April 9, 2009

Spring Break? Nah.

I love Semana Santa! That's the official name of the week before Easter, aka Spring Break if you're from North America. Except here, no one's packing up their bathing suits or lying in the sun or having wild parties in the wee hours. They're spending time with family, making chipa (CHEEP-uh), and preparing to celebrate our Lord's death and resurrection. I like the feeling the week has here.

School is only closed Wednesday-Friday, but Tuesday was a pretty laid-back day where class time was interspersed with making chipa. Chipa looks like a doughnut but tastes like a smoky rock--unless you eat it fresh out of the outdoor brick oven, called a tatakua. They are the most popular food in Paraguay, in my opinion, and it's very common to see women with large baskets full of chipa balanced on their heads, selling them for about 25 cents each. (Incidentally, those ladies are called chiperas.)

The chipa is the food of choice because it doesn't have yeast, so it's the Paraguayan version of unleavened bread (Passover bread). It's baking in all the ovens around our house as I type this, and my neighbors tell me that tomorrow, the families will pretty much only eat that. Freddy has gone to his parents' house so that he can spend the day tomorrow "in meditation about my life." Well, maybe that means I should be on the hammock all day tommorow, in meditation as well. Yep, I'm going to adore Good Friday this year!


  1. About the wild parties, Christie, I have heard that today along with the asados, there is supposed to be a lot of drinking (alcohol I mean). Tomorrow is the day to think and eat chipa, but I think it may be more of a day to get over the hangover of the night before (of course that would not include our evangelical friends who don't drink). Interesting the different perspectives, huh?

  2. The day of quietness is so odd to me. Venezuelans do not have quiet days, ever.


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