Old Papers

by Devo

Asado al tatakua. This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but it was really delicious and must be included. The meat was cooked inside of the “fire hole” to juicy deliciousness.

I have been cleaning out the library, which has meant dealing with thousands of old magazines, with names like Nosotras and Gastronomía. I felt bad having to throw out all of the paper, but we really couldn’t do anything with them and it’s a bit of a problem when there isn’t enough space for books and you’re storing some of the newspapers outdoors in the elements.

Unfortunately, Paraguay does not have a system of recycling, so we set all of the paper out in front of the building to be taken away by the trash pick-up the next day. With the first load of paper, we are greeted by a woman who is waiting for the bus and she gladly welcomes a few reading materials to accompany her while she waits. By the time we come outside with the second load of papers, there is a man rifling through the boxes. “What are you doing with these? Can I take them?” We explain that he is welcome to take as much as he wants. He is overjoyed to hear that we have tons more left inside and helps us load all of them into a taxi he just called. He gave me his number to call him any time that we had anything to throw away and he’d be back.

I knew he must be getting some good money off of our old paper if he would pay a taxi for the ride, but I didn’t know his secret. Was there some factory that used old paper? We had some more old magazines to take out today, so I called him and he came right over with his cart. I asked him, where did he take all the paper I gave him?


A recycling center in Brazil, to be exact. I am now even more interested in this recycling subject. If anybody has any insight on how it can be profitable to pay for a taxi and on top of that get piles of paper over 300 km across the country to sell in Brazil, please let me know. I’m curious now if this is a widespread phenomenon, with reams of recycling being sent across borders every day? I’ll keep you all updated with the trashy stories.

I also invited kids from the schools in the neighborhood for a day of activities in the library (everybody loves Mad Libs I’ve found out). Here are some pictures of kids from the community enjoying the library. Everyone should also “like” the library’s page on Facebook (no matter how far away you live).

Showing off her Mad Lib