Wednesday, October 24, 2007

23 years young

I had a great birthday here. On Sunday a group of us went to a nearby town called Ità. It is known for having a Nazi buried in their graveyard. They also have a large pond in town with some small alligators, I took some pictures of them. We walked around town and explored, but because it was Sunday most stores were closed except the restaurant/bars.

My evironmental education training group went together and bought me a guampa and bombilla which was super cool. Now you are probably asking yourself, "what is a guampa and bombilla??"

A guampa and bombilla are essential for Paraguayan life. The guampa is basically a cup, it could be wooden, wood with metal, or made out of a hollowed out cow horn. A bombilla is the metal straw you use to drink out of the guampa, it has a strainer at the end so that you don´t suck up the little particles of yerba mate when you trink your terrere or mate. What is terrere and mate? Terrere is mate served cold, mate is a tea type drink. You buy it in a bag of loose ground leaves, and there are tons of different variations. Fill the guampa about half full of yerba mate, and add hot or cold water depending on the weather. This daily ritual is extremely Paraguyan and you will see people drinking their terrere all day long no matter what they are doing. Part of the terrere is crushing up fresh herbs to soak in the water that you are pouring into the guampa and there is a whole cultural science behind the herbs you use and the health benefits they provide. There is something for everything!

Monday (my real birthday) my host mom cooked up a great meal of gnocci. After that we just hung out and talked for a while. My language is getting to the point where I can have limited conversations in spanish/guaranì with the help of my best friend the spanish-english dictionary.

No comments: