Life in Paraguay has been an adventure so far. It has been almost a month since we arrived, and pretty much everything and nothing was as expected. The language barrier is a much bigger problem than I imagined. You know how people say 'Oh, you will be immersed, you will learn in no time' and we believe it? Yeah...not so much. I have learned you can literally go days with out saying anything to anyone if you really don't have a choice. Ok, having 3 little people to talk to in English is probably not helping my immersion along. Still, I have an appointment to start working with a tutor, so hopefully, this really is a temporary problem.
When I was told about food in Paraguay the response was usually something like...'Oh, they have so much fresh fruit...it's delicious'. That's true enough....but in my naive mind, I took fruit to mean produce. Fruit, it seems, means fruit. Bananas, oranges, guava, papaya, even apples and grapes. Fruit, though, does not mean Vegetables. There are some staples we have found consistently, potatoes, Manioc, onions, and usually tomatoes. Other items are kind of hit or miss. I know it's enthnocentric....but I really do miss going to the supermarket and having 100 different veggies available in a dozen different ways (froze, fresh, canned, steam - in - bag, etc). On the bright side, though, my kids now eat plain white rice (something I have been trying to get them to do for about 3 years) and ENJOY it. Plus, I am getting pretty creative with cooking.
When we decided to go to Paraguay, one of the hardest realities to face was leaving our loved ones in another country. The reality of this consequence has really hit home in the last month. I have missed my best friend's graduation from college (a feat 5-6 years in the making), I have been unable to offer any tangible comfort to a dear friend as she suffered the loss of her son, and as life moves on in the US with out us, we have come to realize how many people really don't need us, and we (ok, mainly me) have lost a part of our sense of self. However, as our lives and world view changes (for better or worse) we are growing; together as a family, as individuals, and as global citizens.
For these reasons, we are plodding through the hard days, and laughing through the good days, and are happy to go wherever this journey takes us.
P.S....you have seen the before pictures of 'our house'....look soon for the after shots...:)