September 21, 2009
I've had my first official birthday overseas, and it was great. I really enjoyed all the email, facebook, and text message well-wishers. 79 of my facebook pals dropped messages--what fun to read them all! I really wanted to plan a little party, but the painter is still pretty much taking over the house, and we're still in a state of semi-chaos. We expected a few people who said they'd drop by, though, so I asked Ken and Saul if they'd make their now famous pizza, and the girls and Amber hooked me up with a double batch of brownies in place of a cake. "A few" turned into a total of 16, so it was a good thing they made that double batch. What fun to have an unexpected houseful of fun, though!
Our parents and the girls' godparents from Charleston sent a little mad money (THANK YOU!!) and I put it together to get patio chairs for our upstairs balcony. These chairs (picture below) are very common in Paraguay--quite ingenious, too. Each chair is an iron frame with rubber-coated wire wrapped around it enough times to make a back and a seat. Kinda like those old-timey lawn chairs made of the nylon-weave sort of ribbon. The kind my parents used when I was very small, and my Granny (the original frugal woman) rewrapped when they'd finally give out. Well, these are the Paraguayan equivalent of those lawn chairs, except they don't fold up and I think they're a bit more weather-proof. The openness of the design lets a little air flow through--a must in these here parts. (Doesn't the tile on our upstairs wall make you dizzy?)
The set comes with four chairs and a little table (wherein one puts his terere when one is seated on the patio). If we start school early enough, we can get out there and have "outdoor" class before the sun is baking us. I'm really enjoying being able to sit outside and enjoy the breeze in the evening, and Ken has made it his favorite spot for morning devotions. And if Caroline or Camille go missing, they are most likely up there reading. I think this'll turn out to be a birthday gift we'll all enjoy!!