It`s autumn here. Today is warm again, but Monday was very cold. For some reason the people of Paraguay have never felt it worth it to put fireplaces in their houses. Whenever I mention my surpise at this people say it is because the firewood here produces too much smoke, unlike the firewood in Brazil. I respond that they could built chimineys too. My host family cooks most of its meals over a brick wood stove, even though they have an electric hotplate and small over inside the house. I love this, it gives my house what seems to me a "camp" atmosphere. Like many of my favorite things, it also reminds me of Pirate Camp.
Fireplaces with chimineys are pretty basic technology. How many hundreds of years have they been in use? And almost all the buildings are made out of bricks, so that can`t be the issue. Really I suppose it has never been an issue of survival, so people have learned to worry about other things. It was very cold here Monday and Tuesday nights, but I doubt it went below 40F (or roughly 5C). This wouldn`t even be worth mentioning in the states, but that is because we expect that all building are heated. It is quite cold otherwise, but with enough blankets (or in my case, a down sleeping bag) it won`t put a stop to much of anything, except perhaps daily showers.
Living in the "Croz Nest", the uninsulated, barely heated loft in the garage of my last house in Portland was a good preparation for Paraguay in several respects.
I have been amazed by the autumn air here; how it feels exactly like early autumn air at home. In my last post I wrote about living in a small town again. The evening air lately has just the same crispness, and the warm traces of the recent summer, as September on Vashon. I could have sworn the cool wind was coming right off the Puget Sound.
I of course neglected to bring much in the way of winter clothes, since I was going to SOUTH AMERICA, but I will need to invest in some here. I bought some sweat pants to sleep in, but I was heartbroken yesterday when I realized I had left my navy blue beanie, which I brought from the states and wore all last winter, on the bench in front of a store, and that it was gone.
I am heartbroken whenever I lose a hat. But this is just part of what I know I`m getting myself into whenever I aquire one. It is only a matter of time.