May 15, 2012
Happy 4th of July!
Okay, it's not really July 4th, but I couldn't resist that little stab at our ethnocentricity. You know we Americans tend to view everything through our own lens! ;)
What we're really celebrating is the 14th of May, Paraguay's Independence Day. It's been a rocky couple of centuries since they won their independence from Spain, including a slew of dictators, wars that stole big chunks of land and almost all of the male population, and a whole lot of oppression from within and from the outside world. But this country is like the little train that could. It just keeps on chugging. In the early stages of democracy, Paraguay is still struggling with what I can only describe as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. They still deal with the after-effects of generations of struggles, but they are a strong, determined people we're proud to serve.
So how did we celebrate Independence Day? Well, we didn't roast hot dogs or have apple pie, but we did cook up a big pot of chili and invite a group of teens and young adults to help us eat it. Contrary to popular belief, Paraguayans don't eat like Mexicans. Most don't care for spicy food and don't even add pepper to their meals. They like it fried and salty here. So we went light on the chili spices and set out a bottle of hot sauce for the brave ones. Some even ate a second bowl!
Happy 201st Birthday, Paraguay, and may God bless you with many more!!!