(Written on Wednesday, February 2, 2011)
I’m here! What a crazy day. Yesterday night at 11:00 we flew from Miami to Montevideo, Uruguay, had a 3-hour layover, and then took a small plane into Asunción. So much has happened that it’s difficult to process. I slept relatively well on the airplane (about as well as one can expect), then freshened up in the airport bathroom with the rest of the girls in my group. There are about 50 of us in all (and literally only about 10 guys), so the logistics of getting us all from Miami to here was a practice in controlled chaos. Luckily, we didn’t lose anyone and as of now, no one is seriously ill.
Once we arrived in Paraguay, our future trainers met us at the airport and helped us through customs. Unfortunately, some of the bags didn’t fit on the Uruguay-to-Paraguay plane, so there are people still waiting for their checked suitcases. After we got our legal/baggage issues under control, we divided into subgroups according to our jobs, got onto these funky retro vans, and made our way to a Catholic retreat center for the night (just for the record, the Peace Corps has no religious affiliation—we’re staying here out of necessity.) It is HOT and humid here, but I think I prefer it to all that snow ;)
We had a little break and then ate a meal of salty squash soup, a lettuce and carrot salad, and overcooked pasta with meat sauce. It wasn’t the best, but at least it wasn’t airplane food. Plus, I was happy to be sitting down with my group members and socialize. After that, I took a shower, organized my stuff, and generally chilled out.
Tomorrow we’re off to our training center. It’s going to be a big day—taking a language evaluation, trying tereré for the first time, and meeting my host family. Wish me luck!