**Note: I'm on a US government computer, so I can't do accent marks**
I'm an aspirante no more!!! This past Friday, 47 education and health trainees swore in as Peace Corps Paraguay volunteers at the US embassy in Asuncion. In a ceremony that lasted about an hour, we all raised our right hands and promised to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States againt all enemies, foreign and domestic. Then we ate cake.
Now I can officially say "Che voluntaria Cuerpo de Pazpegua" instead of "Che aspirante Cuerpo de Pazpegua." It's a good feeling. I'm relieved that training is finally over, although God only knows what I'm going to do once I get into San Pedro. I arrive during Semana Santa, which is going to be a mixed blessing. I'm in the interior of the country, and apparently there's a mass exodus during this time of year so people can spend time with their families over the Easter holiday. I don't have to jump directly into work because everyone will be off from work. Instead, I'll probably learn how to make chipa with some of my neighboring senoras. (Chipa is Paraguayan cheesy bread made from mandioca flour. It looks vaguely like a bagel and, in my opinion, is un-delicious.) It's a tradition that the people in Paraguay eat chipa as a fasting item between Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday. After the holiday, I'll be spending about half my time in the schools and the other half trying to fix up my living situation. My rooms need a lot of work (floors, paint job), but I'm sure they'll be super lindo once I'm finished.
So far, I've had a great weekend filled with shopping, eating at restaurants, and hanging out with my amigokuera. Tomorrow a new adventure begins.
In honor of swear-in, I'm going to post the lyrics and a link to "Che Paraguay," a traditional Paraguayan song. We sang it at our good-bye ceremony with our host parents.
Oiménepa ko arapype ndéicha iporãva tetã
ojeguapava yvotype omimbí ha ojajaipa
tovena ku pyharerö tajahecha pe jasy
arapeguaramo guaicha omysãi ro iñasaindy
Che Paraguay rasa harã
ndaipori chene mamoveche
Paraguay ndeve ha'e rohayhuve cada ko'ë
Pejuna mombyry guava pehechami ko tetã
katuetei pejuhuta tory joayhu ha vy'a
ko'ape jeko ymami Ñandejára oiko oguata
ha ipyporépe oheja hetaite mba'e porã