Friday, August 7, 2009

Communism and More Pleasant Subjects

I had one of those conversations today that just gives you the chills. Something that in the United States, I probably would have shaken off and gone, "Oh, that's not good." We were talking about a friend of mine here from Venezuela. She's having a baby- and is due on my birthday, actually- and her parents planned on coming down around that time. For those of you who don't know, Venezuela is a little bit of a wreck right now and in the past few weeks, things have gone from bad to worse. Her parents are no longer able to get a visa, as it turns out, and will not be able to come here. The Birs also told me that 34 radio stations were shut down there next week.  The situation in South America is not good. You all probably knew that South America has its problems, but when you're living next to a country that just took out a $100 million loan to buy arms from Russia (like me, living next to Bolivia), you start to care about these things. Now, don't all freak out about me. I'm okay, and there are no immediate threats to Paraguay, but the possibility is out there someday. No time in the immediate future, and probably not for several years, God willing. It's just terrifying to think that someday the friends I have made here will possibly be put into a situation like that. The situation is personal now, and I'm not liking it. I don't like how close I am to this situation, but at the same time, it is a rather big wake up call to me as to just how clueless I am about what is going on in the world and what people go through. It's another one of those reminders as to just how good I have it living in the United States.
On the other hand, here's another thing you don't have to worry about (usually) in the United States. We all complain about the traffic jams and crazy drivers plugging up the roads, but when was the last time that within the course of two days you had to wait for a herd of cows and three horses to get out of the road so that you could move along. Our roads are pretty awful here anyway, and waiting for differing varieties of cattle to pass you by is a fairly regular occurrence. I've been trying to get a picture of the cows since my first week here.
This picture I took especially for Michael, because Ben 10 is a big thing here, and he happens to love Ben 10. You all benefit, though, because you get to see what a Happy Meal is in Spanish. Technically, it translates into  "happy little box".
The best part of the day had to be Bro.Bir going to the post office. I have received not one, but two packages today. My parents sent me a box about a month or so ago, and it just got in last week. There were amazing things like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Dove Chocolate inside, not to mention a season of Bridezillas, Napoleon Dynamite, a lizard from my brother (no, not a real one), and a dried rose that didn't quite survive the journey, as well as a picture from my sister,  among other things. The surprise was that my second box was from my Non-Dancing Australian BFFFFFFFFFF (don't ask), Carolyn. It was really a padded envelope, but I'm writing this post,  not you, so I'll call it what I want.
There was a lovely note that got me all teary eyed and a Twilight bag, which was, let's be honest, absolutely amazing. Good ending to a day full of Communists and cattle, if I do say so myself.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Although Carolyn's awesome present came through in a week, things usually don't happen like that. Mail usually takes about five or six weeks to get to me at the moment, and I've been having some problems getting it, so if you could please hold off on sending me stuff for the time being that would be great. Emails are awesome, and I love them, but mail right now is a little bit of a hassle. If things get better, I'll sound the all-clear and let you know. Thanks for understanding!!

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