I had the best day that I’ve had since I’ve been here last Saturday.
I got up at six in the morning so that I could ride the bus for the first time. We met at the church at seven, and had to walk for about ten or fifteen minutes to get to the place where the bus was. Transportation here is crazy. It costs about two mil, or two thousand, guaranies, to ride the bus. That’s roughly forty cents. I had to take two buses to get to the city where the youth event was and it took about an hour and a half. I really kind of liked the feel of the bus. The wide turns, however, were not so pleasant. I kept thinking that I was going to fall out of my seat.
The youth service was pretty great. Not that I could understand anything while they were singing. As usual. But the sermon was illustrative, so I could actually kind of follow along, which was a nice change.
Afterwards, we headed over to the Christian school in this town and there was a volleyball court set up on some concrete, a table with some food, and goats. Goats, wandering around out in the middle of the field. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but soccer here is about as crazy as football. Therefore, I was getting quite an education in soccer. That is, what team I should cheer for, which happens to be Cerro, I guess. I don’t know anything about that team, but apparently they’re good, I guess. I got to see some real Paraguayan futbol (soccer), too, because there was a game going on at the bottom of the field. It was fun to get to see all of that, too, but the people are crazy. It is so much more competitive here than there.
After getting to watch some futbol, I got to see some more sights of Paraguay, which was great because I haven’t really got to see much since I’ve been here. We went to Villa Hayes, which is a town across the bridge that goes over from the Central department (departments here are the equivalent of states) to the Chaco department. The bridge crosses Rio Paraguay which is a huge river that divides the country. There are four districts on the Chaco side, and thirteen districts on the Central side. If I got that wrong, forgive me, this was a few nights ago, and that’s what I remember. Rude comments on how I don’t know anything about the country are not appreciated. Anyway, this bridge is a mile long and I have no idea how tall. You can see the skyline of Asuncion from the top and at night it’s all lit up. It’s really beautiful. We went to the town of Villa Hayes, which happens to be named after Rutherford B. Hayes, who signed a proclamation granting the land for the town or something along those lines. There’s a big memorial to him there, so Debora and Gonzalo, who are the people I went with, showed me the memorial and wanted me to read them the proclamation in Spanish, because they don’t speak English, and couldn’t read it. Unfortunately, it was in very slanty cursive and in old language, and I just don’t speak that much. So, it didn’t work out well. After this, we went down and looked at the river. They told me about how when the church was first started, there was no bridge and people had to come across in boats. Also, apparently, there’s a sinkhole that people believe sucks people under and they pop up on the other side of the river. That’s encouraging.
Oh, and while we were at the church at Villa Hayes, a lady came over and said there was a monkey in one of her trees. A monkey. There’s something you don’t see in Ohio. It was pretty awesome. And apparently they do have them frequently here. And parrots. I keep forgetting that I’m in the tropics.