The Dregers

Moving Forward Together

A Trip into the Paraguay Countryside – Part 1

Car crossing a questionable bridge

Lush vegetation, red dirt and questionable engineering

Well, Paraguay is hot.  I know that is likely obvious, but I believe it is worth stating – Paraguay is hot.  We headed out to San Pedro on Thursday morning, bumping along dirt roads and the slightly more stable, though sometimes more bumpy, cobblestone roads.  The trip took about 4 hours and once I accepted the layer of sweat that is your constant companion during the day, the drive provided a nice overview of the Paraguay countryside.  Lush green vegetation was occasionally punctuated by scars left by fires set to clear the underbrush and the red soil I came to know in Africa quickly stained the shiny shoes of our driver Gustavo as well as everything else it touched.

Looking for cell coverage

Our interpreter looking for a cell signal

As seems to frequently happen, our interpreter Naomi (pronounced No-a-me) also served as our cultural guide.  Although her lack of farming knowledge was sometimes amusing, she graciously answered endless inquiries on topics ranging from the local education system to why she would carry 3 cellphones.  Naomi also helped me slightly expand my Spanish vocabulary while maintaining a clear focus on the main local language, Guaraní (pronounced /ɡwɑrəˈniː/).  If their laughter was any indication, I provided much amusement with my attempts to pronounce some of the words in their tonal language, especially as I stumbled over a number of unfamiliar nasalized vowels.

Looking for the "You are here"

Helping the lost missionary orientate

We received a warm reception from the Transformando juntos Paraguay team working in the San Pedro area.  Transformando is working closely with Power to Change, the organization who’s ministries I am in Paraguay to see and participate in.  We toured a school which had previously been shown the Jesus Film.  Both the students and the teachers where happy to see us and I watched as a class of grade 5 students proudly showed us the booklets they had received after the film.

Meeting a local pastor

Meeting a local pastor

After a quick shower with a disappointing about of agua, we rushed to an area pastoral meeting.  After waiting an hour (‘Paraguay time’ isn’t as precise as our North American, time conscious culture demands), the meeting began.  Transformando’s main focus in the area seems to be church planting and these evening meetings allow the local church leaders to support one another in their ministries.  Although I didn’t understand any of what was said, the participants seemed encouraged by the discussions.

There is another day to write about, but the local time is 2am and I believe I ought to go to bed.  Tomorrow I shall regale you with tales of cuisine, variable power and mud.

Posted in Missions and Paraguay by Andrew on April 24th, 2010 at 05:59.

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