The last few days have been pretty exciting and fun.
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 – I killed my first chicken!
It was just another normal Thursday until my Mom announced that she was going to kill a chicken and wanted to know if I would do it, since my Dad wasn’t home and she won’t do it. She knew I was down for it because I viewed the killing and preparation of the last chicken, and let them know that I wanted to kill one sometime. Mike had already told me he wanted to see a killing, so the next time we killed a chicken to let him know. I ran down to Mike’s house to tell him that I was about to “matar.” He was actually next-door at Liz’s having a drink. I show up at Liz’s to let him know, and Liz, Carlos, and Mary were also there. They finished up their drinks; we played a few songs by System of a Down to get me pumped, and we headed out.
We arrived and by this time my Dad was back. I changed clothes, so I wouldn’t dirty up the pants that Mike was going to borrow the next day, and then headed out back to do the deed. Much to my surprise, my Mom reached into a bag and handed me a chicken and then reached in a pulled out another. Then she turned to Carlos and invited him to kill one too. He was said, “No Gracias,” but Mike said, “Podria Yo (Could I).” He was soo excited.
I’ll save you the gory details, but suffice it to say that Mike and I loss our chicken killing virginity together in Paraguay on July 2nd, 2009.
Friday, July 3rd, 2009 – Mercado Abasto, Incoop, and Embassy Visit
We woke up early on Friday morning to go to Asunción for the day. We arrived to Mercado Abasto, Paraguay’s largest produce market, by about 7:00. We spoke with someone there about the operations of the market, and then explored for a while.
After that we went to INCOOP. Think of INCOOP as the SEC of Cooperatives in Paraguay. We were supposed to speak with the President, but in true Paraguayan fashion, he didn’t show up, so we spoke with the Head Project Coordinator. We had a really interesting conversation, which was followed by a tour of every floor and almost every office in the building, including the President’s. I snapped some good photos and we were off to the Embassy for a 4th of July party.
I forgot my Peace Corps ID at home, and to make matters worse had no form of identification at all so I thought they wouldn’t let me in. Much to my surprise, they let me just walk right through. All I had to do was tell them I was a Peace Corps trainee, and write my name on a piece of paper.
The party was really fun. I definitely overindulged. I had 2 hamburgers, 1 hotdog, Ice cream, 4 brownies, 3 cookies, this other chocolate treat, and several drinks. After stuffing our faces with delicious American-like food, we pretty much just walked around meeting different people, mostly volunteers and some embassy workers. Some people played volleyball, others played a bit of soccer, but most people just sat at tables and talked.
Around 5, we walked back to the old blue van, piled in, and headed home.
Saturday, July 4th, 2009- Happy 4th of July!!!
I woke up on the morning of July 4th thinking about what I would likely being doing if I were at home and with whom. I thought about how I usually meet up with Clint Shelton to go to the same party every year on the lake. We eat amazing food (like these incredible spicy meatballs), and then shoot off a ton of fireworks that night. I remember one 4th of July, I was on the road back home from Arizona, and I could see fireworks in the sky as I drove down the interstate. I stopped off in Tennessee to spend the rest of the night of the 4th with Jeff. I was thinking of my friends back home and what they probably were doing, and I wondered if by chance my empty space was noticed. So if you’re reading this Clint Shelton, I miss you man, and I hope you ate enough for the both of us, and shot off my portion of the fireworks.
I had a pretty fun July 4th nevertheless. For most of the day, I played with the kids in the family. We created a basketball court beside the house, and I taught them how to play. We drew lines in the dirt to make the perimeter of the court, and then we set up a barrel at each end of the court. Paulo, Jessica, Jacquelin, Mary, Junior, and I played. We had a ton of fun. Later on, I started hanging out with all the guys near where my brothers work. We started drinking. Mike and Carlos came over, and all of us played volleyball in the pouring rain and then took refuge in the shed where we drank, joked, and made beats on the bottoms of barrels.