Some strong winds followed by a storm came in today. The power went off for a bit, but came back on after a few moment. The beauty of this is that all day it was hot and sunny that the sun could fry eggs on the roof. Then the moment it got around afternoon, you see dark clouds coming in. It's beautiful seeing lightning in a mix of grey, white, and dark clouds dancing. It was a light show happening in front of my porch. It's been like this since I got here. Literally, almost everyday. I've been here for almost two weeks now, settling in and getting comfortable in my new house, my new community. It's totally different from where I used to be and I'm now glad to be experiencing another angle of this country.
Santa Rosa del Mbutuy is the name of my new town, with around 1,500 people living in it, now around 1,501. It's a bit smaller than Belén and a bit closer to the capital (only, 4 hours away). Starting up in my few days in site went well until it got a bit awkward. I think it's one of the challenges of being a male volunteer in Paraguay; finding a host family. Since I've been in my first site for 4 months, I wasn't required to live with a family for another 3 months or so upon my arrival in my second community. Although I'm suppose to live with a host family for a month, I was instead hosted by the mayor's family for about 5 days until I found my own house. It took me 2 days to move in after I went to Asunción to gather up my stuff and bring it in with the help of Edu, one of the staff in the office.
I'm glad to be now settling in independently. As much as I enjoyed it, it was tough living with a hosts family again for many different reasons. So I've been staying at home and setting up my living situation. I have a feeling that I'm really going to enjoy this. There are some little configurations that needs to be done with the house, but for the most part, I am very lucky, content and happy to have this. It also helps that Hugo, my dueño, is quite an amazing dude. Along with his wife, I'm pretty comfortable and pleased to be his neighbor. We already started a great relationship and I can only hope that it gets better.
I've finally decided to get an internet connection. It's brand new, around a week old, and I'm pretty pumped about it. Although, I must admit that I have been abusing the use of it. Hopefully it will wear out, but for now, I'm definitely taking advantage of it. I'm pretty fortunate to have this amenity being here. In the long run, not only that it makes it more accessible to get in touch with you, it will also be useful in finding informations for anything I might need to do my service.
Leaving Belén wasn't easy. I haven't really broadcast it for the masses. So here it is in a quick run down. Due to a local kidnapping incident in the zone where I was working, I, along with 5 other volunteers were pulled-out from our sites. I have been in site for 4 months and was just getting fully comfortable and winning the community when the decision was made. I had projects going, just had found my place, and best of all, just developed friends in the community, from adults to the kids -the most important part of it. Without it, you can't really do anything. I had a hard and frustrating time during the process of moving. Letting my friends and community know that I was leaving and not finishing most of my projects, I felt like letting the whole place down. They did understand why, but it didn't change the disappointment of my friends. It also didn't help that the last volunteer went home early. There I was, doing my best, eager to be a part of the community only to leave them hanging. The organization and the embassy had a point though. For our safety, it was best that we get out of the situation. But I wouldn't say it was easy. In the end, my community and I still won the situation. I might not be there, but I'm glad to have left having made great friends. It also brings me light to get phone calls and messages once in awhile from the same people I have left behind. I'm planning on visiting once I get a good hold of my ground here. I can only imagine what that would be like.
After the whole 2 weeks of emotional, mental, and physical challenge in getting out of Belén, I was relocated in Asunción while waiting for another site. After finding out and visiting my second future site, I ended up spending my Christmas with my host family in my training site. Since we, the people who were pulled out, didn't have to be at work until the 7th of January, I took advantage of the time to travel a little bit in the middle part of the country. I ended up visiting 5 other volunteer friends to see what their site and life is like. I am very glad and fortunate to have done that trip, considering that I also got into trouble and had been restrained from traveling before the whole pulling out of Concepción had happened.
Now I'm in my new site, almost two weeks in, I can only imagine the calm and storms of this whole new experience. I'm back in the beginning. My advantage is that I have a little of the language down and familiar of doing the process. The first part might be national, but the second definitely isn't and I already think that this town demands a different kind of drive from me. Overall, and at the end, I really have little control of it. The things which I can, I will, and that only thing is me. The other, the big other part, I'm just going to have to roll with it, listen, observe, and learn. That of which is the people and the community.