September 15, 2011
Dana Gets a Taste of Carapegua
Today I played tour guide and took Dana to Carapegua to see what all the hype is about. She got to experience our old stompin' grounds and meet the people she hears us talk about all the time. Okay, the real reason for the trip was a much-needed visit to the dentist, but I thought I might as well take advantage of a nice day and introduce Dana to one of the coolest towns in Paraguay.
We had lunch in the market, on the sidewalk beside a tiny room that functioned as a kitchen. Our friends' mom runs this little restaurant, so we caught up with her and got the latest on how their family is doing. It was a good day to see a lot of the young people who were regulars at our youth center, and even some of those who played in the Friday Night band. Then we visited with Silvia and Adolfo, who operate Metamorfosis, another youth ministry. They were showing "To Save a Life" in the public high school that day, followed by a chat with the students about the themes of the movie. While there, our artistic pal Ivan doodled some great graphics all over the top of my cane. After hanging with them a bit, we headed over to Susi's place. She's a merchant whose shop is close to our old house. I stopped in there a lot with her for visits, and Dana fell in love with her like I did. She's one of those I feel like the Lord has begun a work in, and I pray someone comes behind to water the seed.
We planned to leave in time for her to get back, rest a few, then teach her twice-per-week community English class. When we'd said our goodbyes and loaded into the car, no go. It wouldn't even make a click noise when she turned the key. I called a few mechanics and started trying to figure out what the problem might be while she called to cancel English class. Once the fix-it man arrived, it turned out to be a minor electrical problem (phwew), but we'd already wasted enough time that she'd never make it back for class.
Plan B. If we don't have to hurry back, let's explore some more. So I took Dana to the first place we lived in Paraguay--Arazaty. This is the rural place that still holds our heart, and some great friends. There was a soccer game taking place when we drove up, meaning most of the community was out and we could do a lot of introductions all at one time. My friend's little boy, who is typically EXTREMELY shy and nervous (4 years old) was just ecstatic because we drove up in Dana's VW Bug. His mom said that's his dream, to ride in one. Dana promptly put him in the driver's seat and let him wiggle the steering wheel. I wish you could have been there. This little shy fella who only understands and speaks Guarani was just SQUEALING with delight. Since he was already wearing his backpack (he wanted to show me that he'd started school recently, for the first time), I asked him if he'd like to show Dana where his school was. I got a prompt no, until I mentioned that we could go in the VW. What a treat!
When it started getting dark, we thought we'd better get out of Dodge. Good thing, because on the hour-and-a-half trip back, something in the car gave out. We were stranded on the side of the road. This time we were closer, so Ken just came to tow us home. Despite the car woes, it was great to show Dana a part of Paraguay she'd not experienced yet, and to visit with our friends there.