May 18, 2011

Bicentennial, Paraguay-Style!

I've neglected my beloved blog lately. I do enjoy recounting the events of the day and putting down on "paper" things I want to remember forever. Lately, my days revolve around recovery and all thoughts seem to lead to the leg, and somehow I just don't think my loyal readers want to open their laptops and hear me whine. So I have avoided the blog like we avoid mosquitoes in dengue season (which, by the way, seems to be wrapping up).

Things are plugging along, though. We are getting more involved here in Itaugua, ministry-wise, as time allows. Most of our days start with a long commute to physical therapy, a few hours of what we lovingly term torture, the commute back, and then resting from the torture. By mid-evening, sometimes I have energy to get involved in other things, but sometimes I'm just done for the day. The family has been so good in not only filling in the gaps for the things I can't do right now, but also to "bring me this, get me that." I feel more than a little guilty for my lack of productivity, and the way I eat up the day for everyone else in this house, too, which is a little of the reason I don't always sit down at the computer and write about it. Saying it out loud (or typing it, I should say) kinda admits that this really is happening. Does that make sense?

I do have to tell you, though, what a privilege it was to be in Paraguay for their bicentennial celebration. For the past week or two, and especially this past weekend, the whole country celebrated Paraguay's 200th Independence Day, complete with town parades, concerts, school programs, military parades, fireworks, you name it. Unfortunately, I watched most of it from the comfort of my living room.

But as we drove to therapy each day, we really, really enjoyed all the preparations going on in each town. We passed the school kids practicing "parade-walking" on the street in straight lines, folks painting the Paraguayan flag colors on their tree trunk, city workers putting banners on light posts, street vendors selling bumper stickers and flags, military dudes lining up tanks at intersections and standing at attention with their guns, and flags hanging from every house or building in sight.

Last week I skipped out on therapy one day to attend the school's presentation. The students dressed up like war heroes, peasants, and "ladies and gentlemen," to show us the traditional Paraguayan dances and songs.

Afterward, we walked around the school grounds to check out the cultural booths each grade had set up. It was a great time to meet other parents and get to know the teachers and staff better, while sampling some of the typical foods and handiwork of the country.

These cool-looking folks with us are the pastors of the local church, in their traditional Paraguayan garb.

Even though we didn't physically attend the other events, most other Paraguayans did, it seems. Asuncion was inundated by folks who, according to the news, don't come often into the city. They were treated to many patriotic speeches, encouraging them to take pride in the country and do what they could to "leave the vices behind and embrace the good." There were many references to bettering ourselves spiritually. Help us pray that this time of wanting to renew the country will lead to a hunger not just for "spiritual things," but a hunger for God himself.

1 comment:

  1. Tell Senor Hagerman...Feliz Cumpleanos!

    (Sorry I don't know which keys make the upside down exclamation marks or the squigglys over the a's)

    Hope you feel like running a marathon again soon! ;-)


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