Monday, November 16, 2009

The Last Hurrah

I just got done with my last big activity with my community, hosting Long Practice of the new recruits, G31. I had 4 trainees come and work with my women´s group making soap, building compost piles, and touring various parts of Paraguayan Country Life. Remember when I was a little trainee and I wrote a poem about my experience? Well, hopefully these guys had more fun, and I think EVERYONE was super excited about their visit.

We had one day were the trainees had to get up in front of the ladies and do a presentation. Since I have more experience MAKING stuff instead of giving a speach about it, we MADE a Dia de Jabon (Soap Day!!)

We made Powdered Soap

Bar Soap used for washing clothes

Liquid Detergent Soap used for dishes and EVERYTHING else you can think of...

And Even Shampoo!!!

Afterwards, we toured some fields and even had a few free lunches!

this old guy made this special stool in the middle of his field just so he could sit in the shade under his mandarin orange tree - he knows what´s up

Paraguayan Rambo - Or as they say, 'Juan Rambo'

We all had a lot of fun, and as a special occasion, I made something that I have never before eaten in my life.


They were actually really good.

Here´s the recipe:
  • 6 cups cucumbers , cut or or sliced
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cups vinagre (i used apple vinagre and it rawked)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dill

  1. Heat the liquids to a boil. Boil for 1 minute
  2. Cut the cucumbers and onions and alternately layer them in whatever recipiant you´re using
  3. Pour the boiling liquid over the cucumbers and onions
  4. Marinate them in the fridge for a minimum of 4 days

At first I thought there wasn´t enough liquid, so I added a little bit of water after the 2nd day, just to cover the cucumbers. Really, it should be enough and the cucumbers made their own juice as well. You can add any kind of spice you want, and probably some hot peppers if that´s what you're into. Now I understand why so many people pickle EVERYTHING. It´s so easy and delicious on a hot day!!!!

Well, there you have it. Not only am I coming back from the Peace Corps and new and improved woman, I also know how to make pickles. Oh. And I got a stamp made, too.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

When the heck are you DONE?

I know, I know. I think everyone has been asking me when I'm finally going to be done with Peace Corps. But you know what? I came real close to extending my service in order to work with an NGO specializing in women's groups. It's something that I've begun to develop a real interest in.

But I have also developed a taste for geology. So I've decided to not stay in Paraguay, and look into Grad School options. When will I go to grad school? Probably not for a loooooong time, but it made me realize that I have NO idea what I want to do when I finish my service.

But hey, that's a good thing.

Peace Corps has given me a new view of the world, and all the possibilities in it. Maybe development work is not my bag, but women's groups ARE. For years I thought I was paving the way for women by working in male dominated industries, but I realized that I also need to be working WITH women to make any changes. Go figure.

What I've Learned

So I'm also writing my last essay, called my Desciption of Service. It's a 3 page paper on what I've done with my Peace Corps service for the last two years. At first I thought this was a silly bogus paperwork process, but I've realized that I really have done a lot of kool things with my two years. Not that I didn't do kool stuff back home, but it's just so much different. I mean, who knows how to cook all items over an open fire? What's it like to pull your water from a well everyday? Bucket Bath? I'm an expert. Speaking a foreign language 90% of the time, and trying to make jokes...I mean make jokes FUNNY, in a completely different culture? Preparing all my food without lipton soup packages? Heck, I know how to make my own cheese and yogurt now! This may sound awful for some people, but it's a very liberating retrospect! This doesn't mean that the minute I get off the plane I'm going to go straight to Sonic for a corndog and onion rings....

anyone want to wash clothes with me in an old tire?

So as my time comes to a close, I am looking at all kinds of new adventures. I have decided to try and get a temporary job as a butcher. That's right. A butcher. I've killed plenty of chickens and pigs here, so why not learn how to make the choicest cuts of meat and put them directly on the grill? I don't think i can lose on this one. But once again, I may change my mind and go to China to teach English after my first day in the slaughter house....