Change Yourself…Change The World.


Peace Corps Cribs: My New Home for the Next 2 Years
September 13, 2011, 8:00 am
Filed under: Paraguay

So I have a house.


I started my house-hunting search two weeks into site. Even though it’s a rule that Peace Corps Paraguay Volunteers live with a homestay family for their first three months of service, I heard that finding a house in Caazapá was a challenging prospect. Since Caazapá is a city well-known for it’s education (to start with, there are five universities), there are many young students that seek housing, which means there are a lot of one-room bathroom-attached kind of arrangements around the city. However, I was told by multiple people that an actual house would be nearly impossible to find. Unwilling to let my dream go of having my own backyard with vegetable garden, I decided to start the search early.

After two days of schlepping around Caazapá, my results had not been bountiful in the ways I had hoped: lots of apartments and little rooms, but no houses. And boy were these little rooms expensive! One 8 by 8 with a miniscule bathroom was a full 350 mil a month (around 87 dollars- cheap by American standards, extremely  expensive by Paraguayan, especially considering how much I make every month). Another sweet-smiling lady opened the door to an actual store- yes, an 8 by 8 foot abandoned store- with bathroom attached and offered me the ‘extremely cheap price’ of 320 mil. In the best of situations, I found a two-bedroom apartment, but it was the going rate of 450 mil- way out of my budget, and without backyard.

Now I know I’m new to Caazapá, but I had the sneaking suspicion that I was being offered the special extranjero (foreigner) price- with my obvious snowflake-like skin, stuttering Castellano and barely legible Guaraní, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that I’m not from Paraguay. But I was determined not to get taken advantage of, and I latched onto the people in Caazapá who knew what the Peace Corps was- and therefore knew that us Volunteers make a salary lower than the minimum wage.

And then, as if it was right under my nose, I found the dream house. After a tip from a friend in the centro (the city center), I rushed over to San Miguel, a neighborhood of Caazapá, where I had heard there was a super nice house that someone was trying to rent. My new dueño (landlord) Arturo, a sweet little old man, was sitting on his porch drinking tereré. When he drove me into San Roque (another neighborhood close to the centro, the bus terminal, and the cooperative I work at), my heart immediately swooned when I saw the house. Two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen area, and best of all, a HUGE backyard complete with mango, grapefruit, banana, and lemon tree. The kicker? 350 mil a month.

After double-checking everything (and I mean everything– the lights, the electricity, having another volunteer come to inspect it, and then various negotiations of the contract), I swooped down onto the house and grabbed it up. Certainly there’s some work on it that needs to be done- de-molding, re-painting, cleaning up the yard- and I still don’t plan on ‘moving in’ until the end of the three months with my homestay family. Nonetheless I have to say, this is probably one of the chuchiest- and cheapest- houses in all of Peace Corps Paraguay.

So without further ado- my house!

The street my house is on. Two blocks of dirt road (yes, I like to think living on dirt road means I’m in the campo- keeps me grounded), and then after that it’s paved leading up to the centro.

The end of the street leads to lots of fields and trees, which is a really nice place to walk around.

The entrance to my little house! My bedroom will be on the left. 

My fence that overlooks the neighborhood. All of the kids like to play on the grass in front of my house, so it makes for very pleasant people-watching and activity-partaking.

The entrance to my house, where the kitchen/’dining room’ will be. 

These windows look out onto a church, which is right next door to my house. More win/win: no neighbors blasting music 24 hours a day (as Paraguayans are wonton to do), and less of a chance of my house being broken into due to proximity!

My bedroom. Nothing that a little tea tree oil (gets rid of mold) and paint job can’t do to cheer this room up!

The second door to my house, leading to the backyard. On the left is the second room, the right is a little pantry corner, and then the door at the end is the bathroom.

This is the second room, which I have deemed ‘the creativity and guest room.’ Hint: come visit.

This little nook in my house that I really like. I’m planning on putting in a sink (notice the tap?) and shelves. 

This is the bathroom. Not the best part of the house (the door only opens halfway), but still extremely chuchi by Peace Corps standards.

My shower. The green paint has gotta go and after that I’m sure the place will look more cheerful.

The back view of my house!

Here’s a sink for washing clothes and for yard work

My backyard! Which is as big as my house.

Here’s my Mango tree!

My grapefruit tree

My lemon tree (lemons in Paraguay look like oranges- in fact you could call their lemons a sort of orange/lemon combination, but it is super delicious)

My banana tree!

Perfect hammock spot. I’ve already started getting rid of the trash, and it looks much better. 

My fellow Volunteers celebrating my new house with $1.50 champagne

There you have it! Welcome to where I will be living for the next two years. I hope you enjoyed the little tour.


11 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Your house is amazing! Fruit trees, a backyard, a shower – dang you are living the good life! I can’t wait to see what it looks like when you’ve spruced it up even more.

Good luck!

Amber B.

Comment by asb353

Yay Brittany! Felicidades chica!

Comment by vicki

This is me being jealous.

Comment by Taylor Schrang

And to think I am now paying 300 mil for a room. Life is so unfair.

Comment by Roberto Sanchez

hey brit! its kato potato! i really miss you! mama tells me you’re running and walking every morning for an hour! thats so great! i love and miss you so much!!!!!!
love,
katie \
BTW for your info im brittany’s 11 year old sister! Brittany is the awesomest 23 year old traveler and sis in this world!

Comment by katie

hee the toilet looks so low. its so cute!!!!

Comment by katie

[…] sandwiched between a church and a couple of apartment rooms (you can see some photos of my house in this old post). The price was 350 mil per month, which was a total bargain (well, the reason why it was so low […]

Pingback by Love Conquers All: Meet My Paraguayan Family « Change Yourself…Change The World.

There are so many stories about being “tango-ed” and being left looking like a piece
of streaky bacon, if the lotion is not applied correctly.
Sunless tanning, besides being popular as a way of achieving great tans without stepping
out into the sun, has also emerged as one of the most
effective means of covering up acne marks.
This will close the pores and stop you getting the tell-tale black spots.
Today there is a great demand for semi-permanent tanning lotions.
Pink Parlour Manila is the rebellious sister of beauty salons owned by Ms.
O’Brien explained what was happening in the telecast during the cold opening to warn people before the show started that he would be “bronzed and braided”.
The real crime might be that she spent all that money to look like she has a dirty face.

Sun Laboratories sells various forms of sunless
tanning products that are available in many different shades to both the consumer and the professional salons.

This may take time to register your business and obtain all the correct licenses.

Using a Baiden Mitten is a good idea for exfoliating before your
tanning session.

Comment by Fake tan Jokes

Finasteride on the other hand has been approved by Food and Drug
Administration to treat enlargement of prostate. Vitamin B5
is also very much necessary to stop hair fall and then it well also helps the hair to
grow quickly. The Hair Transplant Network gives an estimate of $4 to $8 per
graft for a FUT procedure and $6 to $10 per graft for a FUE procedure.

Comment by capillus272 car reviews

In December 2012, she was half way through her reconstructive procedure and has since become a symbol of hope for
women suppressed by the Taliban, urging women to “never give up and don’t lose hope,”
that “what happened, it’s part of me, part of my life and its all the time in my mind and with me. In 2009, men undergoing some sort of cosmetic surgery procedure rose eight percent. Women are more likely to undergo plastic surgery but some males also undergo this medical procedure if they think they need to have some major changes in their body.

Comment by real housewives of orange county

To fight against fat, they either use exercise equipment, diet pills, unusual
devices or many other formulas. All the nutrition is in the skin while the middle is pretty much all unnecessary sugar.
Low-calorie diets may be a fast way to lose weight in the beginning, but
they are unsustainable and unhealthy. The same day the gain is noticed, skip breakfast and
lunch. It is also known as the continuing stage
as you follow the diet regimen as part of your new lifestyle.

There’s a lot of buzz going around concerning the
diet HCG drops. The pace an individual reduces pounds lines up with how it was put on. In this period urine test can tell whether a woman is pregnant or not.
It is not just drugs that need approval but fad diets are potentially as harmful.
Even with the warnings in place, doctors still prescribe the injections.

Comment by acai berry weight loss




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: