12 August 2012

My last days in Paraguay.

I had my last days at the Escuela Agrícola this week and am now waiting in Asunción until my flight Monday night back to the states. I still have some work to finish up for my internship, but I mostly feel like my time here was very enlightening and I am ready to move on.

The half-birthday/farewell party group.
On Thursday we celebrated Amos' 4.5 years old birthday, which turned into a farewell party for me with school staff and volunteers in attendance. It was a great surprise and fun to help prepare and consume some delicious food. I am so excited to be in control of my own diet once I return to the states and have fresh produce and a kitchen at my disposal instead of eating three meals a day in a boarding school dining hall! Leah and John, the US couple living at the Escuela Agrícola, cooked an amazing meal and passed on some great recipes to me as I lived with them for my last few days at the school. Pan de queso, chipa paraguaya, soy milk, yogurt...

06 August 2012

Sugar Cane, Networking, and Employment!

I have been sick the last week or so, in bed and being taken care of by my good friends Michelle (Peace Corps) and Jorge (agriculture school teacher). It was not fun, but I am better now!

Before I got sick I spent a hot, exhausting day in the chacra- the sugar cane fields. The school owns a couple of hectares of sugar cane that they sell to a local sugar mill and is basically a cash crop to provide income for the school. There is definitely a certain level of gender separation of tasks, so I was the only female in the field. I practiced my machete skills by trimming and cutting down sugar cane stalks at least a foot taller than myself. After we cleared a section, the truck came by and we loaded our piles in the back. The guys kept handing me bigger and bigger piles and I'm happy to say I passed their tests, to the chorus of "mujer fuerte!" (strong woman!). 

With a load of sugar cane!