Sunday, August 13, 2006

Day of the Child

We have arrived in Tucuman, Argentina and you´ve missed a few days so I´ll try and get ya caught up as quickly as possible.

On Friday we went to Aregua, a resort on a lake a little more than an hour from Asuncion. You can never imagine what it is like to leave that city, it never ends and it is tire shop after fruit seller after clothing store after tire shop over and over again, the bus drivers living their fourth or fifth of their lives with us in the back along for the ride.

We got there, after having driving down a dirt road for awhile. We got off at the church and I swear once the dust settled there was nothing except the church there that we had asked to be let off at. We walked down a dusty street selling the worst kind of ceramic frogs and stuff but at the end of the street was a small place selling fresh juices so we had one of orange and one of strawberry and two little pizzas. The lady was really nice and it felt great to get out of the sun for a bit. We finally walked down towards the lake and there bought some fruit from a lady and then walked to the back of her small house and there was an old lady she spoke to in Guarani who was painting small ceramic vessels. We bought one to give to our host in Asuncion, I snapped some photos and then we continued walking, past a couple of dead trains and finally the water. It wasn´t safe to swim in but nice to relax next for an hour and then we bought two large bottles of water and took the bus back into town, following the sunset the whole way, watching the day squirm itself into night.

We relaxed at Vivian´s for a bit and then when she got back, we went to dinner at the Paraguayan version McDonalds called Pancholos and then to a disco called Orishas where some cocktails were free and large beers served in champagne buckets cost less than a buck. We danced some salsa and were amazed at how some of the people could dance, absolutely unreal!

The next day we were leaving Paraguay, on the bus to Resistencia and there the waiting began. It was intense how long we had to wait at the border. The bus inched forward, as if unsure of if it wanted to cross, almost an hour sat there and then we got in one line at the Paraguyan exit, another to get the passports back, then another line to enter Argentina and then we had to get our bags off the bus and put them through an Xray machine. While waiting, we met a dude from Freiburg and also two American girls who had just finished their stints in the Peace Corps. We barely made our connection in Resistencia and we got on our nice bus to take us to Tucuman and the first thing we noticed was some chicks smelly socks, dammmmmn, it was like a guy´s locker room in the summertime. And that we were getting no food so we bought some at a quick stop two hours later only to be given food by the bus company about 3 minutes after that. It was airline style food and we had a couple of bites and threw it away because we weren´t hungry anymore.

We slept and I sweat in the leather seats and slept and we woke up at 7.30 this morning in Tucuman. Our host, Bernardo, was there to pick us up, god bless his heart and he brought us to his parent´s house. We have our own beds in a private room and his mom made us breakfast and then his dad drove us around town. He showed us the first sugar plant here in the area and then drove us into the hills for a view but it was gray and overcast so we came back. We bought some strawberries from a dude on the street, went home and I took pictures of the largest pig across the street from Bernardo´s house. Some gypsies live there and they were really interested in us being from Germany. And then we were invited to a going away barbecue of an old childhood friend of Bernardo´s who is going to Spain for two months on Thursday. We feasted on empanadas, I had my first mate, a hot tea drink the people are crazy for here and then we ate so much meat you wouldn´t believe it. there were about 15 pounds of beef and sausage for 25 people and salads and then cake, fantastic!

Now we´re in the city center, it is getting dark and we want to see the end of the Dia Del Niño, the day of the child. The park is full of kids playing soccer, eating stuff, with balloons and toys and parents and people selling popcorn and cotton candy and it is pretty fascinating. All right, gotta get going while it is still light, I will be in touch soon!

adios!

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