I have been in my site for over a week now. I’ve spent time working with the library where I live, the national volunteer network, getting to know the supermercados and carpinterías in the neighborhood, and being bounced around on buses bumping around the city.
I have been entering into schools, the municipality, and NGOs to introduce myself to strangers, and I am reminded each time how friendly and open Paraguayans are. “Sure stranger, come in and talk to the Directora!” The volunteers here in Paraguay are pretty lucky, because so many Paraguayans have heard of the Peace Corps and have a positive image of the organization. This makes my getting-to-know-the-community job a great deal easier. “You’re a Peace Corps volunteer? Well let me tell you all of the problems my school has.”
I really like my site and the work I have in front of me, which looks to be quite a lot. The first project I’m getting into is the revitalization of the library (as of now nobody in the neighborhood knows it exists). One aspect about being a Peace Corps volunteer that I love is that I can be a free agent to work with whatever needs the community has. Also, I can work with a variety of people and organizations and serve as a link from resources to needs. This means there is a lot out there waiting to be done, and all that is holding me back is my desire to also be able to experience a bit of the Paraguayan tranquilo life. Sí o sí, that will happen, too.
Note: I updated the mailing address on the contact page (in case you want to send me something!)