Before we go any further, let’s settle into this with a few hypotheticals. If you ever happen to find yourself in Paraguay, frantically paddling to keep yourself culturally afloat, then maybe a few of these scenarios will be useful:
“Olympia or Cerro?” I’ve only been in this country for 12 hours, I have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about. Oh, you’re asking me which is my favorite soccer team? Can I take some time to get back to you on this one? Am I actually being judged for not having an answer right now? For real?
“Would you like a little bit of tea or coffee to add to your hot sugar milk?” Probably.
“I’m sorry, Sir, but there’s very little room on this bus at the moment. Would you mind standing on the first step with your back hanging out of the open door while I speed down the highway?” Well, kind of, but okay… is that really my only choice?
“Hey, do you want to kick the ball around the yard for a bit?” Sure, but only if we can set the goal eight feet in front of where Grandma is sitting and then share a hearty laugh with her when the ball inevitably soars inches past her head…
Enough with hypotheticals, let’s move on to some concrete stuff. This has been an insanely busy month and the final few weeks of training promise more of the same. What does this mean for me? Six day work weeks, mentally draining language immersion, a hearty helping of “adult learning techniques” featuring a bizarre amount of drawing, daily sunburns, almost non-existent Internet and telephone access, and very little of anything resembling free time.
More importantly, however – what does this mean for you? Quite simply that my posts here will be sparse and scattered until I have an increase in free time towards the beginning of May.
I would like to quickly mention, though, that if anybody reading is interested in some old-fashioned penpaling, I am completely open to receiving letters and will undoubtedly make the time to write back. Not sure what postage is like from the USA to Paraguay, but it’s always fun to get real, tangible, paper mail. I’ll attach my address to the end of this post. And, of course, I’ll definitely continue receiving and responding to all emails as well if that’s more your style.
There will be more interesting updates to follow in the coming weeks and months, but I would like to leave you with this quick story of disconnectedness: There was an unknown period of time of at least two week before I found out that A.J. Burnett had been trade. All I currently know about it is what I quickly read in a semi-unrelated AP article that made passing mention to the trade. And it was so brief and tangential that I’m still unsure if this actually happened in real life or if it was just part of an incredibly happy dream I had. But since distance dictates that most of the next two baseball seasons will be left up to my imagination anyway, I suppose the truth doesn’t even really matter.
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Christopher Suriano, PCV
Cuerpo de Paz
162 Chaco Boreal c/Mcal. Lopez
Asuncion 1580, Paraguay