Sunday, September 27, 2009

From Point A to Point B

Hey everyone,
As requested I´m posting a blog update.

One topic I´d like to talk about is transportation. Like the US Paraguay drives on the right side of the road. In Paraguay if you´re moderately well off you probably have a car. Many of the car brands that you see in the US you also see here (with the notable exception of GM) in addition to some European brands less common is the US (Peugeot, Citroen, and Renault). Cars are almost equally split between AT (automatic) and MT (stick shift/standard).
For those who either aren´t fortunate enough to own a car or are just budget wise there are motos. There are a lot more people riding motorcycles and mopeds here than in the US. Some of the motos you see are rusted and look like they´re going to fall apart at any moment.
If you don´t have a car or a moto the next best way to get around is by bus. Ciudad Del Este has a bus station that can take you almost anywhere in Paraguay (and some parts of Brazil and Argentina). A bus ticket from Ciudad Del Este to the capital city Asuncion will cost you 55mil Guaranies (about $11). There are also local bus lines that go around each area.
Traffic is basically a free for all. I would not want to drive in Paraguay.

On a different note today was the hottest it´s been since I´ve been here at 34 degrees (92.3 F). I´ve been told that sometimes it gets up to 41 degrees at the hottest (a little over 105 F).
I´ve got a 4 day weekend this week with Monday and Tuesday off which is really nice.
That´s about all for now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Let´s talk money

Hello everyone. I´ve been here for over a month now and I´m starting to get used to the money system here. I thought I´d do a blog about the money here.
The Currency:
For starters the currency here is in GuaranĂ­es ( or PYG). The currency shares its name with the native South American Guarani people as well as the native Guarani language. Currently the exchange rate is about 4930 PYG/1 USD. To make things easier most people just round to 5mil per dollar. (Note that when I use mil it means thousand.)
Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, and the newly released 1mil Gs. Although all of these are legal tender only the 100, 500, and 1 mil coins are used frequently due to inflation.
Banknotes come in denominations of 1mil, 5mil, 10mil, 20mil, 50mil, and 100mil gs. Once again the 1 mil gs bill is falling out of use due to several factors. 1. the 1 mil gs. banknotes are aging and many are falling apart. 2. The recently issued 1 mil gs. coin is taking its place. 3. There are no plans for future production of 1 mil gs. banknotes.

Paraguay gets the majority of its banknotes from the British security company De La Rue. The paper used for banknotes is the same paper used for the British pound as well as the Iraqi dinar.All of the exchange students I´ve talked to agree that the money here feels light and flimsy compared to the money back home. Money here is not minted regularly as it is in many countries and bills start to deteriorate after a while. Prices here are very low for most things. For example at school the normal plate lunch costs 10mil (2 dollars) and a 500ml bottle of pop will run you 3mil (60 cents).

I hope you all enjoyed this bit of info about the money here. If you want to suggest something else you´d like to hear about leave a comment. :D

P.S. Happy talk like a pirate day tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back from camp.

Hey everyone.
I got back from AFS camp on Sunday. It was very nice. I got to talk to lots of people I knew and started some conversations with others I didn´t. I got all my paperwork settled at the camp in order to be a temporary resident, since visas here only last for 90 days. To make that visa valid for a longer period of time you need to become a temporary resident. While at camp we all stayed in a hotel that was probably 80% reserved for AFS that weekend. It was really nice, the food was great, and they had a pool! Yes a group of us went swimming despite it being a chilly low to mid 60´s . It was a blast!
Anyway things here are good. I had a bit of good luck today when I found 20 Mil on the ground (about 4 dollars).
That´s about it for now. Pics to come later when I get the time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On the road again.

Hey everyone,
This weekend is our 1 month AFS adjustment camp. That means all the AFS students in Paraguay who are doing a school program are going to be arriving in Asuncion at noon tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I´m getting on a bus at the bus terminal in Ciudad Del Este and taking another 5-6 hour trip back to Asuncion. It´s going to be so nice to see all the other AFS-ers I haven´t seen since our trip over here and see how they´re doing.
I´m of course taking my camera with me so hopefully when I get home there will be another batch of photos ready for the blog.
Paraguay won their match last night versus Argentina 1-0. We had a bunch of family over to watch the game. It was lots of fun.
That´s about all for now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Game time and Class time

Today in school we got out of a bunch of classes because we had a competition between our school and other local school. I got to watch 3 games of futball and 3 games of handball. We won every game except for guys handball. The girls futball teams aren´t very good. I´m sure it would make Mary B. very angry. The schools here are so much smaller. Our whole school can fit into the cafeteria and the cafeteria is no where near the size the one at home.
On a different note on Wednesday we have our final day of Spanish class. I know that I probably need more classes but I also know that I´ve got some good help from friends. I can´t wait to finally have some free time. Everyday going to Spanish class is such a time consumer that I don´t have time to go out with friends and get any of the real world Spanish.
Thats about it for now.