Monday, February 15, 2010


This Friday I hopped on a bus and traveled with my fellow AFS students to Asunción and then to Encarnación. We slept on the bus overnight and woke up close to Encarnación. The first day we first went to this really cool catholic church right by the river between Paraguay and Argentina. There we got to go up on this bell tower (not connected to the church) that only supported 6 people at a time (so warned the sign at the bottom). We got a wonderful view from there. Next we checked into our hotel and relaxed for a bit. A couple of us went looking for some lunch and ended up walking to the other side of the city to eat at SuperSeis. Although it was really far it was cool to get to see the city on foot. Around 5 the festivities began. There was a group of drummers playing samba music and people were starting to gather around the park. Our AFS guides warned us that anyone on the street was a target for shaving cream and water balloons. While walking around one of the exchange students got hit by a water balloon, but it didn´t burst. I grabbed it off the ground and chucked it back across the street from which it came and it exploded with a satisfying splash. When we got back we had a big shaving cream fight in front of the hotel. Afterward we all got together and went to Carnival, where they had essentially a giant parade of samba dancers. It was lots of fun. On Sunday we went to see some Jesuit ruins. It was absolutely amazing to see the intricate building designs and stone carvings that were all done with hand tools. I got some good pictures of the Jesuit ruins and I´ll post them sometime this week.

Had a great weekend, School starts Wednesday.
Chau :D

Friday, February 5, 2010

3er De Febrero

Today I went with my younger host brother and a friend to see a futbol match in the local stadium. It was much smaller than the other game I went to. The crowd really wasn´t that big and the stadium wasn´t in the best condition. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is what is sold at futbol games. There is your traditional pop and popcorn being sold, but there are also other things such as chipa (a traditional paraguayan corn bread) and fruit salad. There were some guys selling "milk" in the stands as well. They yell milk because they legally aren´t allowed to advertise that they´re selling beer.
Afterward we had to walk a distance to be picked up near "The Inside" (a local bar and lounge). It´s a bit unnerving to walk through CDE at night due to all the potential crime. But we were fine walking as a group. Then we went to Pizza & Cia and got some good pizza.

Tonight was a good night.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Hey everyone.

So today at 6pm Paraguayan Time I got a phone call from my AFS liason.
Apparently I´m going to my new host family at 8pm today. So I´ve packed up all my stuff. I´m just waiting around until they get here. Next post about my new family.

Update: So far I know I have a host brother named Juan Pablo (21), a host sister named Mariana (16), and two little brothers yet to be met. The house is a smaller house in Cíudad Del Este and my host sister describes it as a humble house, but its home. :)

The car ride over from my old house was a question and answer session. We went through the basics like where I was from, how old I was, and how long Ive been here. They finally asked me the dangerous question. What is my futbol club? I asked them what theirs was first. They replied Cerro Porteño and I said "Oh thank god". People dont mess around about futbol here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Hey everyone.
Last night I went to a party to celebrate the new year.
One tradition they have here is that wearing white for new years is good luck.
Also fireworks are a big part of new years.

2010 here goes nothing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Changes

Hey everyone.
So the big piece of news is that Im changing host families. Apparently my host parents decided that we werent the best match. So currently I am staying with a temporary host family for a couple of weeks while my original host parents are on vacation giving my AFS representative time to find me a new family. This is quite the change and hopefully Ill find myself in a better place.
*Power goes out*
Yesterday I went to the mall with my temporary host family and I saw the movie Avatar. It was very good. I didnt feel like the special effects were too choking and they looked pretty good. Im not sure if the price tag for making the movie was worth it but it was definately a good movie.
My christmas was a bit overshadowed by the sudden change in family. Christmas came and went with suprisingly little fanfare. How was everyone elses Navidad? Tell me about it in the comments :D

Thats about all for now. Chau.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Worst Power Distribution System Ever... Of All Time...

So today the power went out 3 times. 2 times due to causes unknown and 1 time due to the transformer outside our house exploding (again!) This is our second transformer in 3 months. Needless to say the power distribution system here is iffy at best. My Uncle here gave me a book that goes through the whole process of how they built the Itaipu hydroelectric plant (in english thankfully). Although its a bit heavy on the data it´s still an interesting read.

So our Christmas tree is up. I have to say it´s a little less of a big deal here as it is in the US. Putting up the tree isn´t a family activity here and the tree is shorter than I am. I can´t believe that there are only 13 days until Christmas. Just doesn´t seem like the right season for Christmas.

For those of you who haven´t heard I got accepted into the Electrical Engineering program at University of Cincinnati. I also found out that I´m lacking a required credit in pre-calculus for the engineering program. Right now I´m looking at options for online classes I can take here in order to get that credit.

That´s all for now.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Schools Out For Summer

Hey everyone. School has ended here so I'm now on summer break.
Apparently this year has been unseasonably rainy causing huge problems with agriculture, flooding of the Rio Parana, and even some problems with the Itaipu hydroelectric plant. A couple of weeks ago parts of South America had massive blackouts due to a problem at Itaipu. We seem to have the best source of hydroelectric energy in the world here, and yet we have the worst infrastructure surrounding it. The power usually goes out here at least once a week for about an hour at a time.
The other day my host parents bought something that turned out to be a surprisingly good bonding experience for us. While they were in Centro they bought The Beatles: Rock Band for the Wii. Music that's familiar to everyone and something that's easy enough for anyone to play.
Just wanted to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving. Here in Paraguay Thanksgiving isn't celebrated. The US exchange students in the area here were going to do a Thanksgiving dinner but one of our members is going to be at her end of program orientation so our plans fell through. Also I think that the only thing you'll get by camping outside the stores in Centro is robbed. So much for black Friday.
That's all for now. I'll try to update a bit more regularly.