I thought, well if I lived in the city, I too would look cute. But then I thought, wait- I look cute now! I mean of all the things I wear (and borrow from other volunteers) at least I have not created the biggest setback and or death of fashion. I have never in my whole life worn a birkenstock, and more recently, the revamp and awful fashion faux pas, The Croc.
And no, if you put charms on your Crocs, that doesn´t make it better.
The Croc is a garden clog. I believe my mom owned garden clogs long before crocs were popular, and can I just say, she never wore them to the grocery store - let alone to her work. Socks with your Crocs? Are you kidding? What about a plastic shoes tells people that it´s okay to wear them with socks? I mean, I thought the whole premise for this shoe was comfort, as well and the ability to stick your foot underneath the spicket if you foot got dirty. How can you do that with a sock on? No, no one wears garden clogs around in Paraguay. I´m seriously doubting they wear them around in Paris, London, or even friggin New York City. Think of the Birkenstock of the early 90s, people. This is the same for the early 2000s, and I bet you´re saying you wouldn´t be caught dead in ratty hippie shoes like you once were.
The question of Paraguayan fashion is much different. There really ISN´T any. I know while in Peace Corps, I will most likely NOT ever look cute or attractive to anyone. First, I´m not in a completely tight pair of jeans. Tight jeans are world renown, but what is really popular is a really tight, 2 sizes too small shirt to go with the tight jeans. That and women here really don´t have large chests, which I and many of my PCV girlfriends have been finding out while trying to shop. Why can´t we find a shirt that doesn´t make the state of Delaware actually look like Brazil? Body types alone, it´s tough to look good while at the same time building a latrine or harvesting cotton south of the equator. Let´s put it another way. I came here expecting to work my azz off, but i didn´t expect the need to SHOW the azz off. But like every woman after six months of living in the middle of no where, you want to feel pretty. Even if it´s to impress the mosquitos and occasional ox cart.
On a lighter note, our Easter week went by pretty fast and I just got back from a much needed weekend trip to Asuncion for a NVAC meeting. Every area of PY has a representative come to meetings every couple of months to hear about the goings on in Peace Corps. I had a wonderful time and really felt like I was more connected to other volunteers. I now bring back all my wonderful knowlege to the rest of the volunteers in my area -which consists of me, Erin, and one other volunteer (we had a group of 5, but 2 of them leave in April and aren´t getting replacements). Some groups have as many as 15 people in there region, but I guess we are special.
Here is a picture of me with one of my senoras and her daughter. They made me a special 'Lilu' chipa for the Easter week, which they call Semana Santas (Saint Week). Everywhere I went I was helping hand grind corn to make chipa, a gummy snack bread (made of ground corn and pig fat). Wednesday of Easter week is chipa making day, Thursday is feast day, Good Friday is a fast of only chipa bread and juice, and Saturday is set aside for visiting and church.
I hope everyone had a good easter and ate lots of chocolate bunnies and deviled eggs. In a couple weeks I have a three month re-connect and some language training. I get to stay in my training community for a week and stay with my host family in Porvenir! I´m really excited! Check out my pics I uploaded on my flickr account, and I hope to update more photos as soon as I can!