Archive for December, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!!!

It was an awesome day…

A LOT of people called from here, Py, Germany, Canada and China, I got nice emails, tons of messages on MSN and orkut, some e-cards, some real cards, some writings on the table paper of the restaurant…my friends and family know how important my birthday is…I don’t let them forget it =) One month before I start my marketing on MSN, lol…today I decorated my name on MSN with cakes and gift images, so nobody could use the excuse: I didn’t know it was your bd. ;)

I started my day reading and answering emails and calls then we went to ate pancakes for lunch then we went to the mall were kids bought me some lip gloss which they picked for me, that was sweet, I bought some creams at body works which happened to be on sale. Then we went to another mall just to take pictures and I needed a shirt which I wore later for the dinner at Macaroni Grill were I met with my great friends and I even got a waitress to sing Happy birthday (tanti auguri) to me in Italian!!…

God sent me some sun rays and some blue skies for a while in the middle of all this rain and cold, which was awesome! =)

I love birthdays…

Here are some pictures of the fun day I had.

I ate: (YUMMY) SHRIMP PASTA)

cumple muna cena 

I got…little things that make the soul happy.

cumple muna gifts Thanks you guys for all the fun gifts!!

Now I can: sweet my life with chocolates, keep my life organized with an incredible Paolo Coehlo agenda, cheer up while listening to Eros Ramazzotti (which I love), Smell incredibly great with my new LAMB collection (awesome), have sweet and glossy glitter lips with my victoria secret collection (lip glosses are my passion), a fun scarf to keep me warm during the winter, have my make up organized with a hand embroidery bag a friend brought to me from Pakistan and sweet talk and navigate on my new DASH phone ;)

 

They wrote on the table cover paper:

cumple muna 07 escrito

Yes, I made 3 wishes while blowing the candle!!

 

 

To all my friends and family: THANK YOU FOR BEING SO WONDERFUL AND BEING ALWAYS THERE FOR ME!

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FELIZ NAVIDAD

Mensaje de navidad a mis todos mis amigos, familia, futuros amigos, lectores, etc.

Quiero que sepan que son merry xmasmuy especiales y que tienen un lugar en mi corazon, mis pensamientos y oraciones aunque muchas veces lastimosamente no este ahi para decirles cuanto los aprecio, aunque a veces no sea la mejor amiga, hermana o hija, aprendi que por mas que una persona no te ame de la forma que te gustaria de ser amado, no significa que no te ame a su propio modo… Cada uno de ustedes me acompaño en algun momento (o me acompañara), estando cerca o lejos, en la facultad, en el trabajo, en la fotografia, en mis divagues, en las largas tertulias, en los interminables viajes, en las risas y las lagrimas… desde aqui, en la distancia, en Py o en algun rincon del mundo, entraron a mi vida para quedarse.  La vida sin amigos se llama soledad, la vida con amigos se llama felicidad. Dios los bendiga a todos y a cada uno de ustedes y aunque me encuentre lejos, a las 12am. estare alzando mi copa y brindando con y por ustedes….y con esta idea de vida y para que se tomen un momento para pensar mas alla de la materia y de lo material les dejo deseandoles una Feliz Navidad y un Prospero año nuevo. Muna

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Paraguay Images

These images tell more than words…today I won’t write…just watch! Enjoy!

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Paraguay War

A friend of mine told me about these videos in youtube about the Paraguay war (the triple Alianza war)

Unfortunately I couldn’t find an English version, however I would like to share this with you, very interesting.

Once Paraguay was one or the most important country in South America, We had the first trains and telegraph system, and so on.

Please take a look…

First part…

Second part

 

Third part…

 

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Dislikes…

I usually and most of the time talk about what I like/love of Paraguay and obviously I like most of the things but there is always another side of the coin, there are always things we don’t like about certain things or places, right?

There are no perfect thing/place/person/etc. that is a rule, and Paraguay is NO an exception.

Here is my list of dislikes:

  • Politicians, corruption, fraudulent elections, Ignorant government
  • Dissolution of the middle class- Rich getting richer, poor getting poorer
  • No enough schools, analphabetism, no student loans
  • Contraband
  • Working kids on the streets, exploited children and teens
  • No proper social justice system
  • Baches (sink holes on the streets)
  • No good draining system
  • Extremely hot/humid in summer
  • Emigration due lack of opportunities
  • Separated families due to one of the parents of both emigrated to another Country for economic reasons. (kids are raised by relatives, grand parents or aunts, this will become a huge problem in the near future).
  • Stinky and pollution generating busses
  • Cell phone thieves
  • Human Patrimony colonial- neo classic buildings destroyed or not well maintained.
  • No Paraguayan airlines making it always so difficult and expensive to travel in and out of Paraguay

For the moment this is enough to illustrate my point of view, this doesn’t mean I  love Paraguay less.

Paraguay for me is not related to an adjective, good or bad, ugly or beautiful, it is related to an emotion, love…unconditional love.

para12God: Have compassion of our Country.

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Coronel Oviedo – Paraguay

A friend of mine sent me this text about her home town in Paraguay and I made the translation (as i could, lol)

(thanks dear Yoli!!)

I lived in Ciudad del Este until I was 12 years old then we moved to Asuncion, Coronel Oviedo always made parts of our lives because it’s on the way about half way between Ciudad del Este and Asuncion on Route 2, or ruta 2 and we almost always stopped there to have empanadas de Mandioca at la RUEDA (which is a typical places to stop to get to the restroom and get refreshments), and get some gas. Buses and cars often stop there…and their empanadas were fantastic, but there is much more to see in Oviedo than that, unfortunately I never had the chance to check it out more deeply but I like the text my friend sent, I makes me discover my own country and for sure makes me want to check that city out in a deeper way.

Here it goes:

Coronel Oviedo its located in the exact middle of the Oriental Region. Thru it passes the most important routes (rutas) of the country, and on the city cross you can go to the Capital of the country, Asuncion and other important cities like Ciudad del Este, Encarnacion, Villarrica, Concepcion, Pedro juan Caballero, among others.

It was founded on the 7 October of 1758 and risen as a Church with the name of Nuestra Senora del Rosario de Ajos by the governor Jaime Sanjust. It owns his current name to the hero of the Triple Alliance (Triple Alianza) the Colonel Florentin Oviedo.

In the Colonial times it was a very important yerba mate and tobacco exploitation zone. In 1931 change his category to district. In 1961 began the Plan Cordillera Way, later called Marcha al Este with asphalt of the route that would connect Asuncion, Coronel Oviedo and Ciudad del Este, to support the occupation of agricultural lands. That measure has increased the production of thousands of hectares in Caaguazu.

The one time called Ajos, today Coronel Oviedo, was residence of big celebrities of the country. Some are: The famous Medical Doctor Vicente Estigarribia, some of his patient were Dr. Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia and the Mariscal Lopez, the first national jurist Serafina Davalos, and artists like Remberto Gimenz, Mario Halley Mora, Juan Angel Benitez, Ramon Mendoza, Cayo Sila Godoy, Manuel Romero Villasanti, the teacher Wenceslaa Escalada and entrepreneurs like Oscar Paats, among others.

Today, the modern city is a pride of their Habitants, knowing its rich history and without doubt implementing a glorious future with a bearable development.

Who were born in Coronel Oviedo make of it their city and put it in the center of their hearts. So they ones that passes thru it can’t hide their eager to return.

Original text in Spanish:

 

Está ubicada estratégicamente en el centro mismo de la región oriental. Por la misma circulan las más importantes carreteras del país y por el cruce de la ciudad uno puede ir a la capital del país Asunción ó a importantes ciudades como Ciudad del Este, Encarnación, Villarrica, Concepción, Pedro Juan Caballero, entre otras. Coronel Oviedo queda a 132 km de la capital del país.

Fue fundada el 7 de octubre de 1758 y erguida como parroquia con el nombre de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Ajos por el gobernador Jaime Sanjust. Le debe su actual denominación a un héroe de la guerra de la Triple Alianza, el Coronel Florentín Oviedo.

En la época colonial fue una importante zona de explotación yerbatera y tabacalera. En 1931 fue elevada a la categoría de distrito. En 1961 se inició el Plan Camino a la Cordillera, más tarde llamado Marcha al Este, con la pavimentación de una ruta que enlazara Asunción y Coronel Oviedo hasta alcanzar Ciudad del Este, para apoyar la ocupación de tierras agrícolas. Esta política facilitó la puesta en producción de miles de hectáreas en Caaguazú. A su vez, de Coronel Oviedo parte el Eje Norte de la Colonización favoreciendo su posición regional.

La antigua Ajos, hoy Coronel Oviedo, fue cuna a la vez que acogió a prestigiosas personalidades del País. Son destacables: El célebre médico Vicente Estigarribia, que algunos de sus famosos pacientes fueron el Dr. Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y el Mariscal López; la primera jurista nacional Serafina Dávalos y los artistas como Remberto Giménez, Mario Halley Mora, Juan Angel Benítez, Ramón Mendoza, Cayo Sila Godoy, Manuel Romero Villasanti, la maestra Wenceslaa Escalada; emprendedores como Oscar Paats, entre otros.

Hoy, la ciudad moderna es orgullo de sus habitantes, conocedores de su rica historia, y sin duda forjadores de su grandioso futuro con desarrollo sostenible.

Quienes nacimos en Coronel Oviedo, hacemos de ella nuestra ciudad y la ubicamos en el centro de nuestro corazón. Así como quienes pasan por aquí, no consiguen esconder sus ganas de volver.

Yoli

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Paraguay is…

For me Paraguay is:

  • para5Terere (yerba mate cold drink)
  • Heavy rains
  • Chipa and cocido (specially when its cold)
  • Sun- summer-(endless) hot
  • The “farras” (Parties). Every excuse is a good reason to get together.
  • Cerro/Olimpia (main rival soccer teams)
  • Empanadas (yummy)
  • Asado (barbecues) on sundays
  • Yopara (a mix of spanish and guarani)
  • Ypacarai Lake
  • Bollos (San Bernardino)
  • Shopping in Ciudad del Este
  • Flor de Coco for Christmas
  • Britannia Pub
  • Hola and chau (hello and bye)
  • Friends hanging out
  • The train station
  • The hippie fair
  • Lido Bar
  • Asuncion downtown streets
  • Heladeria Sugar
  • Friends/ Family
  • Cachaca
  • Movies on Wednesdays (half price off)
  • Chinese food at the Mercado 4
  • The “coreano” of the corner (Refering to the mini mart always open and you can find them everywhere, in every neighborhood)
  • Text messaging
  • Floods when it rains
  • 311080 Taxi number
  • Pharmacy and Internet cafes in every corner
  • Asuncion Super Centro.
  • Aregua’s church
  • The “baches” (holes in the asphalt)

Paraguay is a moment, a reflection, a way to be, a state of mind…Paraguay is the smile of barefoot kids, the green of the orange trees, the hope for better winds, Paraguay is the poetry, the vision, the emotion, the experience, the soul, the rough hands and the endless day.

There are 2 kind of people: the ones that love Paraguay, the ones that hate it…but there is a third category: the ones with no expectations, the ones that are open to live the experience beyond the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, the ones that can see beyond the sight and feel beyond the perception.

But one thing is sure Paraguay will not be indifferent to anyone.  Paraguay is all about the experience. Enjoy! =)

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Asuncion

Some thoughts of my last day in Asuncion…

 

asu48The time was coming to an end.

The anxiety grew by the thought of leaving.

I started to see greener the green and found beautiful the uneven shapes of the uneven streets of the uneven city.

So I enjoyed a walk by myself thru downtown.

I talked to most of the street vendors approaching me…

I approached some.

I was trying to read in their hands their story, their life, their thoughts and their feelings.

It was easy to connect with most of them, most smiled at me, one even share her empanada recipe with me.

I was leaving Asuncion soon, painfully soon.

I was trying to hold on to the last moment, trying to make it eternal.

Went to buy the last souvenirs, take the last photographs, see the river for the last time.

I sat down and just looked around, there was so much to see…I even saw a suit and tie man preaching…nobody was listening, I was.

I was broken inside but wanted to leave Asuncion in a happy way, I started walking again, smiling again, fixing all the images in my mind to take them with me.

And so, I want to remember Asuncion, the golden way, the beautiful way, the happy way…and so is my life with ups and downs but always with the remembrance of those days that I keep with me.

 

That was my last day in Asuncion, that was my last impression, my last perception of my last walk around of the most beautiful city of my own private world.

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Is that time of the year again.

I miss Paraguay all year around but on December it gets really tough on me, the holidays approaching, Its starts with the 8th of December that is biggest Religious holiday in Paraguay, the Day of the Virgin of Caacupe, thousands of pilgrims from the whole country go the beautiful Basilica of Caacupe,

mostly by foot to pay off some promises.

Most people in Paraguay are Catholic and they go to church on Sundays, they celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, the birth of Jesus. They meet at Christmas eve and have a late dinner and wait till midnight to open their presents, next day they mostly sleep, the real celebration for them is on Christmas eve.

When I was little even though my family was not Catholic I grew up giving Christmas a religious sense. I remember we always had fun that night, all together, with a colorful tree and kids all playing around.

Since I’m here Christmas is a stressful shopping race, who buys the most expensive things, getting or not getting in debt? that is the dilemma, what to buy for whom? will he or she like it? what about a gift card?…its just about buying and buying …its not about baby Jesus anymore, its about stuff, cars, diamonds and huge televisions…

It all starts after Thanksgiving…the holiday season, I feel that the season is invading my life, the Christmas jingles in all stations (I started listening some cds in the car), zillions of advertisements in the mail, in the papers and on television, all these cute decorations everywhere, the lights, the streets fulls of magic…but again, is this real? It seems a big fantasy to me, a gig money making industry that unfortunately has nothing to do with the Christmas I remember.

I have a tiny little tree at home, a stocking on the fireplace, and a tiny wood carved Pesebre (the representation of the birth of Jesus). It is not that I don’t like Xmas (like many may think), I do love it in my hear, in a different way, in a less bombastic way for sure.

I wish I could be with my family in Paraguay, but this will be another Christmas far away, oh well, I thank God that I have a great family here and awesome friends and will spend some quality time with them.

Or maybe I’ll just Celebrate festivus instead ;)

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Amazing Photos of Paraguay taken by Martin Crespo

I like Martin Crespo’s style, I always have been a big fan of him, his work is just awesome and he has the capability of capturing THE moment, and thru his point of view I introduce you to his work. Enjoy!

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Martin Crespo | profile | all galleries >> Paraguay
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Photoanimation | Studio | Fashion Outdoors | Paraguay | Voyages | Essays & Reportages | Commercial Stuff | Madrid Otoñal

Paraguay

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Asunción
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Landscapes & Nature
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Street Photography
Candids
Candids

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Photojournalism

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