Change Yourself…Change The World.


The Cross-Over
July 28, 2011, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

Ladies and gentlemen, it is official: I have fully embraced Paraguayan culture by buying my VERY own bombilla, guampa, and thermos!!

Note: this is not my thermos, guampa, or bombilla… but you get the idea.

(Read more about tereré and how important it is to Paraguayan culture here!)

This has been a long time coming. Over the past week, I’ve noticed a definite change with my integration into Paraguayan culture. There’s been a few things that have stood out to me. One, I now find myself longing to speak Castellano (Spanish). Today one of our trainers asked if he could speak in Spanish during a session, and I felt relieved to hear sweet Spanish words again! I feel more and more conversational every day, and find myself being able to have real conversations with people, instead of mumbling my way through them.

Second, I’ve noticed a change in how I’ve been interacting with my home stay family here in J.A. Salvidar. Where before I would spend more time in my room doing my own thing, I now find myself hanging outside with my family more and more often in the typical Paraguayan fashion: chilling on a bunch of lawn chairs in front of the house, just talking about whatever.

And finally… tereré. As it’s gotten hotter outside here (even though it is technically the middle of winter, we hit 86 degrees today), people have put away the maté (the hot version of tereré) and busted out the t-ray sessions. Honestly, there is something about the heat here in Paraguay that zaps you completely of energy- and tereré is the answer to all of your troubles. Along with that, I’m also starting to develop my own personal taste. Like choosing a good bottle of wine, I’ve been learning about the different ‘yerba maté blends’ and which ones I like (my personal favorite is campesino menta’i- regular yerba mate with mint blended in), and also the different yuyos you can add to it- my personal favorites are cedrón and koku. If you combine all of these things together, it makes for one tasty tereré session.

So after a particularly delightful day of training, which included learning how to make soy milk, soy meat empanadas, a really fun lesson on washing laundry by hand, and finally a tereré philosophy talk- I came home and decided that it was time. Today is the day: I went out and bought myself my first bombilla, thermos, yerba maté, and yuyos.

I mixed my very first tereré myself tonight. Serving it to my host mother has definitely been one of the biggest pleasures of Paraguay so far.

 


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