Where have I been?

I’ve been bad about updating the blog–apologies! I could make all sorts of excuses, but honestly, life has just gotten away from me.

Here’s a small snapshot of what we’ve been up to since I last posted:

Everyone in our office got sick. A miserable, clogged sinus, drink-all-the-tea-with-honey kind of sick. As a result, I had my first experience with an Argentinian doctor. I brought a friend along for translation purposes. I got some antibiotics, ibuprofen, lozenges, and cold medicine. It also took twenty minutes to try to explain what DayQuil is to a person who has never heard of it before. (Pro Tip: Call it by it’s brand name, Vicks, and explain that it’s a cold medicine from them.) Also, I was instructed to cover my throat at night to keep the blood moving. I’ve felt that the medicine down here is 80% normal Western medicine, and 20% homeopathic horse-hockey. There’s a lot of “drink this random mix of herbs so you get good vibes” or “do this to chase away evil spirits.” Not quite my cup of tea, but never hurts. T and I are still trying to fully get over the cold, so we’re still suffering through lots of bland food and increased water consumption.

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It’s fall in Ituzaingo, which means that the weather is beautiful! But, that also means that for days at a time, it suddenly erupts into violent downpours. Our little house isn’t well sealed, so even during normal rainstorms, we get a flooded kitchen. This time, it flooded all the way to the living room.  I also found my salt shaker entirely humid and with the consistency of play dough. After some internet sleuthing, I discovered how to remedy the situation–spread all the salt on a baking sheet, put in the oven on low, and give it about 15-20 minutes. Break up clumps, let cool, and it’s good to go again!

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We discovered a nice little nature trail near town. Someone just took a mower through the meadow and maintains it. We got about 10,000 steps just hiking around it a few times. We saw lots of birds, and even saw a little brown wild guinea pig!

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We’ve also started a new, fun tradition: One night a week, a bunch of our friends come over for dinner. I mentioned wing night before, but we’ve continued the tradition since then. Sometimes they cook for us–we have the larger kitchen out of the group, so they just bring the ingredients and cook up some delicious Argentinian and Paraguayan dishes. We’ve also been enjoying sharing some American customs with them. I spent a long time explaining the concept of brunch, and they love to challenge each other to eat a small teaspoon of the spicy Tabasco sauce. We had a spirited game of Uno this weekend–which actually ended up being a great cross-cultural game, since colors and numbers tend to be easy things to learn in other languages. The other thing we teach each other is dirty slang in each others’ languages. This week’s English lesson was “talking shit”–a phrase which was a big hit amongst the group.

We also managed to do some walking along the Costanera in Posadas. It’s a new, beautiful walk all along the river, which demarcates the border with Paraguay. The walk was partly a mission to figure out where the new train across the border was! Although it can take up to three hours each way to wait in line to cross the border by private car, we’re told that the train is infinitely shorter–and judging by the ease of access, we’ll be making a trip to Encarnacion soon!

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The Costanera area is filled with restaurants with beautiful patios that overlook plazas filled with public art. A lot of planning and time went into making this public works project–and it’s well-used by the local populace. There were lots of people sitting in the shade drinking mate, walking dogs, or just going out for a run.

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