Thursday, March 22, 2012

KONY2012 and TOMS Shoes - Meditations on doing good.

Teju Cole penned this article for the Atlantic this week in response to the KONY2012 movement. I recommend you read it on it's own merit, but also to increase your understanding of my post.

Not wanting "Better" to be the enemy of "Good", I acknowledge the accomplishment of  KONY2012 in raising awareness of war crimes in Africa. This thing practically hit cat video status. However, it highlights an uncomfortable trend that I couldn’t articulate properly until reading Cole's article.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

National Geographic: My house

Happy Thursday!
The first thing you do in Peace Corps is what we call "staging." You and all the people with whom you'll be entering country meet up stateside to have the first introduction to what happens next, before taking that international flight.

During these two days we get some general safety and cultural guidelines, but it's also a time to share your concerns and fears. My fears included things like "This is going to be really freaking hard," "Two years is a long freaking time," and "Did you know Paraguay is a developing country?" My friends, however, had something else they all seemed to fear beyond reason.

Me thinking: Bugs, really? That's all you got?

Almost universally, my new friends shared their fears of creepy crawlies indigenous to Paraguay. Spiders, scorpions, and even jaguars we're brought up as potential threats. I disregarded their fears as almost childish.

Now I am ready to admit, they were right.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Erin Go Braugh Paraguaygua! - Now with more Pie.

I'm never totally sure which day is actually St. Paddy's since I usually celebrate over a two separate weekends, but Julia came over last night feeling pretty confident it was the day. So what else was there to do except dye some beer green, put on Boon Dock Saints and eat pie.

How 'bout a pint? Or a medio-litro. We're not really sure. 
It may seem odd to celebrate this tiny North Atlantic island while in a Latin American country, BUT there is at least one Paraguayan of Irish decent. His name was Juan O'Leary, (Pronounced: O-Lee-aar-ree) and he's actually pretty famous. He even has a town named after him just 20 minutes away from mine. What he did? I have no idea. But hell, that's what St. Paddy's is about, very thin or outright false claims to Irish heritage. Right? Even this guy likes to brag about his Irish-ness.

So Happy St. Paddy's from this 1/8th (I think) Irish girl. I hope you all are recovering appropriately.

By request, Pie recipe after the jump.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Añe’e michimi guaranime (I speak a little of your god damn language.)

Recently in the New York Times there was an article about Paraguay’s indigenous language Guarani.

There are many indigenous languages still spoken in the America’s but usually each language is spoken by a small portion of a country’s population.  Lots of people speak an indigenous language in Bolivia, just not all the same one. In Paraguay, Guarani is spoken by almost everyone.
I can guarantee you those guys speak Guarani
I’ve mentioned this language in passing before, but seeing as I don’t speak it, I try not to be an expert on the subject. Guarani is a topic I have very mixed feeling about. I love it. I love that Paraguay is so proud of their indigenous language, and that there are increasing efforts to keep it alive and relevant. However, I think only Guarani itself might have sufficient vulgarities for how much I hate it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

America the Awesome

This is a few weeks late but I wanted to write a little bit about what a great time I had in America on my recent vacation.

It’s unlike me to write without some level of snark, but I genuinely enjoyed myself. I admit, returning to America was strange and not totally dissimilar from reentering the matrix, but that’s a story for another post.

I Dream About This.