Valenzuela, Cordillera, 7.28.08 - So here I am in my little room. I would say that the morning was very productive. I think I slept too much yesterday during the day because it took longer to fall asleep and then I woke up at 12 and didn't really fall back asleep until 2 or 3 am. So I woke up around 7:30 am or so and finally started out around 9.
After stopping by the Tigo place to refill Na Nico's cellphone and confirming my appointment with Na Antoli to bake a cake tomorrow, I stopped by Na Pitu. We chopped it up for a little and then her cousin Frisi came back from wherever she had been so she hung out too. She pretty much speaks to me exclusively in Guarani; I would say that I understand 65% of what she says and the remaining part I either act like I understand or ask for clarification in Spanish. I clarified the directions to Na Rosa's house which, as she said, we very close.
Na Rosa was very happy to see me; her house is really nice too. She and her family live in a type of compound; there are several grandchildren in addition to her and her husband, her daughter, son, another son and his wife. I like the way it's laid out because it reminds me of the Aveiro fam. The grandchildren, Renzo (6) and Thania (5), are two of the cutest kids I've ever seen. They are so active and just run all over the place playing, yelling, arguing and being kids. Na Rosa and I sat eating oranges and talking about about my day, possible living arrangements around town and then she showed me the fruits and vegetables growing in her huerta. The huertas are extremely popular down here; I can't wait to start my own when I get my little house. She then introduced me to Rosi, her daughter-in-law, who is also on my list of potential families to stay with. Afterwards we sat in the yard chopping it up and drinking terere. I would say that so far Rosi and Fernando/the Riquelme compound is at the top of my homestay list. It's very lively and full of people, which can also be a bit tedious at times. I will continue to look at my other options and make a decision by Wednesday afternoon. I am going back there tomorrow for lunch so I can talk more with Rosi about the possibility. As lunchtime drew near, I excused myself since Na Nico was waiting for me, though not before eating a small square of pizza and yuca. I love the Paraguayans.
I set out on my walk back to the spot and on the way stopped briefly by Na Pitu's again to see another family member that wasn't there before and David Copperfield (remember him, Na Pitu's son) was there! I drank some more terere and talked about how great it was that I was going to be living in the community. We recounted my overnight visit some weeks ago and how we sat and drank mate the morning I left, saying how great it'd be if I ended up back here. And here I am.
I finally made it back to the spot where a tasty lunch of meatballs and rice with a tomato sauce and salad awaited. One thing I can say about Na Nico is that she's a good cook. However, I am not sure whether I want to live with her or not; since being here I have definitely missed being surrounded by more family members. I would also like a bigger living space. After siesta I plan to stop by another house or two to have more options from which to compare. Jahechata oiva (we'll see wassup)...