Hello readers- whoever you are! It has been another long haul since the last time that I wrote. Shortly following my amazing week in Paraguay during which I made my last entry, I came into one of my worse weeks. As always in the Peace Corps, there are life’s ups and downs. Some days are really sunny, others it starts to rain and shuts everything down. Without going too much into the details, all I can say is that being a female volunteer alone in the middle of a mud pit can be really difficult. Sometimes those that appear to offer help and relief have secondary motives that are not so noble. In training, they warn of these challenges. In practice, it is difficult to avoid. So, after a very difficult week and another simply trying to escape the mud and rain (literally… not figuratively although one could also spin it as such), I finally broke the borders of Caazapá and headed to Asuncion.
My first round of VRTs (to be honest I’m not totally sure what that stands for but it’s trimester reporting) was at hand. I remember about 3 months ago I was really clear on what I was doing. I had a list of activities I was working on and a timeline for each one. Things were very organized. When it came to reporting my activities of the last now 6 months, however, things were a bit more difficult. Perhaps it is because so much has happened professionally and personally since those days, perhaps I was just tired after the 10.5 hour bus ride to Asuncion during which the bus blew the same tire three times and then got stuck in the mud, perhaps it was the first take-out food I’d seen in months… either way when I was asked the open-ended question, “So what have you been doing in site these last 6 months?” I struggled to formulate my answer. We talked about the courses I had run in English and micro-business, the comedor comunitario, the family garden group and the challenge of micro-credit defaults in the campo, the many small projects my barrios were tackling across the pueblo, and the completion of my community study. The big picture, if you can really call it that, is that even in this short amount of time during what most people refer to as the “slow” point of their service: I’ve done a whole lot. And, perhaps more striking: I need a vacation.
So, this weekend, I am attempting to head back to site only to pack my bags for a new kind of adventure. I’m waylaid in a town 2.5 hours south waiting for the rain to stop long enough to let a bus through. So for now, simply Dreaming of Uruguay….