Thursday, January 05, 2012

To the Chaco

Over New Year's weekend I had the opportunity to explore a different part of Paraguay--well outside the city!  I couldn't help but think of my dad the entire trip, as it reminded me of the type of land he has always dreamed of.  Not only could we not see the closest neighbors, we couldn't hear them either!
Some of my very good friends from church invited me to go with them to visit their grandma.  I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into--but when each one of them replied "Repellant" to my question of what to bring, I should have gotten a vague idea.  It was a nice change of pace for three days, and while I was happy to see the city again (and clean water), I really enjoyed my time in the Chaco!

I thought Angier, NC was remote--but we were on a dirt road to Grandma's for over 125 km/77m!

Grandma is 75 and runs a farm with the help of one ranch-hand.  She has 80 head of cattle, and here she is feeding an orphaned calf.  (She also scaled the fence to get to where she was like it was just a stepping stone!)  

In 1999, I went to MissionFUGE and ended up on a work crew where I was elected to scrub out a horse trough in a remote field.  Ironically, this weekend, I found myself scrubbing out a very similar water tank!  I kept thinking "My mom is going to laugh so hard when she sees this!"

Each afternoon held a short siesta

The Chaco is known for it's arid-ness--we made our own mud in the process of cleaning the water tanks.

I did better at fishing this time than last year when I went fishing with a friend in Missouri.  This was my sole fish--a little piranha!   Sadly, the other fish just ate my bait, and this one would have been the same.  He was just chewing the meat and when I jerked the line out of the water he went flying behind me.  I had to go look for the flopping piranha!

We climbed trees to collect pomelos--a local citrus.

And we collected...ahem..."fertilizer" to take back to the city.  Here Grandma is showing us how to do it!

This was my room for two nights.

I really enjoyed my visit to the Chaco, and Grandma invited me to come back any time!  (I think she's secretly hoping to get her water tanks cleaned again...)

Check back soon for some non-people pictures of the Chaco.

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