E’a!!! (used in Guarani to indicate Surprise, one of my Faves..)
I am sitting on my bed in my host families sorting papers and books I need for my site now and ones I can keep in storage for a while…It is fun to reflect but at the same time very sad. Both my sister and well my boyfriend were helping me and looking through my papers and things while we talked about how fast these past 10 weeks have gone by…I have had a great training experience as a whole. My tech trainer is great and my language teachers are too. I wish I could have had more weeks of training with Guarani. I have only had 3 which is like maybe 5 classes because of all the stuff we had going on…I am a little worried about trying to teach myself Guarani from now on but I do have help from my contact family in my new site, Jose, possibly another contact that is a teacher in my community more or less. Again my biggest fear is language but then again It has only been like 2 months..and my language is WAY better says my family so that is good. I still have self-doubt with it but I definitely try every single day. I ask questions and correct myself and try to use Guarani and Spanish too. This experience so far has truly been a rollercoaster. I am happy to say I have had more highs than lows and I think that is just because I kept trying and didn’t give up. That is exactly what I am going to keep doing in my new site too. I have had A LOT of fun and laughter with the Beekeeper trainees, the Crop trainees and the Environmental Education. I have spent so much time with the 9 beekeepers I am going to miss them when I am flying solo permanently. Thankfully will have a phone so I can call them and keep in touch! I’m lucky that I will live so close to my training community so I can come back and visit in the future. I have said it once and I will say it again…..I am very lucky to have the family I have here. Paraguayan culture is really well guapo and tranquillo all at the same time. These families work soo hard but are also always calm and relaxed…I enjoy it and I feel that most all trainees do.
So about my new site..I will be living on a Isla….yes an ISLAND! The agriculture that the community is doing there is great. The soil is soo rich and the people of course are super hard-working and they want to do beekeeping!! I have only met a couple of families who are pretty much brothers of one of my contacts..I have 3 months for the settling in to start. I also found out that I may have a house available for my use which is great because I am a first volunteer in my site which is great because I am not being compared to other Americans but it is also a heck of a lot of responsibility..My contact is pretty great though so I really think I will get things done in my two years of service. The Island is beautiful. My tech trainer told me that I need to keep calling everyone not on the island..main landers lol When I told other trainees about the fact that my new site was an island they were like “WHAT? And island? In Paraguay? How did you get that???!”..I would reply…”oh..I asked for the Florida plan…” lol I get a lot of broma (jokes/ teasing) about all my florida stuff..Gators or just Florida in general. I was looking at the stuff I brought here and its like the Florida Bookstore in Paraguay it’s a little insane but whatever…got to spread the spirit especially since Florida could use some spirit right now…lol My family says I am a Florida Fanatic..lol Which let’s be real..it’s true! Back to the site, it has electricity and running water (most of the time)…I think the electricity depends on the weather..I do have running water but for the time being I am using a latrine. This sucks when it is raining but otherwise you get over it.
In relation to Beekeeping, I have learned A LOT claro que si..like I said my trainer is great. I think I have been stung a total of 12 mas o menos throughout my service which in my opinion is like nothing….some trainees had experience with some angry bees and just got lit up. I am talking 25 stings or 30 stings in one hive revision. That’s a lot of stings.. For me my hand stings were the worst because I couldn’t write..it was so annoying. Then again I wasn’t wearing gloves because I was trying to tie on comb to a panel during a trasiego (wild bee capture). It’s difficult to do with the terrible gloves I have which I need to look into buying better ones in Asuncion…hmm. Anyways I really enjoy beekeeping its fun because literally everytime you do a trasiego or revise a hive its different, sometimes in a good way or sometimes in a bad way, so it is really never boring and they are Africanized bees so they are well less happy to see you than the Italian or Russian bee types in the States.
I cannot believe it is December…its crazy…Thanksgiving was really fun, the trainees went to the Directors house and we had turkey and stuffing and other fixings which were great. Also I was able to call Mom and Dad and chat with them for a bit which was great. I was little sad around the holiday thinking about home and my mom/grandma’s cooking but I did have a good distraction. I think Christmas will be a little tougher because I will be the only American with my site family who I don’t know too well yet but I think It will be a good experience! My training family has lights up on one of their windows. It makes me SO HAPPY, it’s like ridiculous how much those kind of things make an impact!