09 January 2012

The Paraguayan delta was...

Welcome.  Thanks for stumbling across this page.  Pull up a chair.  Make yourself comfortable.  I don’t mind feet on the furniture.

This is where I will be sharing my thoughts as I spend the next two years in Paraguay working with the Peace Corps.  To be honest, I’m not really sure how often I will be posting updates.  My knack for writer’s block coupled with what I can only assume will be a less-than-reliable Internet connection may lead to fewer posts than I’m hoping for.  Also, since this is essentially the first time that anyone without academic tenure or a professional responsibility has read my writing in six or seven years, it may take some time to get comfortable myself.

Just as I can’t accurately predict what my experience in Paraguay will be like before I start living it, I don’t really know what shape this blog is going to take yet, either.  I have a few vague ideas about what I don’t want it to become  - a) a dry, boring account of my day-to-day routine, b) a soapbox.  My guess is that I will try to straddle the fence between staying connected with anyone reading back home and simply keeping myself entertained.  If I wind up leaning too far in one direction for your liking and tumble over, I apologize in advance for messing up the neighbor’s lawn. 

And now a few surface-level words about the blog’s title: 
·      Yeah, it’s a play on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and what I think are some of the most unquestionably great opening lines to a song
·      No, I don’t actually play the guitar

So come on back.  Bring your friends.  Don’t be shy.  Post some comments.  I hope you like what I’ve done with the place.

On that note, I’d like to open up the floor for some questions –

Q.  I just read your blurb about the blog’s title and I still don’t like it.  I think it’s pretentious and stupid.  I mean you’re barely even musical, right?
A.  Your comments are valid and uninteresting.  I’ll be sure to forward them to management.  I appreciate your concern.

Q.  So let me get this straight – you finish college, spend two years as an AmeriCorps and now you’re joining the Peace Corps?  Are you still putting off the real world?  When are you going to get a real job and actually contribute something to society?
A.  Really?  This again?  Are we really gonna keep playing this game?  Next question.

Q. What sort of work will you be doing in Paraguay?
A.  Rural health and water sanitation.

Q. That seems pretty vague.  Do you have any idea what that will consist of?
A.  Yeah, kind of.

Q.  ¿Hablas español?
A.  Huh?

Q.  Will you go on record as to how recently it was that you learned to place Paraguay on a blank map?
A.  No, probably not.  I don’t like where these questions are headed.  That’s gonna be all for now.


  1. I am your BIGGEST fan and I cannot wait to follow your trials and tribulations in South America. I, however, have a few questions....1. Who will you miss the most when you are away and 2. What channel in Paraguay gets The Soup?
    Auntie M

    1. 1) It's down to you or Joel McHale, obviously. I'll just leave it at that.
      2) This is the first phrase I will learn to say in Guaraní.

  2. Great blog post. But I think I speak for The Internet when I ask: at what point can we expect more content on James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor?

    1. Ah, yes. Don’t worry, Internet, those posts are coming. In the meantime, though, I encourage you to check out the noteworthy “Reaction to General Zachary Taylor and the Armistice at the Battle of Monterrey, 1846.” Written by Suriano, Christopher in 2005 and available through First Semester Term Paper Press. Pay close attention to the author’s citation of more than the minimum required number of primary sources as well as the “A” in red ink on the front cover. Check your local library – they’re bound to probably not have it…