Archive for June, 2007

The decadence is in the air.

There is so much going on lately. It is uncommonly cold in Paraguay, houses are not prepared for this cold and you literally freeze everywhere, outside and inside the houses.

Cold is a rare occasion in Paraguay, on the streets you see people wearing the weirdest cold weather clothes, un matching clothing, old fashion vintage coats and jackets or 2 or 3 sweatshirts one on top of the other.

Rain and cold (and gray skies) is not my favorite season, I think I had too much of it in Seattle, but that is the risk of coming to Paraguay this time of the year.

During a winter time a visit to downtown could be very depressive, you can see old neoclassic building in complete ruins, buildings that in other times were houses of the richest or important society people…now they are just ruins of better times.

Downtown Asuncion sometimes and more with this weather seems a ghost town, a town forgotten in time were the paint is faded and the walls are falling apart, where you can see the pass of the time thru its architecture…most without style, marking the different times.

Far away from it’s total decadence, in Asuncion you can see so many things that are hilarious, old bars mostly painted in baby blue, aqua green or candy pink that still preserve their original elements, that have never been touched with modernity.

Asuncion is by far the most beautiful city in the world (for me) and thanks God, beauty and love are subjective.

bar1 munabar

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My life in Paraguay

First sorry that I’ve been so busy lately that I didn’t have time to write, so much to catch on, so many people still to see…so many things to do.

I’m in Asuncion right now, which is a relatively a small city, from where I live to down town with traffic is a 25 min drive.

It is easy to get around and taxis are no expensive, and once you call them they pick you up in less than 3 min, there is always a cab around, and on call.

I will start writing this blog as a journal blog entries…sometimes more as a diary, others as a regular post where I will actually talk about “something”

Today I will meet a friend that I haven’t seen in 20 years and that is the director of the online department of the biggest newspaper in Paraguay (abc digital).

It was nice this morning, a friend came home at 8 am, unannounced, and took me to her office…I don’t have a car here…but somehow I always go around well.

This afternoon I will be going on a photography hunt and maybe take some good shots to share..yay, I can’t wait, I was looking forward to it since i got here.

What did I do so far??

Had terere, almost everyday

Ate: chipa guazu, sopa paraguaya, asado, empanadas, lomito arabe…etc, I guess I will be rolling back, jajaja

Visited: Downtown Asuncion, Britannia pub and saw friends, friends and more friends.

Enjoyed the blue sky…everyday.

Talked talked and talked

Worked (can you believe??) yes, yesterday a jeweler came home and we worked on my new collection…let see how that goes!

I have a birthday party of a dear friend tonight and dentist tomorrow….

I guess I have to keep an agenda otherwise I will miss some appointment. yikes!

For those who are wondering if im happy? I must tell tha this trip was worthy every penny!!

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I have arrived!

Finally after 24 hours and an almost lost connection I arrived in Asuncion…I couldn’t be happier when I saw Asuncion from above, I wanted to tell everybody in that plane how I felt…YAY I’m finally here.

So little has changed in the past year, same places, same faces…it appears to be a city frozen in time, that is one of the most notorious things about this city, or maybe this country.

Change is good and is natural, but some things never change.

Yesterday was very cool, we had a big fathers day celebration with asado at my brothers house, with some friends of mine, I was so tired but so happy to see all of them…

I love you guys!!

Today I made and got tons of calls, it was so nice! I hope to see all my friends in the next days and after that I will go back to my projects…this week I will be on vacations at “la capital de mis amores”

YAY!!!

Well, keep reading because I will be doing great stuff…enjoy it with me, and I hope you enjoy reading this blog as well.

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Asuncion’s Map

I’m about to leaving, just few more days to go, Yay!!

A friend sent me this cool map, Check it out,  

Asuncion

Will start writing again once I arrive…well, not so soon I guess, have to catch up with friends and family, but as soon as I can I will, I promise! =-)

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Terere, for those who understand spanish…

A Paraguayan tradition…part of our soul, part of our culture…

I hope one day you also can enjoy Terere

EL TERERE

EL TERERE

El tereré no es una bebida… Bueno, sí. Es un líquido y entra por la boca. Pero no es una bebida. En el Paraguay nadie toma tereré porque tenga sed. Es más bien una costumbre, como rascarse.

El tereré es exactamente lo contrario que la televisión. Te hace conversar si estás con alguien, y te hace pensar cuando estás solo. Cuando llega alguien a tu casa la primera frase es hola y la segunda ¿tereré?. Esto pasa en todas las casas. En la de los ricos y en la de los pobres. Pasa entre mujeres serias o chismosas, y pasa entre hombres serios o inmaduros. Pasa entre los viejos de un geriátrico o entre los adolescentes mientras estudian.

Es lo único que comparten los padres y los hijos sin discutir ni echarse nada en cara. Colorados y liberales ceban tereré sin preguntar. En verano y en invierno. Es lo único en lo que nos parecemos las víctimas y los verdugos. Los buenos y los hijos de puta.

Cuando tenés un hijo, le empezás a dar tereré cuando lo pide, y se sienten grandes. Sentís un orgullo enorme cuando ese enanito de tu sangre empieza a tomarlo. Que se te sale el corazón del cuerpo. Después ellos, con los años, elegirán si tomarlo solo, con yuyos, con un chorrito de limón.

Cuando conocés a alguien por primera vez, siempre decís, si querés venite a casa vamos a tomar tereré. La gente pregunta, cuando no hay confianza: con limón, muy frió o no? El otro responde: Como tomes vos.

Los teclados de las computadoras tienen las letras llenas de yerba. La yerba es lo único que hay siempre, en todas las casas. Siempre. Con inflación, con hambre, con militares, con democracia, con cualquiera de nuestras pestes y maldiciones eternas. Y si un día no hay yerba, un vecino tiene y te la da, de onda le pedís y está todo bien. La yerba no se le niega a nadie.

Éste es el único país del mundo en donde la decisión de dejar de ser un chico y empezar a ser un hombre ocurre un día en particular. Nada de pantalones largos, circuncisión, universidad o vivir lejos de los padres. Acá empezamos a ser grandes el día que tenemos la necesidad de tomar por primera vez un tereré, solos. No es casualidad. No es porque sí. El día que un chico toma su primer tereré sin que haya nadie en casa, en ese minuto, es porque ha descubierto que tiene alma. O estas muerto de amor, o algo: pero no es un día cualquiera.

Ninguno de nosotros nos acordamos del día en que tomamos por primera vez un tereré solos. Pero debe haber sido un día importante para cada uno. Por adentro hay revoluciones. El sencillo tereré es nada más y nada menos que una demostración de valores. Es la solidaridad de bancar esa yerba lavada porque la charla es buena, la charla, no el tereré. Es el respeto por los tiempos para hablar y escuchar, vos hablas mientras el otro toma y viceversa. Es la sinceridad para decir, cambiá la yerba, o arreglalo un poco. Es el compañerismo hecho momento. Es el cariño para preguntar, estúpidamente, ¿está rico, no? Es la modestia de quien ceba el mejor tereré. Es la generosidad de dar hasta el final. Es la hospitalidad de la invitación.

Es la justicia de uno por uno. Es la obligación de decir gracias, al menos una vez al día. Es la actitud ética, franca y leal de encontrarse sin mayores pretensiones mas que compartir. Ahora vos sabes, un tereré no es sólo un tereré.

Andá preparando el termo, que voy para allá.

Autor:

un paraguayo anónimo

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In pursuit of Happiness

I always wonder what people need to be happy? What do they search? At what point or accomplishment people consider themselves happy? Does happiness last just a moment or once accomplished could it last a lifetime?, Is happiness somehow related to money?

I think there are as many needs as people in the word, people need different things to be happy…but then again, does money bring happiness or are material things just voids of the soul?

Is our greed promising us happiness?, is it taking us apart as human beings?

Some people think they need a million dollar house, others a sailing boat, others some plane tickets and a back pack and maybe others just a kite.

Can people be happy in a huge house when what they really are looking for a is a warm home and solid family?

Most of the time we are probably confusing things and giving to much importance to things that are not that important and less importance to real things, to human relation or to take a time and slow down and  just breath.

At some point the economic power and the search for happiness they cross paths (that is where the confusion begins), I think at the end they go a parallel path.

I think what people really search is not the material or luxury per se because if you ask most of the people what would they do the last days of their life’s the answer would be other than what money could buy.

We don’t know when is our last day, we just have this moment this instant and can make it last while it lasts, as good as it gets, no regrets with that.

Doing little things for others makes life a little be lighter, maybe we wont relieve the pain or change the world, but we will produce a butterfly effect in some people life’s and maybe at the right moment make a difference.

We are never too poor to give a smile and never too wealthy to live without it.

Now if I have to ask myself all these questions I would say that to be honest unfortunately I’m still attached to material things, and I think that I could not make it without a microwave, an Internet connection or my digital camera… nevertheless I’m here, writing this thoughts.

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1 Week to go!

I’m traveling next week…as you can imagine my house is a mess, full of things to take to Paraguay, suitcases around the hallway, in the bedrooms and even in the bathroom…

Getting ready is never easy, I got tons of last moment requests from friends to take stuff down to Paraguay, so far I haven’t even packed my personal stuff…oh well, what the hell…soon this pre trip stage will be over and I will finally see my family and friends.

You can only imagine my smiley face lately, it is so cool to be so close, even though the trip is very heavy (24 hours) but it is well worthy! Yeah!

Hope to be blogging extensively while there, with so many activities I can’t do otherwise…and I will be taking tons of pictures, that’s for sure.

I hope I can write again before I leave, it is just getting so crazy busy here…now it’s midnight and I’m still at the computer.

This must be love!! See ya soon!! xoxoxoxo 

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The Police Concert

On wed we went to The Police Concert here in Seattle, It was awesome…when I was younger I use to listen to the Police all the time in Paraguay, I had my friend record a cassette to me…it seems yesterday and after they separated I thought I would never see them life.

The day the tickets were put on sale they were sold out in minutes, It was incredible, and I didn’t have the chance of buying it then. Strangely and for my luck, the same day of the concert I went online to check again just in case…and for my surprise I found maybe the last 2 tickets available…

That way I had accomplished a long time dream of mine…and so it is, one dream at the time, even the lost ones appear to come back and sometimes there is always a second chance…Don’t you think? Life is a wheal, we never know how things will turn out…

Sometimes it is just a matter of time to close a circle and to accomplish a task, so…

Be nice and Be there, Don’t take anything for granted (not even friendship) and seize the moment.

Sting rocks!! at 56 years old! Yeah!

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Arriving soon…to Asuncion Paraguay, yeah!

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Usos y costumbres del Paraguay…habits and traditions

I think all countries have different kind of expression thru habits, culture, religion or just popular beliefs that after a while become part of their lives.

Here is a list of some of little things we naturally do…as part of our daily life.

1- Great all people with 2 kisses, men between them hand shake

2- Wander around with our Terere or mate set..and sharing is a must.

3- Knock on wood if someone says a bad thing (its a superstition so that thing wont occur if you touch a piece of wood with no 4 legs, no tables for example)

4- Make a cross sign when passing infront of a church.

5- Siesta (a nap after noon) (in most country side towns and cities) not in the capital lately.

6- Having Asado or barbecue on Sundays noon with the family, with chipa guazu or sopa paraguaya. Also on Sunday’s most people visit friends or family.

7- Having Meriden, a mid afternoon snack that can be a Latte (cafe con leche) with some bread or cocido, actually you can try the closest version to the Paraguayan cocido, at Tully’s…ask for yerba mate latte…it is very similar I must say, yeah!!

8- Text messaging!! there is a cellular mania in Paraguay, people walking around with 2, 3 even 4 different cellular phones from the 4 different providers…you can save a lot of money that way. I only had 2 and was a very good idea!!

9- If someone tells you I will call you tomorrow…they actually don’t mean it, don’t be mad, its just our way to tell you that we will call you some day or see you around.

10- People pops up without notice, ding dong!! hey, its me!! LOL

11. Jopara (a mix of Spanish and guarani, both official languages

12- Eating empanada sandwich, jajaja, that one is very particular, you have to see to believe it.

13- Hanging around with friends…on the hammock or drinking beer or terere seated on the side walk in front of some one’s house.

14- Say “buen provecho” when you see someone eating or finishing eating or when you are done eating.

15- The paraguayan doesn’t SEE if he can’t touch, no ve si no toca!! and that is very true, when we are in a store we have to touch or to feet it…and we say: let’s see it and go and grab it to touch and feel it.

16- “Paraguay” doesn’t go alone to the bathroom, meaning that in a reunion or party, if a girl goes to the bathroom automatically all other girls go with her, jajaja, that is so funny and happens all the time.

17- In Paraguay the main and hot meail is Lunch that we have around noon, then we have merienda, a snack around 5 and we have dinner around 8 or 9pm…so very different from the US. Even what we have for breakfast is different, we are not into the cereal stuff. 

I hope you enjoyed my list…I hope I remember more soon

xoxox

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