Whereas the USA is a highly visual culture with an extensive written record, Paraguay is an auditory culture. History, language, news, and of course the local chisme is based heavily in what is said from one person to another, day to day, generation to generation. As such, in place of local newspapers we've got local RADIO. My small, middle-of-nowhere town has 3 local radio stations with another in one of our suburb communities. The stations are frequently connected to political parties- for example, two of our three stations are owned by the two latest political candidates for mayor of opposing (liberal vs. colorado) parties. Thus, everything from the news to events to local campaigning has its place. And today was my Radio Debut!
I have been in contact with the independent local radio ringleader since practically my first day on site. While I've had several advertisements for my classes and events broadcast thus far during my stay- they've been hankering to get me in to talk for quite some time. Thus, invited by one of my barrios to talk about our proyecto de arbolizacion y limpieza (tree planting and neighborhood clean-up project), my good ole' radio friend jumped on the opportunity to broadcast my ever-questionable Spanish/Guarani to a wider audience. Lovely... My personal fears and public shame aside, I think it went pretty well :-) Plus, my super guapo (hard-working) lider del barrio (neighborhood leader) is amazing and can talk up a storm about the importance of the environment for the community and all the fun things we can do with recycled goods. We even started a new battery collection program right there in the studio in the midst of all the chatter. Not bad for a first go-round. And, looks like we have two more radio shows throughout the week.
Ahhh... one step closer to adapting to a culture so very different from my own.