Monday, February 23, 2009

MY house :)

After almost three months of living in my own house, it's starting to come together very nicely... I was lucky to find a house that was fully furnished and in good shape. What happened was the owners of my house all moved to Spain to work, and they had to leave the majority of their stuff behind, but a lot of their family was worrying about their house because it was "solito" with nobody to take care of it. The climate, bugs and little creatures in Paraguay quickly invade and start to permanently damage the houses here and it's a lot better situation for the owners if they have someone to take care of the house, especially someone responsible like me :)

So I ended up talking to the owner's sister and she was very happy to let me live here, for FREE! well, I do pay for water, electricity and for lawn maintenance...but it comes out to 25 bucks a month. When I first moved in there were lots of frogs and lizards and spiders and all that good stuff, but now they are slowly moving out, but I still have a good many...but it's kind of inevitable.

Anywho, it still kind of looks like "grandmas house" considering all the furniture and pictures are still up from the family that lived here haha, but i am starting to put a few of my own touches to the place that is making it feel a little more like my own.

The part of my house that I'm the most proud of right now, is actually in my backyard. Me and two friends in the span of two hours made a compost pile out of bamboo and a type of metal wire (alambre in spanish). I hope that it will turn into some good soil in the next couple months to start my garden when it starts to cool down!

My Bedroom (Everyone is jealous of my floors!)

Living room/Dining room --The most grandma of it all...

An eclectic mix of my things and those left by the family..The plastic fruit and the picture of the last supper is theirs, and I added the books, flashlights and med kit haha (and some pics of the fam)

I have a nice bathroom, and one of the only shower curtains I've seen in the country! (I'm so spoiled)

Kitchen, with some nice new appliances and a semi-wash machine that makes your clothes smell better but doesn't actually clean them haha, but I use it anyways, but usually after a little handwashing..

My pride and joy-my compost pile! before I cleaned it up and filled it up! ...too bad I never got to get to the garden part...maybe next year?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yes, I'm still here!

I know it's been a long while and I should've upated this a billion years ago, but I figure now I actually have something to update you on. So after my 6 month mark in site (February 9th) I've finally done something successful in site, that is on a community level, and not just a personal one. Well, technically WE did four somethings successful... I'll explain.

Some of my closest volunteers consist of Laara, Jenny, and Andrew (who lives in a rural area that is technically part of my town, whether they want to admit it or not!) We ended up doing a three day camp in a rural part of Laara's town, a full day camp (including lunch) in Jenny's town, a two-day camp in Andrew's part of town, and ended summer camp season with a three day camp in Altos! Every camp was trying to give the kids something fun to do over their summer break while educating them a bit about the environment and the importance of taking care of the environment. Because I'm selfish, I'm just going to explain the highlights of my camp :)

Age Range: 6-14 years old

Participation: 35ish students daily

First Day:

We talked about TREES

-we all planted Cedro seeds in recycled milk boxes (20 or so of which came from my house, because I drink an insane amount of milk) and talked about the how to take care of them and they all took them home with them

-We had a theatre group perform a skit about DENGUE which involved General Fly and Dr. Clean hahahaha, I have a little on tape that I will try to upload!

Second Day:
We talked about ANIMALS

- we made bird masks that the kids were able to take home

- I started talked about the food pyramid until I basically got booed off stage (I consider that a highlight! a learning experience haha)

-played the deforestation game, which is always a hit :) (Some people are trees, animals, and humans, and we see what happens to the animals when the humans cut down all the trees)

Third Day:
We talked about TRASH and it's affect on the environment

- We did the decomposition line activity--they each have a peice of trash and they have to place it on the time line to show how much time it takes that peice of trash to decompose.

- We talked about ways to REUSE their peices of trash, since recycling isn't really an option here..and reusing is better anyways.

Everyday we sang songs in Guarani and Spanish and played games to get them up and moving!