Archive for November, 2007

Vacation Rental Site

This is not about Paraguay, this is about the world…I found this site very interesting and wanted to share it with you, it is a Vacation Rental homes by Owner site, you can find really great deals there, you can rent a house or apartment with your friends and split the rent…this page is just awesome.

A friend of mine went to Hawaii with some friends for a wedding and she ended up paying just 200$ for 8 days for her part in a condo with ocean view, how cool is that??

Check it out:

Vacation Rental Site

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The enchanted world

I spent most of my time in Asuncion but was always happy and looking forward to travel to the inside Country, even if it was just to close towns like Aregua or San Bernardino…even Luque, that now that they have build a new “autopista” or highway the distances are pretty close.

The lands away from Asuncion are still pretty cheap, and you can buy it in with small payments during 10 years, I bought a land is San Bernardino and just pay less than 50$ a month, the 10 years are almost over and I’m so happy that I did that little investment years ago.

I remember that every time I wanted to see and go around I called some Real Estate agency and they took us on a bus to see lands, those trips were always fun, even if I didn’t buy anything I got to know this unbelievable hidden places even (in distance) very close to Asuncion but nothing alike…

Thanks to these bus trips I really saw very rural towns, lost towns hidden under our noses, where people have to wash their clothes in creeks, where they don’t have electricity, were streets are tiny little alleys or were streets didn’t exist at all, and obviously they all were dirt streets, houses are made of cardboard or wood, and of course there is no bathroom, at least not the kind we know.

I recall that In one of these trips I really wanted to use a bathroom and we stopped at very simple house and I asked them to use their bathroom, she was embarrassed and of course I felt bad about that, she was super nice and apologized and showed me the way, the bathroom was outside, a little room with no door and a hole in the ground.

Then, afterwards they told me they were building their house slowly but they were proud to finally own a land and a own house, they were just married and were super happy…and I was more happy for them because they didn’t relate material things to happiness and were happy knowing that everything they did was with  great effort and sacrifice but at the end all is worthy.

I learned not to take anything for granted and be great full for everything. I’ve also learned that the more simple we keep things the more free we are, and freedom is closer to happiness that it is processions or money.

I still think of Paraguay as the enchanted world…were anything can happen at its own magical way…not good, not bad, simply the Paraguayan way.

asu27 Chacarita’s Photo (marginal neighborhood in Downtown Asuncion)

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The Ice Cream seller.

I remember when I was a little girl in Paraguay that at noon, after siesta time, my brothers, neighbors and me, were always waiting for the ice man seller…

With his harmonica music sound we could know he was approaching, we all had our money ready to buy the best ice ever, for us at least, we were so happy to see him, he had all kind of ice cream colors, now i guess he made them with sugars and colorant and probably tub water, but all what mattered what that he made it to our home.

Most of the days and specially afternoons use to be very hot in Paraguay…but not for the Ice cream seller, not for that person who played his harmonica to advert kids he was approaching, not for that man that had endless energy to walk long distances under the summer heat while playing his fun sounds and carrying colorful ice creams….

Now I wonder how did he do that?, day after day, for years, pushing his ice cream cart from house to house, that is the kind of hero that makes childhood happier even If I now know it was a very hard work I admire this man, I admire all people working as ambulant vendors.

Nowadays whenever I hear the melody of that harmonica I remember how happy my childhood was and how much I enjoyed to wait for the Ice cream seller.

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Tourism in Paraguay

 

Aregua churchI use to get some questions about tourism in Paraguay and I think I will be blogging about it more extensively, I would like to start with my favorite route, known as Asuncion and surroundings…here it goes, enjoy the Blogtrip  =)

Route # 2 Mariscal Jose Feliz Estigarribia

It starts from km 0 Asuncion and continues to:

San Lorenzo

  • Neo Gothic church
  • Market, downtown
  • Anthropological Museum Guido Boggiani
  • Important event: Traditional festivity  of San Lorenzo- August 10.

Continues to:

Capiata:

Baroque style Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, similar to Yaguaron and Valenzuela

  • Municipal Palace- downtown
  • Mythological  Museum Ramon Elias
  • Basket Factory
  • Carved wooden sculptures
  • Colonial houses

Luque

  • International Airport Silvio Pettirossi
  • Rio Salado (salty river) Pado Bridge (fishing, jetsky, boating)
  • Ytay creek (Camping, nature observation)
  • Artisan work: Harp and guitars
  • Handmade Sterling silver and Gold Filigree
  • Wooden handmade carved furniture
  • Events: Annual Music Festival
  • Aquatic park and golf: Rakiura

Aregua

  • Satellite station
  • Artisan crafts, ceramic, cigars and handmade yams and sweets.
  • Strawberries Capital
  • Art Galleries and antique residencies
  • La Candelaria Church (one of my favorites) above a hill, Ypacarai lake view
  • Events: Strawberry festival
  • Patronal Festivity
  • Train station
  • Palmerola Castle
  • Ypacarai lake (social clubs, beaches, nautical)
  • Cerro Coi y Chorori (Hills)
  • Topographic Accident with panoramic views of the terrace 
  • Itagua
  • Artisan Crafts: Ñanduti, hammocks
  • Estanzuela and Patiño (houses over the lake)
  • San Rafael Museum on Route 2

 

To be continued…

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Living in Asuncion

I never imagined myself living in another city but Asuncion, never wanted, never thought about, never needed…It is strange how life works…one is never happy about its own situation, who live there want out, who is away want to go back to live there…

Anyway…what I certainly most miss about Paraguay or in this case Asuncion is the way you go around and do things, the pace of living there, the agro feria on tuesdays, the zillions of Pharmacies around the city, the creativity of people trying to earn some money on the streets (car watchers, terere set renters, empanada stands, parking ticket sellers, quiniela sellers, windshield cleaners, gum and candies sellers on the street lights or inside the buses, etc), the coffee houses, the breaks, the chats, the text messaging, the friends, the community, the laid back attitude, the terere, the unexpected visits, the dinners, the lido bar food, the mate cocido , the super centro ambience, the “despensas”, the malls, the short distances, the tropical rains, the mercado 4, and the eternal sunshine …

Asuncion has a good size, it lays in the border of a small town and a chaotic big city.

Downtown is pretty easy to tour around and mostly all banks and shops and restaurants even public offices are nearby, and its easy to remember the streets and the patterns. Most blocks are square and there are a few main streets. Calle Palma, Estrella and Oliva are the main streets of downtown.

The days are full of different things to see or do, now that our Municipal theather is open again after 10 years we even can see operas and a lot of new plays, arts is growing in Paraguay, there are many talented artists in town, new and more activities everyday.

People go out a lot even during week days because there is always something going on in Asuncion…

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10 Things about Paraguayans.

One of the things I like about Paraguayans is that they are noble people, somehow innocent, non- sarcastic, most of them get lost with Argentineans eloquence spiced with a bit more of sarcasm than Paraguayans can bear…maybe that is why Argentineans are for South America like the French are for Europe…I personally like  Argentineans very much, and most of my best friends are from the neighbor country…, I like sarcasm in small doses ;)

Well, innocence is still part of the culture or DNA already, mostly in the country side you will observe this:

1- Everyday looks like Sunday (in the country side…everyday looks like the day before)

2- Where 3 people eat 1 more could eat. You are always invited for supper, they will offer what they don’t have to please you.

3- People will usually offer their own bed to please their visitors.

4- They will answer “Heeee” for yes and “Mbae?” for what?.

5- They will sleep a siesta from noon to 3pm circa.

6- They will shower everyday and more than once per day in summer.

7- They will give directions but never addresses.

8- In the country side if they say something is very close they are talking about many miles.

9- They have a strong faith and a religious sense.

10- They are not greedy by nature…they accept their reality stoically and don’t complain.

What I really miss specially in this time of year is the way people are happy with much less than the “dignity” standards of more developed countries have, the zillions of expensive Xmas presents forgetting that Christmas is a religious festivity, but who remembers that? ..Who makes you believe that a new ipod will make this a Happy or happier Christmas?. Some festivities are from the heart and no expensive gift needed. Period.

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Presidential Elections

The elections for President are getting closer, that makes the whole country feel that something is going on, you can breath instability…you can even feel that something its going to happen…

What? Who? When? How? and Where? are questions with no answer yet, but no body is looking for the answers or expecting any, people are more worried about having a piece of bread on the table and some safety in the  street, houses, buses where they can reflect about their own misery when traveling home after a long day of work.

The ignorance of people could make them choose the wrong candidate, the one who promise some thing in exchange of a vote, someone that buys votes with silly promises or even money in some cases…

The certain thing is that the candidates need more money for their campaign, they have risen taxes, they have risen fees on money send by Paraguayan living abroad (most live in Spain and US), they are trying to “invent” money, months ago someone conveniently robbed some millions dollars from the airport, people say its for politics…(I believe it is so, the same happened last time during elections time)

I love my country with all my heart but I can’t stand corruption and as long as our people are in the shadow of ignorance I’m afraid they will be manipulated and will make the wrong choices…It seems that we don’t learn by our mistakes…and most of the cases we go by instant gratification instead of seeing the big picture, and that saddens me a lot.

Take a moment and think:

Who are you going to vote for President?

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