Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Weekend

This weekend was very eventful.

As I mentioned in my last post this Saturday my Spanish class went to go horseback riding. Turns out the place we went to had a couple activites planned for us including horseback riding. First we went on a bike ride through some dirt trails. Most of the mountain bikes had atleast one thing wrong and one of them lost a pedal halfway through our ride. After that they took us on a tour of the area via our choice of either horse pulled cart or tractor pulled cart. I stuck with the tractor. Next up was horseback riding. Everyone got a chance to ride and it was a lot of fun. I didn´t have any trouble with allergies what so ever.
When I got home it was time to get on the road to spend an night in Asuncion. I saw a bunch of cool places like the national congress building and the President´s residence. Oscar went to a reggaton concert and I wish I had known sooner so I could´ve gotten a ticket as well. Next weekend I might be going to Asuncion again to see a futball match. Bolivia vs. Paraguay. Can´t wait.
While in Asuncion they had a small demonstation of motorcycles outside the mall. By small I mean there were people crowed around the area so tight you could barely see what was going on. They had a really cool motorcycle there that had an outer ring mounted vertically so that when the driver slammed on the front breaks the motorcycle would flip over, roll, and then land upright again.
I´ll be sure to post pictures soon, but tonight I don´t have enough time.
Talk to you all later. Bye.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mail Call and Definition of Phillip

Hey everyone.
My dad is sending me a package soon. If you have something (small) you´d like to send me get it to my dad pronto. I´d love to recieve letters from you all.
This weekend our spanish class is once again taking an adventure. This weeks adventure is horseback riding. Unfortunately I´m allergic to horses (or possibly hay) and last time I got near a horse my eyes started swelling up. Part of me is considering taking an allergy pill and my inhaler and giving it a go anyway since its such a cool opportunity. The more reasonable part of me is remembering last time I got near a horse. I´m so torn between the 2 options.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to the voting machines.

Hey people! It´s that time again.
This weekend I´m planning on another conference call home. Hard to believe that it´s been 2 weeks already since I last talked to you guys. Time really does go by quick. I´m once again open for suggestions for when to host the conference call.
Today we got out of school early because too many teachers called in sick short notice. We only went to school until 11:45 and then had the rest of the day off. That was really nice.
On a different note this Saturday morning I´m going to go see Monday Falls with my spanish class. Of course this means that the camera is coming with me so expect some pictures of the fall to appear sometime late this weekend.
That´s all for now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ultimate Frisbee in Paraguay

So yesterday I took my frisbee to school so we could play some frisbee during gym class (which is a lot more like recess than gym). The kids here have never played frisbee and a lot of them really like it. We didn´t play ultimate frisbee but that is probably because a lot of people were either playing football or handball. One of my teachers was telling me that I should talk to the gym teacher and see if we can get a school ultimate frisbee team started. That would be so cool. Only problem would be getting the school some frisbee discs to start a team with.
That´s about it for now.

Friday, August 14, 2009

´Allo ... Nokia?

Brace yourself. Lots of content in this one.

I got a cell phone recently. Its actually Oscars old cell phone but the host parents bought a new case and a SIM card for it. All the phones here have removable outer shells that you can buy new shells for. The previous shell was showing wear and had white and black case pieces. The new one is white and red and looks very nice. I got most of the way done re-assembling the case when the power went out. I was able to finish it in the dark. It also plays music, an added bonus.

On Wednesday I started Spanish lessons at another colegio in Ciudad Del Este. The classes are in nothing but Spanish and speaking anything but Spanish in the classroom is strictly prohibited. Apparently there was a bit of miscommunication between Asuncion and Ciudad Del Este because a lot of the name tags were messed up. When I got mine it read ¨Philip Voltons¨ whoops. Anyway I have classes Monday-Friday after school and Saturday in the morning. Tomorrow morning the class is taking a field trip to a museum. Afterwords a group of us AFS-ers are going to go downtown Ciudad Del Este, grab some pizza, and explore the main shopping district which is known to the locals as ¨Center¨. I will be sure to take my camera (and hang on tight to it) to get some pictures of the amazing spectacle Center is. Words can not describe the sheer chaos of the place. There are people everywhere, cars everywhere, and good deals everywhere.

Tonight we had a family gathering at my cousin Ramon´s house. Of those I met it appears I have 7 cousins. We had a good time. A few 2 litres of Coke, some good food, and a TV is enough for us to have a good time. I got to meet my grandfather on my host moms side of the family. When we were first introduced he asked ¨Where is he from? Germany?¨ I guess the Wolter and Weinert roots definately show. Since I got here I have been told that I look like a Brazilian and mistakenly called a German by 2 people. Good to know I don´t look like your stereotypical American.

That´s about all for now. Hopefully I´ll get some awesome pictures tomorrow to add to the slideshow. Having a blast here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

And this is why we use the electoral college...

So as it turns out the 1 person who actually voted for a time for the conference call can´t make it... and others are reporting the same thing. I will still be hosting the conference call as scheduled but I doubt there will much if any attendence. A reschedule is in the works. If you´d like to suggest a time and date for reschedule please check your calendar and only then leave a comment.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Web Conference and Routine

Hey everyone.
By a popular vote of 1 the time of the web confrerence will be at 19:00hrs on Sunday, August 9th (That´s 7 for you back home). The chat will be held via Skype so if you do not have Skype and would like in I suggest you get it (it´s free) If you would like to be added to the chat please add pwolter0 to your friends list and send me a message at 7PM on Sunday. I will be supporting using both voice and webcam. Can´t wait to talk to you all.
In other news I´ve gotten into a routine. Every morning Dad drives us to school. I sit through classes. And then I catch a ride home with Esamo in his golf cart. So happy it´s the weekend. I can sleep in for once.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More school, Slideshow, And web conference.

Hey everyone! The last couple days of school have gone well. During classes I really can´t do much so I usually sit there bored. The students who either aren´t paying attention or are already finished with their work help me work on my Spanish.
Today I went to downtown Ciudad Del Este with Oscar and a couple of friends from school. The place is amazingly big with good prices and hordes of people. In some places you have to walk in the street and squeeze to avoid the cars zooming past. I got a couple of t-shirts there and after that Host Mom took me to get the school uniform shirt. The school uniform shirt is a T-shirt that you can wear with shorts, jeans, or pants as long as they are blue. You can wear coats or jackets as long as they are blue as well (this rule is not highly enforced as I´ve been wearing my robotics hoodie daily).
As some of you may noticed there is now a new and improved slideshow at the bottom of the blog. As I upload pictures to flickr they will be automatically added to the slideshow at the bottom.
I was thinking about holding a webcam conference via skype sometime next week/weekend. If anyone has any suggestions on date/time please leave them in the comments. I´ll be adding more information as the time for one approaches.
Thats all for now.

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for me. I don´t understand much of what´s going on but sometimes Oscar will give me a little translation. School is quite different in Paraguay. We sit in one class room all day (except for classes like Art or Gym) and our teachers come to us. Some teachers allow you to move your desk however you like and others make you sit in rows. You can always tell who is paying attention and who isn´t. Those who really want to focus sit in the front because the people in the back are talking. Today the subject I understood most was chemistry. Lunch here is so different as well. Our cafeteria is not really a room in the sense that it has openings to the outside. Most of the school is airy and open. Tomorrow is gym and art and I can´t wait.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Last night around 12:30 I was picked up at the Ciudad Del Este bus station by my host family. They are so nice! So far I haven´t been able to talk directly to my host parents (because I don´t speak Spanish and they don´t speak English) but Oscar has been learning English and he has been acting as a translator. He said that he´d teach me Spanish if I help him improve his English. My room is awesome. I think it was used as their guest bedroom and the walls are a tad lightish red, but I´m not complaining. I have a place to sleep and that is wonderful.
It´s funny to see the people here bundled up in winter coats, hats, and scarfs. My host family keeps asking me if I´m cold and I respond that compared to Cleveland this is nothing. (Just to let you know mom they do wear shorts here during the summer and the teenagers wear jeans as well.)
That´s about all for now. Talk to you guys later.