Archive for January, 2008

My first post in Global Voices

Thanks Eddie for editing my post! It looks awesome!

Enjoy my first post! YAY!

http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/author/muna-annahas/

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La Yuyera

remerio yuyo What I always loved about Paraguayans was their inner wisdom, the kind of wisdom that you don’t learn in school, their natural and simple way of see and resolve things, their ability to cure using herbs, by mixing them to create a powerful remedies that cure whatever illness in old time to current times, this is still a practice in Paraguay specially for people that can’t afford to go to the doctor.

I recall that I went to the Mercado 4 in Asuncion to a herb place, it was a small store where you could see different species of herbs, some dried out hanging from the ceiling  , some fresh yerb over a table, some boxes on the shelf’s, some in little plastic bags with a name and a brand on them hanging on circular displays at the entrance of the store, herb creams like to cure skin affections and jojoba oils to prevent wrinkles and sun damage. The place was invaded of different kind of smells, colors and shapes.

I went there just to buy Yerba mate and ended up buying so much other stuff, for so many different kind of mental and physical affections that you can only imagine. All was so cheap and even on top of that the woman that was selling me the stuff gave me some more bags as gifts.

In her yopara (a mixture of spanish and guarani) she asked me what was bothering me, I told her that I wanted to lose some weight (since I was eating so much good stuff in Py, I really needed some help with that, LOL), with an unbelievable ability she mixed 2 or 3 herbs together, she told me the names (that I dont remember). I was actually surprised how well her teas worked.

I believe in inner wisdom that passes from generation to generation, I believe in the magic of good hearts, in the abilities of skilled hands and in the power of the mix of Spanish and Guarani native Population that gave life to what now we know as Paraguayans.

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Great dictionary – translates in Guarani

Just another quick post to let you know about this dictionary I just found, it also translates in guarani and in many other languages!

It is great!

The URL is: http://www.logosdictionary.org/pls/dictionary/new_dictionary.index_p

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Paraguay Country side towns (Photos)

Just a quick post to let you know that I found an interesting side with some photos of Concepcion know as the north Pearl, Encarnacion, and other small towns…they are so beautiful and peaceful…..Everyday seems Sunday!

I just love Paraguay Colonial architecture style, I just bothers me that no body really takes care of those magnificent buildings…

And again that shows that Paraguay had better times in the past…and I hope better winds will blow towards the heart of South America very soon again.

This site is called http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=348354 ,check it out!

Concepción,la Perla del Norte del PARAGUAY


Concepción,es la ciudad norteña por excelencia del Paraguay… También llamada La Perla del Norte (Encarnación es la Perla del Sur) ó Ciudad del Trópico,puesto que se encuentra en la misma latitud del Trópico de Capricornio. Es una ciudad ribereña,a orillas del majestuoso Río Paraguay y es una de las poblaciones más antiguas de todo el norte paraguayo. Ciudad muy cálida,muy tropical,de calles amplias. Capital del departamento de su mismo nombre. Como podrán darse cuenta,las principales ciudades del Paraguay tienen nombres relacionados a la Vírgen María : Concepción,Asunción,Encarnción,Pilar,etc…

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Cocido and Chipita

Today I got a package in the mail…it was a package of chipita La Cordillerana and a Mate cocido ready to drink that my sis in law sent from NY.

Nothing makes me more happy to drink mate cocido and eat chipita in such a gold day like today…it is really chilly outside, I’m so happy that she sent that to us, it was for my hubby actually but I guess he will just crumbs left of the chipitas.

The Mate cocido is very good actually, it tastes like the home made but this one is soluble, you just pour some water and drain it then sweet it and all done, of course I pour some milk over the water to make it a cocido con leche.

Having cocido and chipita so far from home is an amazing thing that reminds me of my winter days in Paraguay and the happiness of gathering around a table for “merienda” to have cocido, bread or galleta with butter and guava jam or dulce de leche (yummy) and chipitas or a slice of pasta frola.

I wish I could buy more easily Paraguayan stuff, I guess on the East coast its easier to find Paraguayan products since there are more paraguayans there.

Now its summer there, people are enjoying terere, sweating and going to the pool or enjoying Samber short for San Bernardino, the capital of the summer…meanwhile I’m ahead of behind in time, or at least in seasons, since is winter here,  enjoying the cold weather and a hot cup of Cocido con leche while I’m thinking about Paraguay and writing this lines to you.

What else can I say…Thanks Lizita and Eugenio, you guys made my day!!!

chipitas y mate

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Paraguay Blogs

 

Paraguayans have always been afraid to express their own minds, after such a long period of a Dictatorial Regimen, when Paraguay was still Presided by the Dictator Alfredo Stroessner (1954 to 1989). Paraguayans didn’t have the right of free expression and that has become an almost build in feature for most citizens, and sadly part of their personalities after so many years of repression.

Fortunately the most daring and they younger generation are slowing changing this and opening up about different life aspects and interesting topics like:

Most blogs are written in Spanish, expect of Bridge Blog (Muna’s Blog) and some ex pats blogs

Citizen Reporters is a very interesting blog called Rescatar which means to Rescue and that is what they expect, to Rescue the experiences of the civil society to learn, exchange and increase replays. They also share inspirational initiatives to contribute to Paraguay’s development.

Personal Blog is written by Luz Maria Toledo, she talks about her dreams and has interesting inner reflections and comments about life with a lot of sensitivity and touch of irony.

Academic Blog talks about Masonry, free thinking, humanism and different aspects of Masonry thinking, it is written by Christian Gadea Saguier who is an architect who also has published 2 books called:  “El Ministerio de los Masones”  y “Los hijos de la Luz”.

Political Blog: Written by Juan Carlos Rojas a young Law student who also works for a Foundation, he searches to promote libertarian ideas and the search for solutions to problems thru the debate. He also has interesting points of view about Liberty, Communism and Capitalism.

Bridge Blog: From Seattle, WA, Muna Annahas is a Paraguay National living far away from her native country . Her goal is to provide readers a glimpse into her “largely unknown” country, she treats readers to tips regarding travel within the country, reminisces about her most recent travels back to Asunción, and what she misses most about her hometown.

As an amateur photographer she often illustrates her posts  with interesting documentary photos and videos, and she writes her posts mostly in English so more people can understand and learn more about her beloved Paraguay.

El yacare is a weekly cultural blog about Paraguay’s different aspects, cultural activities, Guarani Language, native population, etc. It talks about “Pea que Amoa” which means in guarani This and that.

There are some ex pats blogs that I have to include in the next post.

Paraguay is all about the experience and now thanks to our blogger’s we can definitely know that there is much more happening than what we see in the news.

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Paraguayan Jewelry- Filigree- Filigrana

Many of you know already that I’ve been designing jewelry www.helenavoigt.com for quite a while now.

Most of my creations come to life in Luque,  I’m blessed to work with skilled artisans from Luque.

In Luque you will find one jewelry store after another on the main road in front of the Church, you will find from very fancy Hollywood like stores to very humble that barely have a display to show their handmade jewelry.

Luque is known by its jewelry specially its handmade Filigree or Filigrana is Spanish, that consists in very thin silver threads of sterling silver or gold twisted and soldered together to create beautiful pieces of art.

I get my stones LARIMAR from the Dominican Republic, they are only found there, in no other place in the world, and they have also many properties for the body and soul, it is a really gorgeous stone, light blue, with interesting patterns.

First I have to get the stones from the Dominican Republic, then I send the stones to Paraguay they work on the pieces and send me the finished pieces back to sell, all pieces are unique and one of a kind, truly pieces of art. I send my designs to my friend Adri and she prints them out and takes them to Don Florentin so he can start working on them.

Sometimes artisan work is not perfect, they never or almost never finish the pieces by the deadline, you have to repeat 100 of times a thing so they won’t forget it, and it is a headache to deal with them… but at the end is all worthy because the pieces are just wonderful!!!

It all started this way:

A friend of mine told me about Don Florentin I called him and we met at my place, he told me he understood my ideas and waited for me at this workshop in Luque, when I arrived there I was not surprised to see a humble and simple house where he had set up his workshop it was half block from the main avenue, it was not a jewelry store, it was just a part of his house he uses with 2 or employees who work with him.

They were drinking terere and laughing when I arrived to see the first part of the production, It was awesome to see them working, laughing and drinking terere…that is Paraguay, few about money and more about enjoying every minute of every day of your life.

This is the first time that they do this kind of jewelry, a combination of filigree and Larimar and these models are exclusive, i think with my creativity and his talent we certainty make a great team.

I’m glad to share this with you since I consider my readers and friends my family and it is nice to share and show what wonderful pieces they are making in Paraguay.

 

Iglesia Luque Lluque joyerias

Luque church, photo taken by a  dear friend Luis Rodriguez. Thanks Luis! Those trees are Lapachos also known as Pau d’arco with many curative properties.

 

filimar adri esclava trabajada1 filimar braceletfilimar adri flores salpicadas detallesfilimar adri pulsera2

   Filimar pulsera4

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Paraguay National Anthem

I wanted to share with you are beautiful National Anthem! Every time I hear it I get goose bumps!

LOVE IT!!! (video attached, please open post)

The second version is just beautiful, I personally know the guitarist…now being afar I cant avoid to feel nostalgic and with tears in my eyes when I hear my Anthem

Lyrics:

Original (Spanish)
Translation (English)

Chorus

Paraguayos, ¡República o Muerte!
nuestro brío nos dio libertad;
ni opresores, ni siervos alientan
donde reina unión e igualdad.
Paraguayans: Republic or Death!
Our spirit gave us liberty
Neither oppressors nor slaves exist
Where union and equality reign.

Verse I

A los pueblos de América, infausto
tres centurias un cetro oprimió,
mas un día soberbia surgiendo,
“¡Basta!” —dijo, y el cetro rompió.
Nuestros padres, lidiando grandiosos,
ilustraron su gloria marcial;
y trozada la augusta diadema,
enalzaron el gorro triunfal.
The peoples of the Americas, unfortunately,
Were oppressed for three centuries by a scepter
But one magnificent day surging forth,
“Enough!”, it said, and broke the scepter.
Our fathers, grandiose in battle,
Showed their martial glory;
And after smashing the august diadem,
Raised the triumphal cap.

Verse II

Nueva Roma, la Patria ostentará
dos caudillos de nombre y valer,
que rivales —cual Rómulo y Remo—
dividieron gobierno y poder.
Largos años —cual Febo entre nubes—
viose oculta la perla del Sud.
Hoy un héroe grandioso aparece
realzando su gloria y virtud…
A new Rome, the Fatherland shall proudly display
Two leaders of name and valor
Who, rivals, like Romulus and Remus
Divided government and power.
Long years, during which Phoebus in the clouds
Saw darken the pearl of the South,
Today a grand hero appears
Raising up again her glory and virtue…

Verse III

Con aplauso la Europa y el Mundo
la saludan, y aclaman también;
de heroísmo: baluarte invencible,
de riquezas: magnífico Edén.
Cuando entorno rugió la Discordia
que otros Pueblos fatal devoró,
paraguayos, el suelo sagrado
con sus alas un ángel cubrió.
Europe and the world salute her with applause
And also acclaim
Invincible bastion of heroism,
Magnificent Eden of riches.
(But) when discord rumbled all around
Which fatally devoured other Peoples,
Paraguayans, the sacred ground
Was covered by an angel with its wings.

Verse IV

¡Oh! cuán pura, de lauro ceñida,
dulce Patria te ostentas así
En tu enseña se ven los colores
del zafiro, diamante y rubí.
En tu escudo que el sol ilumina,
bajo el gorro se mira el león.
Doble imagen de fuertes y libres,
y de glorias, recuerdo y blasón.
Oh, how pure, of laurel girded
Sweet Fatherland, in this manner you show yourself.
In your ensign one sees the colors
Of sapphire, diamond, and ruby.
In your coat of arms, which the Sun illuminates,
Under the cap, one sees the lion.
Double image of the strong and the free,
And of glories, the memory and crest.

Verse V

De la tumba del vil feudalismo
se alza libre la Patria deidad;
opresores, ¡doblad rodilla!,
compatriotas, ¡el Himno entonad!
Suene el grito: “¡República o muerte!”,
nuestros pechos lo exhalen con fe,
y sus ecos repitan los montes
cual gigantes poniéndose en pie.
From the tomb of vile feudalism
The national Deity rises free;
Oppressors, bend your knees!
Compatriots, entone the hymn!
Sound the cry, “Republic or death”!
Our breasts exhale it with faith,
And the mountains repeat its echoes
Like giants arising.

Verse VI

Libertad y justicia defiende
nuestra Patria; tiranos, ¡oíd!
de sus fueros la carta sagrada
su heroísmo sustenta en la lid.
Contra el mundo, si el mundo se opone,
Si intentare su prenda insultar,
batallando vengar la sabremos
o abrazo con ella expirar.
Our Fatherland defends liberty and justice;
Tyrants: listen!
The laws in its sacred charter
Will sustain its heroism in the fight.
Against the world, if the world opposes it,
If the world dares to insult her security,
Battling to avenge we shall know her
Or die embracing her.

Verse VII

Alza, oh Pueblo, tu espada esplendente
que fulmina destellos de Dios,
no hay más medio que libre o esclavo
y un abismo divide a los dos.
En las auras el Himno resuene,
repitiendo con eco triunfal:
¡a los libres perínclita gloria!,
¡a la Patria laurel inmortal!
Arise, oh People, your splendid sword
That strikes with sparkles of God,
There is no middle ground between free or slave
And an abyss divides the two.
In the gentle breezes the Hymn resounds,
Repeating with triumphal echo:
For the free, renowned glory!
For the Fatherland, immortal laurel!
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Blogging for Global Voices

Global voices invited me to be their exclusive blogger for Paraguay, since there is just one author blogging per country I couldn’t be prouder of getting the invitation, how cool is that?! ;)

I would be writing at least one or two articles every month for Global voices.

I would like to awake peoples interest in Paraguay and let them know how beautiful this *Island surrounded by land actually is ( *as Augusto Roa Bastos once referred about Paraguay)

I want to thank Eduardo for his kind invitation and I will do my best to not disappoint my readers.

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You are Paraguayan if…

Finally I found some time to do a little translation, some things are difficult to translate because it is very related to Paraguay and you would only really understand it if you are Paraguayan or lived a big part of your life there.

You are Paraguayan if:

1. You sit on a cable chair in the sidewalk infront of your house or in the back of a pick up truck (in Paraguay is it very popular the cable chair, it is a metal chair with color cables rolled around the metal frame).

2-If you put your floppies on your hands to run faster.

3- If you play soccer with goalie that plays during the game and just protect the goal when its need it.

4- If you full your stomach with rosquita bread before lunch

5- If you wore stonewashed jeans (80′s style) vintage, it’s a blue jeans with white stains, snowy stains.

6- If you order 2 empanadas with just 1 bread and eat the few bread so it can last to be eaten with the 2 empanadas.

7- If you asked your hair dressed to cut your hair like “Ronaldo” or “Chilavert”

8- If when you see a yellow license plate you say: Yellow License plate, the luck is for me!

9-  If you delay to take your hand out when you are playing paper scissors rock.

10- If you say “ultimo boli cuna” (a guarani word that means: the last one is a wife of a bolivian) when you already started to run.

11- If you dont have anything left to see you say: Buenooosaire” Bueno means Ok…(it is usually to end a fraise when you dont have anything smart to say or if you have no more arguments to defend what you were saying)

12- If some time you make a mistake and instead of calling your teacher profe you called her mami (mommy)

13- If you believe that the more nourishing food is banana with milk

14- If you brushed your teeth with your finger when you slept over at a friends house and you didn’t bring your brush.

15- if you turn your pillow around to take advantage of the cold side.

16- If you rubbed your finger tips with lemon leaves so your parents would noticed that you have been smoking.

17- If you pretended you were sleeping in the bus while the bus controller was checking the tickets.

18- If you took your super great toy car apart to take its motor away to build a crappy fan.

19- If you were floppy with socks

20- If when you were young you played soccer with a sock ball or a green grapefruit.

21- If you hit the TV when its not working properly.

22- When your pc freeze you move fast the mouse to unblock it faster

23- If when your cell sounds you say control control control (meaning your girl friend or boy friend is wanting to control you to keep track of where you are) and if after laughing you say fiuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

24- If you dressed like you were ready to go to the Artic when outside its is just over 55 degrees

25. If you have a friend that works for the state that will faster up your paperwork.

26- If you know or have a relative that lives in USA, Argentina or Spain

27- If insults in guarani offends you more than in spanish

28- If you consider spending 20$ in beer is few but spening 0.20 cents in a empanada is too expensive.

29- If you rather have a chipa ( a paraguayan delicious corn bread ) than a filet mignon

30- If you call the radio station to say hi to your friend, mom, dad boy friend, etc that are on your side listening the radio with you at that moment (LOL)

31- If you drink your cocido (a mate drink) cold because you are (caigue means when you are too lazy) to heat it.

32- If in a pool, creek, river etc you did bath or swim with street clothes.

33- If you went to a birthday party and asked for the goody bag for your brother that couldn’t come, the cake for your mom and you also took several balloons. (more LOL)

34- If you broke (coquito or rosquita (which is a crispy dry bread) and dipped it into your cocido or latte and  your drink overflowed.

 

Some points I didnt translate because I don’t know how and because mostly are soccer related which I really dont get anyway.

If you have any questions please let me know, but as I said just people that grew up there will know what this is about and all is soo real…I cant stop smiling at most of the points.

I will try to blog more often, my life has been so crazy busy lately but I will try to improve. =)

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