January 15, 2012
Tour of Paraguay
To take full advantage of showing her the face of missions in Paraguay these days, we took a week-long tour of missionaries. We made a big circle (well, more like a triangle), beginning with a visit to the home of Julie and Norberto Kurrle in Obligado/Hohenau. You may remember them from peanut planting, Bible training, and recently adopting a beautiful little girl to be Timmy's sister. They filled us in on the latest projects and plans, and treated us to a wonderful meal. I think that Julie is quite the cook anyway, as a successful homesteader, but her mom's visit coinciding with ours meant a double blessing, one that included German chocolate cake! We also got to see our old pal Michael, and hear about missions in Bolivia and bees in Obligado.
We spent the next few nights with a young family with three adorable little people, who work with the indigenous tribe called the Mbya. They were so kind to let us invade their apartment, and to take us on a tour of the neighborhoods where ministry is greatly needed. They are from southern Louisiana, so do I need to explain how tense the first night was, when LSU (their alma mater) lost the national championship for college football? The children were all dressed in their little LSU outfits, there were streamers all over the place, and they had cooked pizzas with purple (beets) and gold (corn) edible decorations. They are some serious fans!
It's pretty amazing how different things seem down there on the eastern edge of Paraguay. Germans and Mennonites (and sometimes German Mennonites) own large farms, so in place of so many oxcarts and skinny working horses, you see giant tractors, huge mega-stores where farming equipment is sold, and restaurants with German names. Many other nationalities call this area of the country home, as well. I felt like we were in the midwest US, with rolling hills and acres and acres of farms--corn, soy, yerba, that sort of stuff. Unfortunately, we're in the midst of a potentially devastating drought, and lots of the green was actually brown. It was still obvious that they have much more grass there than we do, though.
We ended our time there with a cookout at the Rio Parana, a big river that separates Paraguay from Argentina. And a great time was had by all.
That was only the first half of the week, so tune in later for the rest of our trip, where we hung out with the British and the Venezuelans in Ciudad del Este and Brazil. And click on Ruth's name above if you'd like to see pictures and more detail of our travels. :)