well, we did see some birds, so she was right. But more than that, we saw a glimpse into Paraguay's past.

Remember the resort that Baby and her family go to in Dirty Dancing? Kellerman's? Fifty years ago, Club Mbegua was the Paraguayan version of Kellerman's. Now it is a decrepit, falling down, country club-esque area that could be absolutely beautiful. Walking around was almost eery. Visions of horror films at the abandoned country club definitely went through our minds. I imagine that when the country was under the control of the dictator, this place would have been an ideal place to go for a family picnic, to host sporting events, weddings, special events, everything. But it appears that no one has really used the place since the dictator fell out of power.
We did get to take an amazing/scary/how-is-this-boat-actually-moving-this-might-be-the-first-engine-made-in-Paraguay boat ride across the river. This picture doesn't quite do the boat justice. The engine was right in front of Jesse, and we paid the driver $4 to take us across.

Back to the club, there were a few people laying around by the kiddie pool, and it appears as though the local crewing team uses the club to store their boats and use the river to practice, but the rest was deserted.
The big pool. Jesse and Kagan are practicing their front crawl.
The nice thing about the area was that we got a pretty decent view of Asuncion from the other side of the bay.
Who knows what we'll see next time we leave our bubble!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

80's Party Night!

There are five teachers that have birthdays in August, so traditionally here, there is an August birthday party. Themed parties always seem like so much fun, so we had an 80's night, complete with Dirty Dancing being shown on the side of the house! Do you like our outfits?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Piece of Grad School

As some of you know, I am currently enrolled in a master's degree program through the University of Alabama. They send a professor down four times a year to give us a whirlwind graduate course in two weeks. Friday was the last day of my last class. Since Jess and I have been so incredibly busy these last few weeks, I thought I would share something I wrote for that class. We read the poem Where I'm From (click to read the original) by George Ella Lyon, and were told to write our own. I only had 7 minutes to write, so take that into consideration while you read. I don't think this would be ready to be published just yet. Enjoy!

Where I'm From

I am from Wisconsin
Land of beer, brats, and cheese
Summers by the lake,
soaking up the sun, laying on the boat.
Winters in the snow,
with red cheeks and noses
coming in to warm by the fire.

I am from the land,
farmers are my heritage
growing corn and cows
picking strawberries with Grandma
or watching the tractor with Grandpa

Brothers, sister, cousins, all together
a noisy bunch we were
We still get together,
although less each passing year.

Moving from country to town
was hard for all of us.
Little league, flag football, track and field
Sports became almost all we knew
Seasons were not winter, spring, summer or fall,
but cross country, wrestling, track and softball

I'm from homemade cakes and cookies
never from a box or store
Crisp fall apples made into applesauce
country food at its best.