Saturday, August 22, 2009

Meet Jose Fassardi- My New Big Happy Paraguayan Family, La Radio So’o, Boyfriend Shmoyfriend, Mail it to the American, Peace Corps is a 24 Hour a Day

My House on the right and family store on the left

My site has all the small town charm a Paraguayan village should have and I have experienced a heaping handful of this charm in my short time here. Peace Corps training the last three months prepared me to deal with the “Paraguayness” of a small town and I have heard dozens upon dozens of stories from other volunteers who live in small towns like mine, if not smaller, and small town life is rather charming, but some of it is going to get some getting used to.
I have found a wonderful new host family to live with. I set myself up with the most perfect living situation I think I could find. I have two rooms in the front of the house to myself with a door to the outside patio so I can come and go as I please. I have a lot of space and plenty of privacy. My family is made up of my host dad Don Silvio, my host mom Na Kale (Short for Doña) and my host sister Clara. Don Silvio is in his early 60s although looks much older and has the sweetest old man demeanor about him. He doesn’t talk a lot, probably because he can’t get a word in with Clara and Na Kale around, but he sure is sweet. My first night here Na Kale and Clara were not here so just me and Don Silvio sat around together. He was really shy at first, he seemed embarrassed when I would talk to him directly, but now he is coming around. Although, that first night he really got the idea that I was there to be apart of their family and already was calling me “mi hija”. That made me feel very welcomed.
Na Kale has only been here for a day. She was visiting two of her daughters in Ciudad del Este on the Brazilian border. They have 7 kids in total, 4 live in Fassardi. This is a very normal family size, it seems everyone around here has 7 or 8 kids. So Na Kale is also a very sweet woman. She loves to crochet. She will sit in font of the TV and watch novella after novella and crochet all night. I think that sounds kind of like me. And, sadly I am starting to like the telenovelas, which is basically all there is to watch on the two stations we get in Fassardi. She is going to teach me to crochet. I am excited about that.
Clara is really cool. She is 28 and has two jobs as an obstetrician. She is very independent for a young Paraguayan woman from a small town. She sacrificed a lot to become an obstetrician because school is very expensive and finding a job is very hard. Now she works most of the week a few towns away where she has another apartment and the rest of the week at the health center here in Fassardi where she lives with her parents. Clara is old to still be single. I am sure people talk about her and wonder why she isn’t married. Although she has a boyfriend so that probably puts their minds at rest a little. Paraguayans are made very uncomfortable by single woman, they always want to marry them off or set them up. I would make a good case example.
My house is very quite and calm with only 4 people living here, a very nice change from the chaos I lived in the past 3 months. And although there are only 4 of us in this house, I am now related to half of Fassardi. Unknowingly I had already met my brother and sister during my future site visit. My sister, Nancy, is the principal of the elementary school and I was at my brother’s, Oscar, house for the friendship day barbeque. Also turns out my other brother is the secretary of the city council, the junta. Nancy and her husband run the little store next to my house and their little daughter is over here all the time. She loooves me and yells “Hola Jenna” “Chao Jenna” whenever she seems. That is a nice change from my other little host sister who was scared to death of me.
If Fassardi had a local newspaper my arrival would have made front page news. However, a town newspaper would be totally useless because the gossip circles cycle through town faster than a printing press ever could. If we ever hear a little bit of gossip and ask how that individual came about that specific piece of information we might be told, “A little birdy told me.” Well if Paraguayans do anything great its gossip, and their gossip is much too heavy for just a little birdy. Paraguayan gossip travels through the radio so’o – which means “the meat radio” in Guarani, or “cow radio”. And La Radio So’o is a town institution in Fassardi. Half the people I meet already know who I am, most know where and who I live with and they know I am a Peace Corps volunteer. Its amazing that this town hasn’t had a PCV for 15 years and they still remember Peace Corps. I am the new gossip in town. I was told I would get a lot of unwanted attention, unwanted text messages and phone calls, cat calls…this is all apart of being a female volunteer. And it is all true. I received an anonymous text message my second day here from someone saying he wanted to meet me because I must be beautiful because all Americans are beautiful. So ridiculous. “The brazilian” Deleusa, my second contact, then texted me that she had given him my number. I told her they were wrong, there are lots of ugly Americans.
Everyone wants to know if its ok for me to have a boyfriend, if I can marry a Paraguayan, and they “joke” that I should find myself a good Fassardeno. This is usually one of the first things people will mention to me when I meet them. It really makes them uncomfortable that I came to Paraguay all alone, it would make them feel better if I was attached to someone. For this reason I tell everyone that I have boyfriend. I think this lie soothes their souls and meanwhile helps detract some unwanted attention for me. It somewhat prevents people from constantly trying to fix me up with their sons, brothers, uncles, etc… Sometimes I tell them I have lots of boyfriends and they are all waiting for me in the United States, the women think that is hilarious. However, this lie doesn’t always help and I am still going to get harassed on a daily basis. Its just apart of Paraguayan culture I have come to expect.
Nothing says small town Paraguay like the Fassardi Post Office. I don’t know why I was expecting to walk in their and find an entire mail room, I guess that has always been my image of a Post Office, but that was very naïve. The Post Office is one, small, dark room with a table and a dirt floor. It is pretty depressing. Two women run the Post Office, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Turns out the woman in the morning is my contact’s mom. When I was asking about the Post Office the day before my contact, Chiqui, failed to mention this small detail and even told me it was closed that day. His mom told me it was open every day. I get contrasting information like this all the time. I came to the Post Office to find out the address so I could receive mail. Not so simple. There isn’t really an actual address like you and I would think because addresses in small Paraguayan towns don’t really exist. I had a hard time explaining this to my dad on the phone the other day. He wanted my new address so he could look me up on google earth. Not so simple. Often streets don’t have names and if they do nobody knows what they are. Houses do not have numbers. Addresses are based on landmarks. My address in Fassardi is the house across from the soccer field next to the store. This works if you didn’t know Fassardi but everybody in Fassardi knows each other or is related to each other therefore everyone knows where I live when I say I live with Don Silvio. When I asked the Post Office lady what should be written on the envelope she said I could put a variety of things, it didn’t really matter because she knows me and knows where I live and would come deliver the letter to me at my house or at the muni. She showed me a few examples of some letters she had in a drawer. Most letter where folded and stapled pieces of paper. One address looked like this:
The house next to the school on the corner
Jose Fassardi
Department of Guaira, Paraguay

So, considering I am famous in Fassardi and you wanted to send me a letter you could send it to:
Jenna Houts “La Americana”
Barrio San Cayetano, Casa de Don Silvio
Jose Fassardi
Departamento de Guaira, Paraguay

Or simply

Jenna la Americana
Jose Fassardi

And it would get into my hands eventually. The volunteer coordinator told me this actually works and volunteers do actually get their mail.

I feel incredibly welcomed into this new community. If I can make any kind of general statement about Paraguayans its that they are very open and friendly. I can say I already have one real friend here. Here name is Stefi, she is 18 and invites me over to her house every afternoon to drink mate. Her mother doesn’t like her to leave the house, she thinks she is going to get pregnant. A very common story here in Paraguay. So she is stuck inside all day everyday helping out with the store. So, I think our new friendship is exciting for her. She calls and texts me and invites me over. She is really spunky. It might seem weird that my closest friend here is 18 but age here is all relative. People here don’t necessarily associate with their peers, they associate with their family members and their “in” group, the people they know and trust. Its totally normal to befriend someone 10 years older or younger than yourself. Plus, I think she is very mature for her age and I think I can be a very good influence on her and her mom. Maybe I will have the chance to show them how an independent woman can live safely and happily without getting pregnant. I also think her mom is okay with our friendship, it seems everyone is okay with me. She lets Stefi leave the house with me. Yesterday we went “shopping” together. Fassardi has a few stores where you can get all the basics and a few non basics. I was in one store talking with the clerk and before she knew my name she invited me over to her house on Sunday. Can you see yourself doing that with a foreigner you just met?
You might be asking yourself what about my job? Well, this is all apart of my job. It sounds kind of funny but I just went through three intense months of training, learning everything there ever was to know about municipal services, Paraguayan culture and being a Peace Corps volunteer while following a rigorous “very American” schedule only to come to my site and start living the Paraguayan schedule. The pace of life here is very slow, or tranquilo, to use a favorite Paraguayan word. So now I gotta be tranquilo too. I have been specifically told by Peace Corps not to work my first few months in site, or work how we think of work. My work the first few months is to get to know the town, try to introduce myself to as many people as possible, visit all the institutions, hang out at the muni, really learn about the town and what the problems are, what the people want and possibly what the people are willing to do. I couldn’t come into this town not knowing a soul and expect to get a successful project off the ground. Peace Corps projects are about getting the community involved and sustainability. Sure I could work on a project by myself everyday and when I finish I could say, “Look Fassardi, look what a guapa Americana I am. Look what I have done for you!” Sure they will appreciate it but no one will have helped me and no one will have learned how to help themselves once I am gone. That is not the principal behind Peace Corps, that is not why we come and live in a village for two years, why we learn the language, earn the same amount of money, eat the same food, wash our clothes the same way etc… Community participation is especially important for my job as a muni volunteer but Paraguayans have a history of a dictatorship working against them in this regard. This means the community has to get to know me and learn to trust me if they are ever going to allow me to work with them or expect them to participate in any kind of community activity. Therefore, I might not actually be producing anything tangible but this is all part of my work. It might sound nice and relaxing but it isn’t easy. I really have to put my neck out there and for a shy person that isn’t easy. Fassardi is small but I have a lot to learn and it feels overwhelming at the beginning. It is exhausting to speak in Spanish all day, exhausting not to understand the Guarani, exhausting to be experiencing everything new all day, exhausting to constantly be cold, exhausting to constantly explain why I live here, exhausting to feel lonely at times, frustrating, extremely exciting too…this week has been so many things. Maybe this can all makes sense in one experience I had last night.
I went to my first Fassardi city council meeting last night. I showed up at 5 o’clock and met all the consejales hanging out outside the muni waiting for everyone to show. We sat in the junta room in a circle, with the president and the secretary (my brother Reuben) at the head table. This meeting was different from the junta meeting I went to in JA Saldivar, it was a discussion about their town amongst friends, it did not feel political, formal or cold, and the junta meeting in JA Saldivar was all those things. They offered me a chair in the circle like I was one of them, a local Fassardena. I liked this set up already, it was very cozy and friendly. I thought this is how the junta of a small town should be. I told them I had come just to observe the meeting but that is not what they had in mind, they were extremely curious about me, the new comer, and asked me to present myself. So I told them about me and Peace Corps and why I was living in Fassardi. They asked me a lot of questions about my purpose here and what was my specific obligation. It turned into an intense interviewing session with lots of rapid-fire questions. It started to feel very very warm in that room all of a sudden. Their questions were nothing I had not experienced before, luckily Peace Corps training had put me in some similar situations and I felt I handled the situation great. They even praised my Spanish. However, all of their questions were very friendly and supportive. In the end they came to the consensus that I was an excellent addition to the community and they were very excited to work with me and to see what I could do. I felt really fabulous about the whole situation and then they switched over to regular business and I was lost in a sea of Guarani and something about the mayor and a lawyer….I really have no idea what happened the rest of the meeting. I sat their feeling extremely frustrated that I didn’t understand the Guarani and saw my future in front of me, an uphill struggle to still learn this language. I felt frustrated because I knew understanding these meetings is really important to my work, to understanding the town and its problems. This is the place where the town’s leaders gather to discuss its important issues, it doesn’t happen anywhere else. So in one hour I went from an extreme high to an extreme low. And that is exemplary of a typical day for me. It’s a rollercoaster ride.
I never expected this to be easy. I expect it to be hard everyday. I don’t think I would like it if it were easy. Even in the “low” times I know I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else. I have no desire to be back in the United States. I can tell Fassardi is a really special place and now it is my special place. And to anyone that ever wants to come visit me in Fassardi I extend an open invitation to you. If you are ever lucky enough to step foot on Fassardi soil I guarantee you will make front page news too!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Introducing Jose Fassardi

Note to Dale: I’m sorry my blog is “as long as the fucking bible” but you are just going to have to deal with it.

I now officially know where I will live for the next two years of my life. My town is called Jose Fassardi in the department of Guaira. The day of our site assignments my training group sat with our chairs facing the giant map of Paraguay that hangs on the wall in the training center in Guarambare. Our coordinator and assistant director, who have been preparing our sites for the last few months, stood in front of us with a stack of folders with our towns and names on them. They called out our names and placed a piece of tape next to our towns on the big map one by one. It was kind of a nerve racking moment to say the least, we were about to find out where we were going to live for the next two years of our lives. After the chaos of folders exchanging hands, I had time to go through my own folder and read about my town.
From my folder I know Fassardi is 4 hours by bus from Asuncion. It is a smaaaaaal town. 1500 people live in the center and 5500 live in the outside rural areas. I know it has electricity and running water. I know it hasn’t had a Peace Corps volunteer for 15 years. I know its economy is almost entirely agricultural and most people have sugar cane farms. I know the municipality, where I will be working, has only 5 workers including the mayor. I know I will have two counterparts, one is a man and one is a woman. And I know my friend Carrie will be in a town about 30 minutes away, which makes me happy. My friend Lyn is much further which is a big bummer. The folder also tells me more about the potential projects I could be involved in and what problems the mayor thinks the town has. That is pretty much all I know. As far as I can tell my APCD and coordinator really listened to everything I had to say about the kind of site I wanted and I had no reason not to be pleased.
The next day all of our contacts showed up in Saldivar. This was the day we had to meet the person we were supposed to work with for the next two years. Can you say awkward? They all walked through the door and had name tags on with our pictures on it, that is how they knew who belonged with who. That was fun. I will admit my first impression of my contact was not good. He is a tiny guy, very young, with a bad beard and a rat tale. He was screaming “which way to the disco?.” I couldn’t believe this guy was the general secretary of my muni, let alone my contact. I was less than impressed. His name is Luis, although everyone in Fassardi calls him Chici because he is so little. He is 25. We had activities planned for the whole day for the trainees and the contacts to get to know each other and learn about Peace Corps and how to help volunteers adapt to living in their towns etc… It was all still very awkward. Also, Chici spent the night at my house because Peace Corps budget is so low right now they can no longer afford to put up the contacts for the night. I wished they had sent my female contact instead. But he fit right in with all the young guys in my family. He went and hung out most of the night with the guys in the back in the “guy room” and I was left with my mom and little sister as always. So it was ok after all.
The next day we went to the training center in the morning for more Peace Corps training yatta yatta and then we were off to our sites. Carrie and I were planning to travel together since our sites were so close but we were having some issues considering both our contacts considered themselves young Paraguayan “studs” and were planning to take us back in their friends’ cars. Knowing how Paraguayans tend to drive, how young guys tend to drive, and how extremely sketchy it is to get into a car alone with two Paraguayan guys you don’t know…..we had some problems with this to say the least. But we were able to arrange to take the bus together from Asuncion using Peace Corps “rules” as an excuse as always. Those rules can always come in handy.
I stayed for 5 nights in Fassardi. I stayed with the mayor…..and his parents. Yes, the mayor still lives with his parents. He is 27….and girl crazy, therefore he was almost never home. So, I spent a lot of time with his parents, his dad is the ex mayor, and they are very sweet, but old and make a lot of unpleasant noises. It is not normal for the mayor in Paraguay to be so young. I have met a lot of mayors so far in Paraguay, and this is weird. He is a young guy that is always going out and doing god knows what. He comes home late and sleeps till 11 or later. Sounds normal for us but Paraguayans do not sleep late, they get up at the crack of dawn and milk the cow, take the bus two hours to their job, work on the farm, or at least drink mate with the family. On Monday morning when I left he was outside fiddling with his car when he definitely should have been at the muni taking care of business. I only saw him go to the muni once and I never saw him go in his office. Chici is his best friend from childhood and obviously got this job because Paraguay is still so nepotistic. Chici and Eduardi (the mayor) are quite a pair palling around Fassardi looking for chicks, I still can’t believe these guys are running the town, unbelievable.
Eduardi always greets me with a fist bump and asks me questions about the US and how to say things in English. He is smart and curious, two things I have a hard time saying about a lot of Paraguayans. He got out an Encycolpedia (He had one in his house!!!!) to have me point out where on the map of the US I lived. Thursday was Friendship Day in Paraguay. Kind of like Valentines Day but just for friends. To celebrate, Chici and Eduardi took me to their friendship barbeque that night. While we stood around and watched all the meat cook on the ground over the coals for several hours, Eduardi asked me how to say many many things in English. He asked me how to say ‘carne’. Which translates as ‘meat’ but here they refer to carne as just cow meat. So I told him we would call this kind of meat “red meat”. He practiced saying “red meat” a few times to himself. A few hours before the whole crowd sat down to a dinner of meat, mandioca and salty lettuce, Eduardi made a little speech, as all good politicians do, in honor of Friendship day. He said he felt blessed to be in the presence of such good friends on Friendship Day etc… Then he gave a special welcome to me and said he was very happy to have me here and welcomed me to Fassardi, he said it with such grace and it brought tears to my eyes. It was such a wonderful thing for him to do. Then we all sat down to eat. As he began to eat he looked at me and said very slowly and in English, “I likey red meat”. I try not to laugh when people try to speak in English but this was just too funny and I laughed my head off. I knew no one else knew why it was funny and I just wished another English speaker was there at that moment.
When we first got to the party we were sitting around the coal fire, inside, to warm ourselves while listening to the radio and chatting. I wasn’t saying much because they were speaking mostly in Jopara (a mix between Spanish and Guarani). Then I heard my name on the radio. Fassardi has a local radio station that the whole town listens to religiously that one guy runs out of his house, anyone can stop by and say a few words. So Hector, a secretary at the muni, was telling the whole town that Jenna, the new Internataional in town with the Peace Corps, is over at Rita and Oscar’s house for a Friendship Day barbeque. Then he listed off everyone else who was at the house. It took forever because Hector had to make a joke or comment about each of his friends. Then he came back to me and said a few more welcomes to Jenna the International. Only in a small town….
My first day in Fassardi Chici my contact took my around town to all the institutions to introduce me to the people. Fassardi has a muni, a church, a wood factory, an elementary school, two high schools, a health center, a police station, a social pharmacy, a library, a few stores selling the basics, two soccer fields, and that is about it in the centro. It also has 19 rural districts, called companias, each with its own elementary school. The muni is a very interesting place because it seems almost nothing happens there, and this is where I am supposed to work for the next two years. I have visited a handful of munis in Paraguay so far, most of them small, but none of them are like this. It seems its just a bunch of kids playing government. There is only one worker over the age of 30, but she acts like a kid just like the rest of them. The munis in Paraguay are only open in the mornings. They all close at the siesta and are closed until the next day. So if people aren’t doing much in the morning you can’t rationalize that they will get something done later. No, they go home and take a nap later. The first morning we went to the muni and nobody was working, just sitting around and drinking terere. Chici showed me pictures of his friends on his computer. Then the treasurer came in, she is 21, and it looked like she was actually doing some work. Eduardi showed up some time later, gave me a fist bump and then left again. I have no idea what he goes all day. Doesn’t seem very mayorly to me. He doesn’t even wear a suit.
The next day Chici and I showed up at the Muni around lunch time. Everyone was sitting out back drinking terere and cooking a chicken. We sat out behind the muni for 3 hours waiting for the damn chicken to finish cooking over the coal fire and then we ate lunch in the room where the city council members have their meetings. What a muni.
The health center is also a very interesting institution in town. It would be a scary place to go if you ever needed some real health care. The nurses were thrilled to meet me and excited that I might be able to work with them. One nurse, Chici’s aunt (everyone in this town in related, half are related to Chici) showed me around and I was shocked. The urgent care room had two plastic chairs and almost nothing else in it. The vaccine room seemed to be the most important room and the most valuable service they offer. Preventive health care is almost not thought of but so important and the nurses recognize that. The delivery room was very sad, cold and plain. It had one metal table in the middle of the room. All the paint is chipping, the walls are corroding, and the services are basic. On the plus side all services are free and they did have a room for family planning and all contraceptives are free, that is very cool, but not enough people take advantage of it. There are 6 nurses and 2 doctors. But the nurses do all the work, the doctors are only there for consultations and send patients to the district hospital in the capital.
I showed up at the health center again early on Sunday morning because the nurses had invited me to go around town and give vaccines to the people who still were missing their shots but they had canceled it because it had rained the night before. Everything here gets canceled because of bad weather because the dirt roads get washed out. I was really bummed about it but I sat and chatted with two of the nurses and after five minutes they had asked me if I would help them whenever there was a birth. They said usually only one nurse would handle an entire labor and delivery if it was at night (only one nurse on duty at night) or during the day if there were other patients and if they could call me to help they would be really grateful. I said why not. They asked me if I had seen a birth before. I said only a cow birth.
My main mission for this short visit to Fassardi was to find a family to live with when I returned. As of Sunday I still had not found a family. I was explaining this to Clara, one young nurse, and she invited me to live with her. She said she lived with her parents and had a spare room for me. Later that day I stopped by her house and met her mom, an extremely sweet woman who is very excited to have me. I have to say I am going to have a very sweet deal at this house, its definitely a step up from where I am now and quite a bit bigger, which isn’t very hard to do. I am renting two rooms in the front of the house. The two rooms are connected and the front room is sort of an office area. Its not really necessary but the two doors that lead to the outside and the rest of the house are in this room and allow me my privacy. So, I am going to have a lot of space which will be a nice change from what I have now. I haven’t met my new host dad yet. My host mom is going to cook for me too. When I left she said she is very excited to have a new daughter. So I have a new family waiting for me in Fassardi in two weeks.
My week in Fassardi was interesting, entertaining, unbelievable, and somewhat boring. There was a lot of down time and a lot of sitting around time. Paraguayans are masters of sitting and chatting or sitting and not chatting. And in a small town they are kings of the sitting and the chatting and the terere drinking. But, being in a small town means I am going to get to know everyone and they surely will all know how I am. I am the norte, the white girl, the blonde girl, I am one of a kind in this town. They all want to know me and ask me millions upon millions of questions. They want to invite me into their homes and give me terere or cocido (Paraguayan tea) and talk about food. They love to talk about Paraguayan food. I have had the same conversation about food over and over again in many different houses the last two and a half months. I am sure if you came to Fassardi and hopped off the bus in the middle of town and asked the first person, “where is the white girl?” you could find me within 10 minutes. Yep, I think I’m going to like it here.

The Birth of Torito

Last Tuesday night I was in the kitchen helping my host mom, Delia, prepare dinner when our milk cow, tied up right outside the kitchen, was making an awful lot of noise. Delia said the cow was ready to have her baby that night and I should go have a look. I flicked the switch and peaked my head out the kitchen door and around the corner and I saw one big illuminated cow butt 5 feet from my face with two small hoofs just peeking out from under its tale. Holy shit, I was not expecting to see that at all.
We turned the light off and my dad came out with a flashlight to watch the birth. My parents didn’t want to turn the light on because they didn’t want my little sister, sitting inside watching TV, to be aware of the birth and come running out to watch. Delia thought Diahana was too young to watch and would ask too many questions, which she didn’t want to answer. I didn’t necessarily agree with this. She is 10 years old. I think that she is old enough to know about the birds and the bees. At least cows’ birds and bees. Delia herself didn’t even watch, she thought it was gross, even though she has had two children.
The little hoofs popped in and out of sight for awhile and then the mama cow laid down and we knew it was time for business. I stood outside the kitchen with my dad and my uncles in the dark, in the cold, and the silence with only the beam of the flashlight and we watched the new baby cow slowly come into the world. After the hoofs came the tip of the nose and the tongue. Next the whole head appeared. It was all very silent, mama nor baby nor observers made a sound. When the rest of the calf’s body started to appear the mama cow stood up. There she was with half a slimy cow hanging out of her ass. At this point my host dad beckoned for Delia to come take a look. Her eyes almost popped out of her head and she screeched, “Dios Mio.” I can only imagine what a sight it was if you hadn’t watched the whole process. She immediately went back inside.
Then my dad and uncle, Raul, decided it was time to help and they approached the 1 ½ animals and both grabbed either side of the calf and pulled him out of his mom. Then they dropped him and he flopped on to the ground. And so a cow was born! It all happened surprisingly fast. Immediately the mama cow turned around and started licking the baby and didn’t stop licking him for about three hours. The baby was disgusting, not only because he was covered in birthing fluids but because he was born in the mud. The endless licking seemed pretty hopeless to me. The baby was flailing around in the mud, trying to stand up after about 10 minutes of life, and getting itself even muddier.
After the baby was born we called Diahana and let her come out and see the new cow. She was in love with that baby cow at first sight. Although she couldn’t stop staring at the mom’s ass with the umbilical cord hanging out and she kept saying, “how ugly is that cow’s ass”. So maybe she was too young to watch after all. I tried my best to explain what it was but my Spanish was failing me and I’m not sure she got it.
We stood out in the cold for awhile longer and watched the mama and her baby. Most of us went in side to eat dinner when Diahana came running in screaming that something big and round and disgusting had just come out of the cow’s ass. Delia just ignored her. That is a common Paraguayan technique, when you don’t want to answer a question just don’t saw anything at all.
The baby stood up after about an hour and then wandered around the yard like a drunken sailor. It was very cute and very funny. We were all very entertained. T
So, its not every night you get to see a new life enter the world.