Monday, June 11, 2012

the facts of life

There is a lot that I don't get around to mentioning in my longer posts, details of my life that I take for granted now but that are not taken for granted in the states.
First, an announcement: We opened the first ever public library in town on the 1st of June! The space is still a bit empty but we are working on getting more donations. Lots of kids have been coming in to check out all our lindo books and play around with the basic programs we have on the computers. I'm working the lunch shift, 11-1, which is fine with me. That's when a lot of kids come in, just after they get out of class in the morning. The librarian works 8-11 and 1-3.
I've been building nice warm fires in my version 2.0 woodstove. I built it in my kitchen out of bricks and a metal chimney and cooktop. It was a pain in the butt getting firewood, but I finally got the guys at the yerba roastery to sell me some of thiers. I don't understand why that was so hard, I must not know the right people yet.
The woodstove has been great this last week as it froze 3 nights in a row and was cold the rest of the time. A warmer rainy thing has come in, but we're still just beginning winter, and I am now 3 degrees latitiude further south (like going from Bellingham to Portland) than I was. Most volunteers and Paraguayans don't have any proper heat source in thier homes, which drives me crazy. Electric heaters are fairly common, but they just don't get the job done to my satisfaction. Fire and chimneys are pretty ancient technology, and since winter happens every year it seems like it would be worth the time and investment to build some damn fireplaces/woodstoves. The rich often have chimneys on their houses but I'm pretty sure that is just an ornamental thing. I have never seen smoke rising from one.

Two more things about the incredible mud here: you can use it, mixed with sand, to lay bricks. This is what my woodstove is held together with actually.
also: it turns white dogs orange, which is amusing.

I bought a hat! It's a blue paperboy style hat with ear flaps that button below the chin.
I've got a rockin' compost pile now that I've got a yard that chickens do not enter. It's a little weird to live where there aren't chickens running around everywhere. I'm going to plant a for real vegetable garden this spring.
I got a camera! Lizzy sold me one. So I'll have to start taking pictures.
Since I got to Natalio I've had a sitemate, Lizzy Greer, who got a 2 month extension to help see the library through to the opening. So she's been in Paraguay since January 2010 but is going home at the end of the month. There aren't any other volunteers within at least an hour's travel from here. I do miss Hannah and Leah, my San Pedro neighbors, and I wish Lizzy the best of luck in North Carolina.
My house has a tile floor! It's a squash soup and terra cotta checker board pattern. I want to have a dance party.

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