Archive for June, 2008

Chipa Guazu recipe

Today I had an super delicious Chipa Guazu…it seems that i spend most of the time eating, jajaja, well perhaps its true, I know there are things that i wont be able to eat when I’m back so I’m taking advantage of the beauties of the paraguayan cuisine.

Chipa Guazu has no equivalent, its like a creamy corn cheese bread

I personally like the Chipa Guazu more than the sopa paraguaya because it is more creamy, the sopa paraguaya is a bit to dry for me…and I love the chipa guazu will lots of cheese and onions, yummy!

So here it goes, a very easy recipe, enjoy!

  • 3 chopped onions
  • 1 kilo of chopped corn that’s around 2 pounds corn
  • half cup of pig fat that’s for the original recipe but you can replace that with oil, butter or margarine
  • 300grams of cheese (if you don’t find the paraguayan cheese you can use uruguayan cheese or mozzarella, or maybe some soft white cheese)
  • 5 beated eggs
  • half cup of
  • 1 cup of milk
  • salt and pepper

Saute the onions on the fat, butter or oil then add the milk and let cook for 10 more minutes, then add the cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and chopped corn and mix well, then pour the mix into a form and put it into a hot oven until the top of the Chipa Guazu turns golden brown…

Then tell me how you liked it ;)

Chipa_Guazu.jpg

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The most beautiful city in the world

I use to say that Asuncion is the most beautiful city in the world because it has personality, I find interesting how the city was build and you can see the passing of time on the city, you will see spectacular new classic or colonial houses and newer 30 story buildings…my husband think that I’m insane to say that, he said" to me:  "please don’t say that again in public, people will laugh at you".

Now I’m here and I realize that Asuncion is not perfect, that the city has millions of imperfections, I realize that beauty is subjective and also love is…I realize that I don’t love a person or a place because of its perfection…actually quite the opposite I love it because its imperfection, that actually makes a place or a person unique.

I don’t search for the perfect place, I search for the perfect place for me and now I dare to say aloud that Asuncion is the most be beautiful city in the world (for me) ;)

079 029 040 062

091 023 016 075 140

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Asuseattle?

The weather lately seems to be like the weather in Seattle, since I got here I couldn’t wear a short sleeve T-shirt yet, I just saw the sky being blue once, most of the time its cloudy and rainy…sad weather, it makes you want to stay inside the house all time…I’m frustrated because its like I traveled 10.000km to finally find the same weather as I left behind…

I literally don’t have a summer for 5 years, because I always come in june when in the US is summer and here is winter, but winters here used to be like summers but this has changed since last year when we really had a cold freezing winter in Paraguay.

It makes me think that perhaps if I fly to Hawaii strangely those days will be dark and cloudy too? Can I ever escape this weather? Will I ever see a sunny day again? Oh well I’m exaggerating, my frustration is talking now, I’m having a great time anyway and the weather wont stop me…I’m just wondering, is this always like this or is it just my luck?

I’m much a complainer, jajaja, well I can’t be nice all the time, right? I know the sun will shine again soon (i hope so) and my mood will improve with it ;)

140 rainy Asuncion

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I hate Paraguay

Well, I don’t actually mean this but there are certain aspects that I really hate, always hated and always will, I spent in Identificaciones the last 2 days, Identificaciones is the equivalent of the department of licensing where you request an Id or cedula de identidad or a passport or other documents like certificados de antecedentes and things like that.

The thing is that the place is under construction now and even more messy than it use to be, it seem that no body know anything, that even the "bosses" are just as ignorant as the rest and probably have allergy of work…they treat you like they are doing you a favor. On wed i spent 2 hours there and yesterday 3 hours, to resolve a simple issue (they lost a file) they sent me from one section to another, from reclamos to extranjeros, from there to archivo from there to judiciales then to control and then again to reclamos where all started!

While I was waiting I just could observed how they work…there is a lack of computers, they handle many papers, they have huge piles of papers wherever, they put your life files in shoe boxes (literally, I’m not kidding) no wonder files keep disappearing, and if they disappear then is impossible to renew a document.

I’m so upset that my whole "life" is in hands of these people…most women just polish their nails and gossip while "working". I almost forgot that part of Paraguay.

The environment is not ideal and they probably earn few to do nothing.

Not to mention the wait in line for hours while these people do literally nothing, and the worse part is that you don’t have to complain, you don’t know where and with whom to talk, everything is a mess a total mess….you just have to accept and be patient, and perhaps with time and a lot of luck maybe some day you will get your papers.

Public administration literally suck!!! I wish I will never have to deal with it again…but this somehow seems an unlikely dream…so be prepared if you have to deal here with it, unfortunately this matter is due the lack of culture and right systems and most importantly the primitive set of mind that makes the public employee so mediocre because they know they cant be fired.

In these kind of things you really know the other face of Paraguay, an awful reality part of the idiosyncrasy of the nation.

I have to go again today or tomorrow and will try to take a picture so you can have an idea of what I’m talking about.

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Unicef: In Paraguay 9 children die daily

Source Ultima Hora

http://www.ultimahora.com/notas/127409-Unicef:-En-Paraguay-mueren-por-día-9-niños-y-niñas-menores-de-5-años

These deaths are totally avoidable.

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My first week in Paraguay

Things seem same, seem to never change here, its like an oasis surrounded by progress but not affected by it…the decadence and the progress hand by hand in the same place, on one side you see so much progress in every sense, people with the best and modern electronic devices, the fanciest cars, the luxurious houses, the malls, the night clubs…etc, on the other side you see misery, poverty, decadence, specially in downtown Asuncion you see abandonment…

One cool thing is that the Hotel Guarani, a hotel that was Paraguay’s postcard face for many years finally has reopened its doors…it was in total abandonment and closed for many years due to bad administration, reflecting Asuncion’s then situation.

With the Hotel Guarani re opened gives me the feeling that everything will get better, for me its a sign of hope of better winds.

Life goes easy here, the pace is slow or slower than one might think, people still find time to meet and human relations seem to run smoothly, that part I always love, that part I hope never changes.

On monday I went to the hospital de Clinicas where years ago I used to donate medicines, I found it in total decadence, I talked to some friendly nurses that showed me arround and even made a list of the medicines they need, sometimes they don’t have even the basics to save lives…

The building was dark and the walls full of moss the aqua blue painting was fading away, the feeling inside was sad, cold and frightening, It certainly was a deep experience for me, to see and perceive things like that, when most of the people were sleeping in their comfy beds at the time of the night that I went there, these people and children didn’t even have a blankets to keep them warm, some had that they have brought with them from their homes, but not even decent blankets has this hopital not far from Downtown Asuncion, not far from huge mansions there are people in need.

I can’t close my eyes to that….as human being and as citizen it is my civil responsibility to care for others I’ve decided to take the matter in my own hands and take action even. Even my cat have a more decent life that many people, how could that have happened, It seems that people lost their emotiveness and are becoming more selfish and less compassionate to others. That saddens me not only the situation per se but the lack of compassion and the assumption as normal things that never should taken for normal.

Im going to be here a bit more than 2 months, So if any of you want to help me go ahead and help people not the burocratic way…but my way, even if we cant save the world be sure we can make a difference in someone’s life all is worthy. People think if you cant change the whole system which is utopic then better not to do anything…I disagree, and if you disagree too contact me and ill give you my paypal address so you can donate and I will personally be in charge of the donations you send…and by now you know me, and know my high sense of  integrity and caring so be sure things will be done.

Please contact me thru the comment or contact me sheet.

426 429 sweet nurse and me

native kid waiting to have surgery and his dad

425 423 minor surgery room

awful condition of the patient rooms

 

422 107

A nurse showing me the pavilion   Some of the medications they need.

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Paraguay is Paraguay

I was suppose to arrive on wed night, after a long Seattle Miami night flight we got to Miami at 6am only to find out that our TAM flight leaving at 11am was canceled and rescheduled to 8pm…so we had to wait 12 hours besides the normal 20 hours flight still ahead, I’m glad someone in line told me to ask for a hotel, they send us to Marriot Hotel with a shuttle and even gave us vouchers for breakfast and lunch…I was so tired by then that I was so thankful to get the hotel and slept 3 hours and that was a great gift for me since i haven’t slept for around 24 hours by then….

At 8pm we took the flight with TAM the plane are in very good shape and the service is excellent…no complains. We landed in Sao Paulo at 5am and had 4 hours wait to get the Sao Paulo Asuncion flight also with TAM, at the airport I met a school mate from high school (what a small world) she is living in Canada and was also going to PY.

The last flight was awesome, the service was great, and I never saw so many flight attendants in one plane before. The flight was fun because a Brazilian soccer fans was traveling too and were singing and making jokes…I love Brazilians they always party, no matter where!

We arrived in Py and made the line to get our passports stamped and were waiting for the suitcases…they didn’t arrive…and didn’t arrived in the next flight either, I was tired, i was frustrated for the long day and they long wait for the suitcases…and they finally arrived in the last TAM flight at around 1am.

I was happy to go home and to finally sleep…I was happy to see Asuncion by night, i saw the same uneven streets of the uneven city that i always liked so much, and at that moment I fell peace and knew that beauty is not perfection and that love is subjective.

In that moment I realized that I was happy…and the 2 days trip was worthy!

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What to visit in Paraguay

I’m a very well traveler, since I was a little girl I use to travel and I love it, usually I can be very objective about judging a place for its beauty, its history, its people, its location and its attractions but when it comes to Paraguay I really cant be objective, no matter how much I try, I tend to judge with my heart more than with blind objectiveness …I find Paraguay extremely attractive and i dont think that way since I’ve moved, I always thought that…..Paraguay has an unique personality and beauty, even in its apparent decadence it says a lot about what the population is going thru…since im going to visit Paraguay soon I would like to share a like of must see places, among others are among the MUST see while in Py.

Here it goes.

1- Asuncion (downtown): Train station, perhaps take a trip in train on sunday to Aregua?, some shopping on calle palma (main downtown street) Lido bar to taste a delicious fish soup or some tasty empanadas, Panteon de los Heroes, La catedral, Chacarita (but dont get down, can be dangerous), Congresso, Palacio de Lopez, Hotel Guarani (working again), Manzana de la Rivera (a museum with permanent exhibits, very interesting) and more shopping at mall excelsior and perhaps a coffee at Bolsi? or a delicious brochette de lomito at Britannia pub at night?

2- Asuncion Villa Morra and shopping. Shopping del Sol, Mariscal Lopez Shopping, Via Allegra, Paseo Carmelitas and maybe a beer at Hooters or a coffee at Havanna cafe?…or a pizza at il Maggiare? You will find a lot of night life around paseo carmelitas, even try a fantastic ice cream at freddo’s. Places usually open until late and people go out from monday to monday…not only weekends as one might suppose.

3- Around Asuncion there are great cities where you will find and love their artisan handcrafts, they are just fantastic…cities you should visit are Luque for filigree and all kind of jewelry but avoid siesta time most places are closed during that time, Aregua for great pottery designs all handmade, San Bernardino to enjoy the beautiful Lago de Ypacarai and maybe eat some bollos at confiteria alemana. I also love ALTOS (if you are in Altos go to Comedor Na Neca to have a great dinner) and Piribebuy and of course don’t forget to visit the Basilica de CAACUPE.

4-Ruinas Jesuiticas and Encarnacion

5-Ciudad del Este for shopping and maybe visit Iguazu Falls in Foz do Iguazu.

And Chaco Paraguay…the Mennonite Colonies Loma Plata and Filadelfia

Maybe even take a trip on the Paraguayan River? I heard there is some good cruise, maybe I should check it out.

Soon I will let you know what I’m doing while in Paraguay…Counting the days, YAY!!

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Paraguayan Filigree

Today one of the mayor Paraguayan newspapers published an interview about my Filigrana or Filigree designs, I’m so happy that I would like to share it with you, the online version is without photos, that’s why I’m adding a scan of the actual newspaper.

I would like to thank Silvana Molina and Dario Lugo for the great interview! Thanks you guys for everything!!

 

Online version:

http://www.ultimahora.com/notas/121760-Filigrana-paraguaya-encuentra-mercados-a-trav%E9s-de-internet-

 

Printed Version:

 

Entrevista Muna

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