Archive for February, 2007

Currupt? who, we?

I never thought that being in the place 111 in the Corruption Perception Index 2006 would make me glad because not long ago, in the 2004 survey we were doing just a little bit better than Haiti, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Chad and Myanmar.

Transparency International 2006 survey indicates that we are in place 111 of the 163 rated countries, being the most corrupted Haiti and the less corrupted sharing the same rank Finland, Iceland and New Zealand, what do they have in common?

Paraguay is less corrupt than 26% of the rated countries, what an improvment! Anyway there is still a long way to go to be free of corruption and the only way possible that I see to reach that is to invest in education because a well educated population makes  wiser decisions. I personally don’t see it happen in the next near future, from my point of view things are getting from bad to worse very quickly.

Sometimes I feel so frustrated about the whole situation, and my relation to Paraguay becomes a love hate relationship where I feel tied up between my anger and the hope that keeps me going, writing and sharing, the hope that is becoming a personal challenge, a commitetment, a reason, My reason.

I just hate what is happening all around, nevertheless I’m here writing about my Paraguay!

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Great Great Pictures

A friend of mine Luis Rodriguez just sent me a link with Paraguay photos taken by him, the photos are just Awesome.

Thanks Luis for the great contribution to my blog!! Thanks all for reading and commenting, that makes me happy and entusiastic to write more and more about a country and people I keep and will always keep in my heart.

Paraguay Photos

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FAQ Frequent Asked Questions about Paraguay

I found a website that is very intersting, It is a review of non Paraguayan living in Paraguay, most of them working at the American embassy in Asuncion.

I think it is interesting how other people see our own country, and I’m glad most of them knowing what the know would still live in Paraguay. I loved the honesty of the people answering the FAQ.

Check it out: Tales from a Small Planet

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Moving to Paraguay advices!

Photo Taken By my dear friend Javier Medina (thanks Javi)

Yesterday I met Mike, Jin and Alex, it was a short but very interesting meeting, they are moving to Paraguay in July and had many questions that were very interesting. Actually I was expecting most of them, unfortunately we didn’t have much time to talk and I had and still have many things and point of views to explain to them.

Obviously my mayor advice to someone that is moving there would be learning Spanish otherwise the whole country can get boring and you will be miserable, not if you go as a tourist though because you see what you have to see and fly away, but if you have to live there things change.

To get friends you need to know their language, very very few people know English and you can’t rely on that to make friends.

I would recommend to hire a private teacher or go back to school or to study something fun and interesting, or get a new hobby, so you can meet great people and improve your Spanish being in contact with Spanish speakers.

Mike told me that he heard that Paraguay is boring or could be boring, and for a second I thought and I agree that it could get boring, that means, there are not zillions of events, but there are nice places to visit in Asuncion and in the inside country, but boredom is not about a place, is about the people that feel that way, you can get bored in NY if you are so, and you can enjoy Paraguay if you go with the right state of mind and see beauty in the simple things, and that always amazes me, still now, when I arrive there I still can see the beauty and my time is never enought to do all what I want to do while there. I NEVER EVER GET BORED THERE, AND NEVER HAS, EVEN AS I WAS LIVING THERE.

As a local person there I have tons of friends so I don’t have the problem people that are moving there who don’t know other people have, I think getting adjusted is the biggest part of the problem, meaning you have to set up a new life, a new living style, a new point of view and obviously new or different expectations (things are different than in the US or Europe)…as my dear friend Kent use to say, what ever floats your boat, do what you have to do and you will find tons to do.

Once you set up the primary things you can go with the flow, you will be able to have tons activities that just pop up (most of the with no notice), tons of art and photography exhibits, cultural events, coffee shops, you name it,  if you have kids you will be invited to tons of birthday parties, asados on Sundays, friends coming unannounced, tours and cruises, other town visits, night life, people go out there very much even during weekdays… And once you start having dinner at 9 then you are on fire!! (very well adjusted by then). =)

Another thing, If you move there don’t forget that they greet with 2 kisses one of each side of the cheek and is not polite not to do so, people expect you to do and they will come and turn their cheeks for kiss. (that rules for men/women and women/women) and men to men always, always a hand shake.

I will write more about Mike and Jim’s questions and advice some really fun activities, and places to go.

Boredom is in the mind of the bored not related to a place, and as I always say Paraguay is not about seeing stuff, its all about the experience.

Life is Good!

Enjoy!

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Meeting Mike and his Family!!

I’m so excited to meet in real life a reader of my blog that is moving to Paraguay and will work there for 2 years, I hope i can give them good advices and that I can be helpful somehow.

I’m meeting Mike, his wife and kid in a few hours so after that I will let you know how it went =) and I’m interested in knowing what kind of questions he makes, living there sometimes i take things for known but I guess I will be surprised by many questions I don’t think as important, and I know I would have the same type of questions if it happens to me to move to a “unknown” country as Paraguay.

Be back later with some news!!

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From Realtown to Blogland

I think that some days are just really tough to get out of the bed and live life, and do what you have to do…

In that process one become wiser and calmer I guess, and here I am still “enjoying” the process…as a state of mind.

I just wish the sky around here was not so grey and that i can see the sun more often.

I guess Kafka isn’t helping much either.

No much to say right now, or maybe too much!

I better get back to real life otherwise I will be stuck in blogland.

Hey, Thanks to Marie I discovered this Foundation that are doing a great job around South America, Thanks Marie

Fundacion Fe y Alegria

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Reflexion

 

 

Yesterday I woke up in the middle of the night and as you know at 3 am you don’t really control what you are thinking, thoughts just come and go.

I couldn’t go back to sleep for about 3 hours thinking about other peoples lifes, how they struggle everyday to get some food on the table, or to just keep living one more day.

Is that the way it should be? Well, I don’t know but for me is hard to sleep in a comfortable bed  after dinner knowing that out there are millons of people, mostly kids that if they sleep on sheets they are lucky, or if they eat once a day they should be happy and the worse thing is that people in general lost their sensivity taking that situation for normal, it is easier and more comfortable avoiding knowing or getting involved in that.

Is people becoming so selfish? is their own life so busy and hard to avoid to see other peoples pain?

And I refuse and totally refuse to give up on human beings, I still believe that we are tolerante, caring and generous, we have the intelligence and the power to make things happen, we can do good, we can do better, we can do great.

I just know what out there are great people helping each other, wonderful people making changes happen, and fantastic people caring about the needy, to all those people my blessings, to those that considere such situations normal and wash your hands making only the government responsible for everything (if you wait for the government to do something, keep waiting, in Paraguay the goverment is so corrupt and they don’t care), think again!

In the next post I will tell you my experience in the Hospital de Clinicas in Paraguay, how real life down there looks like… =(

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A Plea for help for Paraguayan Children

I found this posted on Radio So’ o and got very very sad, because I pesonally saw a similar situation when I was there, and wanted to share it with you, hopefully we can make some effords and help the children who live in “Remar”

The original post has a number attached but if someone wants to help this children you can contact me and I personally will make sure that the money is going towards helping these children.

I’m usually not asking for anything but those things break my heart and her plea for help just made me notice that most of the people are not so lucky to sleep in a bed or to have food everyday on their tables. so people please help if you can, If we make a difference in 1 persons life it is so worthy believe me, maybe we cannot change the world but we can make a difference for these children to have a decent life.

The plea goes this way:

I would like to share with you the following: I went to Remar yesterday to take some food, because the director let me know that it was around 3 days that they didnt have anything to eat, I arrived there at 20.45 and found more than 50 kids from 4 months to 8 years old sleeping on the ground, I knew that many slept on the floor but i thought that was over a matress or some pillows at least, or maybe sheets but no, they sleep over a plain ground, I frozed;

they noticed me and a 1 and a half years old baby came to me and extended his little hands then I searched between my bads and reached a bread for him, then the other 87 children came to me, crying and screaming give one to me please, im hungry…I cannot describe that I felt, it was the most anxious moment in my life.

We have to do something urgently, I talked with people of Suenolar and they are going to sell me the little mattresses on their cost Gs 55.000 (around 10$) each, that means that we need to raise Gs. 2.750.000 to buy 50 matresses, I know that is not few money, but maybe all together we can raise that amount, we cannot afford to sleep comfortably in our bed with clean sheets and a full stomach after dinner knowing that these innocent children sleep worse than my dog. Please, give me an idea about what can we do!!! I thought that between 5 or 10 co workers can give money to buy 1 matress, Do you think it possible? Thanks all for everything (this is not an obligation, is just a plea for help and I dont want anyboby fell under pressure) Gloria Ayala Persons

 

Además quiero compartir con ustedes lo siguiente: Mientras se realiza la parte formal del tema, tengo otra prioridad; antenoche fuí a Remar (sobre Tte. Ettiene) para llevar comida, porque la directora me avisó que hacía 3 días que no tenían nada que comer, y llegué como a las 20:45 y me encuentro con más de 50 niños, desde 4 meses hasta 8 años durmiendo en el piso, yo sabía que muchos dormían en el piso, pero me imaginaba sobre un colchoncito o por lo menos unas almohadas, unas sábanas, que se yo, bueno, les cuento que es en el piso, piso pelado, baldosa pura!!!, me quedé dura;
encima me sintieron y un bebe de 1 años y medio se me acerca y me extiende la manito, entonces busque entre las bolsas y encontré una bolsa de 5 kilos de galleta que había comprado, quité y le dí una galleta, y ahí me vinieron los otros 87 niños encima, lloraban, se empujaba, y me gritaban “a mi”, “por favor”, “tengo hambre”,… no les puedo explicar lo que pase, fue quizás el episodio de mi vida más angustiante.
Tenemos que hacer algo URGENTE, hable con la gente de Sueñolar (Carlos Vallejo es muy amigo del dueño) y me van a vender los colchones pequeños a Gs. 55.000 (a costo de ellos), eso significa que necesitamos Gs. 2.750.000 para comprar 50 colchones, yo sé que no es poco, pero quizás podamos juntar entre varios esa suma, no podemos permitirnos el lujo de dormir cómodamente en una cama con sábanas limpias, ni hablar de la panza llena después de la cena, mientras estos inocentes duermen peor que mi perro. Por favor, denme una idea de que podemos hacer!!!!. A mi se me ocurre que entre 5 o 10 compañeros de trabajo pueden contribuir para un colchón, les parece posible??. Gracias por todo y a todos, (OJO esto no es una obligación, es un pedido solidario y no quiero que nadie se sienta presionado)

Me dirijo a ustedes porque tengo una cruzada personal que llevar adelante, por favor lean los 3 archivos que adjunto a este e-mail.
Además quiero compartir con ustedes lo siguiente: Mientras se realiza la parte formal del tema, tengo otra prioridad; antenoche fuí a Remar (sobre Tte. Ettiene) para llevar comida, porque la directora me avisó que hacía 3 días que no tenían nada que comer, y llegué como a las 20:45 y me encuentro con más de 50 niños, desde 4 meses hasta 8 años durmiendo en el piso, yo sabía que muchos dormían en el piso, pero me imaginaba sobre un colchoncito o por lo menos unas almohadas, unas sábanas, que se yo, bueno, les cuento que es en el piso, piso pelado, baldosa pura!!!, me quedé dura;
encima me sintieron y un bebe de 1 años y medio se me acerca y me extiende la manito, entonces busque entre las bolsas y encontré una bolsa de 5 kilos de galleta que había comprado, quité y le dí una galleta, y ahí me vinieron los otros 87 niños encima, lloraban, se empujaba, y me gritaban “a mi”, “por favor”, “tengo hambre”,… no les puedo explicar lo que pase, fue quizás el episodio de mi vida más angustiante.
Tenemos que hacer algo URGENTE, hable con la gente de Sueñolar (Carlos Vallejo es muy amigo del dueño) y me van a vender los colchones pequeños a Gs. 55.000 (a costo de ellos), eso significa que necesitamos Gs. 2.750.000 para comprar 50 colchones, yo sé que no es poco, pero quizás podamos juntar entre varios esa suma, no podemos permitirnos el lujo de dormir cómodamente en una cama con sábanas limpias, ni hablar de la panza llena después de la cena, mientras estos inocentes duermen peor que mi perro. Por favor, denme una idea de que podemos hacer!!!!. A mi se me ocurre que entre 5 o 10 compañeros de trabajo pueden contribuir para un colchón, les parece posible??. Gracias por todo y a todos, (OJO esto no es una obligación, es un pedido solidario y no quiero que nadie se sienta presionado)
Gloria Ayala Person
tel of 419 2505 – tel cel 0971 280 890 – RM 444 300 cod 3895

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22 Things you probably don’t know about me

1- My mom is German, my dad from Syria.

2- I never broke a bone, I was always well behaved and careful.

3- I was in a bad car accident when I was 15, I drive well even though I avoid freeways, I’m somehow still afraid

4- I have aragnophobia- A non rational fear of spiders, I just freeze when I see a spider, even in photos. yuck!!

5- The movies I love are the Dead Poet Society, Amelie and The Notebook (among 100 others)

6- I went swim alone with my dog in a big lake at the age of 8, no adults present,  looking back I said I was crazy!

7- I love lava lamps (I can stare at them all day and night), antique cars (want to own a mustang someday) earrings, and lip gloss the ones who know me can tell.

8- I dyed my hair at 16 and never stopped since then (tried out almost anything but blonde) the pink really looked good!

9- I’m fluent in 5 languages and I’m learning over a year now the 6th one (Chinese, which is a big challenge)

10- I’m very funny  (always come up with some crazy idea)

11- I met Bill Gates in a coffee house in downtown Seattle and had a chat with him (He seems very simple and to be nice guy), he was with his wife and no body guards walking aroung Pike Place Market.

12- I never polish my hand nails and use them short (sometimes I bite them, not often though)

13- I’m the only girl among 4 brothers (i’m the number 3)

14- I studied 3 years Drama and performed in a Play.

15- I dance and sing while walking with my music player on. (people may think I’m crazy, am I?)

16- Went at 2 am to take pictures in Downtown Asuncion (how scary is that!)

17- I have two plants in my home, the two are plastic.

18- I never drink tea or coffee with water boiled in a microwave, I boil water in a kettle, it tastes totally different.

19- I’m a Capricorn!

20- I have 38 (yesterday a friend gave the number 39 as a gift)  perfumes but I’m still looking for the perfect fragrance.

21- A tale (La Biografa) in a published book was dedicated to me and has my name printed on it. The book is called Ladrillos del Tiempo by Jose Manuel Perez Reyes.

22- I posed for a painter twice and bought one of the paintings which became the logo on this blog.

Well, I guess you now know me better than before, and I hope you enjoyed it =) Care to share your 22 things?

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