Photos are not working.
I finally got a bunch uploaded the other day, after two hours of waiting 10-15 cada uno, and the computer died and they all got undone. Anyways, there are about 20 good picture of the May 20th libertad celebration (its basically a kid parade). We´ll see if they´ll ever get up.
The last few days of been weird. Its been just over a year here, and por eso there´s been a lot of deja vu and reflection. I only stayed up all night the other night because I read two editions of People, the 100 Most Beautiful and the one about the texas polygamy cult. And I couldn´t sleep and went outside to have a cigarette (the store only had menthols) and saw the volunteers back yard which is exquisitely managed by the paraguayan owner to be and example of what a paraguayan backyard can be like. And then I stayed up all night brainstorming agroforestry, integrated, closed loop, aqua/api/silvo/pastoral/agricultural systems for paraguay. Its amazing. Fulano (paraguay´s campesino john doe) could so easily have all his fruit and vegetable needs met in 2 acres por alli. Additionally, the fruit trees (and many of the native trees) have symbiotic relationships with predatory ants, which in turn keep down the locust plagues. You can easily imagine a cooperative that plants oil palms on its members land (not plantacions of them, just 2-3-4 per acre) and then processes the nuts into biodiesel for their tractors and trucks. Also with fruit trees, yerba, oil plants, fire wood trees, trees that bees feed on, trees whose leaves can feed cattle, you can have many stories to the system. An upper strata a medium with shrubs and the lowest with traditional ag crops, corn, manioca (both of which are native and favorite foods of paraguay). Your yield drops with lowering uv penetration, but generally theres less need to fertilize the soil and use chemical pesticides. I´m an ag dork now. Its official.
Paraguay blew it against Bolivia. I thought the headlines should have been ¨perdio la batalla, gano la guerra¨because the game was only 4 days removed from the anniversary of the paz del chaco, the armistice in 1935 between Bolivia and Paraguay, which paraguay won, hence the lose the battle win the war. Thats what I love about latin america. They hate on each other so much, but at the end of the day its not so bad. I (gringo) sit and play volley with brazillians, germans, argentines, and of course los paraguayos. I was chatting with a guy who drives the bus route between asuncion and la paz bolivia and he asked me why i liked guarani so much and I told him because a paraguayan ¨ikatu he´i kurepi argentinopeguarä ha lo argentino nontendemo´ai¨ tell an argentinian he has pig skin and he won´t understand. They almost fell out of their chair. And yeah paraguayans call argentinians pig skinned, and the joke here is that you buy and argentinian for what hes worth and sell him for what he thinks hes worth, but the argentinians call the guayos funny names too, but aside from the occasional futbol riot or war, it really is a friendly banter (me parece) a lot like the british and the french. We were putting the finishing touches on the conveyor belt for the sapecadora and we were just chirping away and someone asks, ¨why does man want to fight?¨ (this was close on the heals of the ecuador, columbia, venezuela, us thing [after which I was asked if I worked for the CIA, i told the guy who asked me ¨no I´m just here to steal the fresh water¨ because thats their other big fear]) and I chimed in that my country has had its fair share of wars, and they agreed (like most of the world) but followed that they faught two disatrous wars (after the triple alliance; brazil, argentina and uruguay contra paraguay, paraguay was left with 10,000 males and 200,000 females after starting with about 500,000. There´s even a story of a group of young boys, after hearing of their father´s deaths on the battlefield, who found charcoal, probably from their tatakua´s, and drew on mustaches [to appear old enough to fight], found weapons and charged after the Brazillian soldiers only to be mowed down), we digress. Why do we fight ¨¿quien sabe?¨and I said I know why we fight and i used the exclusive we to exclude the rest of the world and only mean that group then and there, ¨rorekoma petei coronél¨ -we already have a colonel- because our treasurer´s last name is Coronél and he said to me ¨do you know Andrés, I already have a general, and went on to tell me that he calls his rembireko ¨che general´i¨ my little general. And I told him that my family calls my mother ore general´i, they couldn´t believe it, I couldn´t believe it, and we all just shared one of those moments where you´re like, we´re not different at all, to cliché it up even more. Another good one like that was when we were harvesting corn, and the socios still couldn´t believe that I could understand them. There were only three paraguayans working at the time, Anibel Ibarra and his two sons Cesar and Arsenio (his other son alcides brought me to the Dos for my first visit before I was a volunteer and ten of his kids are in Argentina or Spain). Anyways, we were getting the terere equipo ready and Cesar is saying to give the thermos to me, and his dad and brother were like ¨but Cesar, you´re the youngest¨ and I was just like ¨Añete, ne mitave¨, its true, you´re the youngest, and he kind of accepted his fate, and I was like, Cesar, I was a youngest brother too, I´ll serve. And they were just like, ¨you respect elders in the united states as well?¨ And it was just another great exchange of our shared humanity. And thats all I really hope for these days. To have the opportunity to run into another cell bag or pirate and talk la vida. Upeicha.