Saturday, June 8, 2013

You Know You're a Peace Corps Paraguay Volunteer When...

As the title would suggest.

You know you're a PCV Paraguay when:

You have a preference as to what soda you would like mixed with your wine.

You have at least three glasses that were formerly tomato sauce jars.

White socks are a luxury.

The idea of buying beer in less than liter units is preposterous

Co-using cups, utensils and flatware with others is not only acceptable, it's a sign of goodwill and friendship. It would never phase you that this could be strange.

You judge the temperature by how many showers you take a day. Hot: 3 shower day. Cold: Fuck you, I'm not getting naked.

Guarani language level and morality correlate.

 The moment mandioca starts to make sense.

You know it's the end of the month because your PCV friends start calling instead of texting.

When speaking with english only speakers you have to consciously not drop in random spanish/guarani words. For some reason even the simplest english words become too much to recordar.

You know both how to stretch a guarani (PY money) and blow a couple hundred thousand without even blinking.

Ahendu is the best party of your life every 4 months.

When your most frequently used non-english words/phrases are hake and sí o sí, followed closely by igual no mas, ikatu, and dale.

When 30 people tell you they will absolutely come to your charla so you prepare supplies and snacks for 10. (And still walk away with leftovers.)

When drinking terere in silence starts to feel more comfortable than making conversation with the circle.

When you live within two blocks of six dispensas and you patronize each one for something different.

When you're super impressed by dogs wearing collars and assume that anyone walking a dog on a leash is surely a millionaire.

When you cook the same beans you used for a finance exercise with the senoras for dinner.

When you time your visits to neighbors based on shade coverage.

When eating found fruit seems normal.

When you automatically wag your index finger at anyone who says anything slightly disagreeable.

When you can identify mosquito species using the naked eye.

When leggings move into your regular rotation.

When you stop reacting to strangers screaming at you when you walk down the street.

When you have writhed in anger for the entirety of a six hour bus ride because the driver overcharged $1.25USD.

When it's not Christmas/Easter/Arbor Day without fireworks.

When you describe everything as either lindo or feo.

When you would foresake friends, family, and god for a slice of cheddar cheese.

When you stop reacting to electric shocks or fire shooting out of outlets.

When all it takes to turn a rotten day around is one kid greeting you by name.

When you can assess the quality of chipa exclusively from smell.

When you have a passionate preference between sopa and chipa guazu.

When you know the fastest way to wake up a group of bored locals is to pledge allegiance to Cerro or Olympia.

When you can tell if the power is out in the morning by listening for your neighbor’s sound system.

When any time you start a conversation with someone your internal clock goes off at the 9 minutes and 55 second mark.

When you’ve forgotten what shame feels like.

When your best friends have nothing in common with you save location and you'd still dive in front of a bus for them and feel more connected to them than anyone you know in the States.

(Big shout out to Joanna at  for help with this pretty comprehnsive list. Please feel free to add more in the comments)