July 11, 2012

Was St. John an Indian?

Probably not, but when we refer to an uncommonly warm period of days or weeks in the middle of winter in Paraguay, rather than call it an Indian Summer, we refer to it as St. John's Little Summer--Veranillo de San Juan. I forget about it every year, but it comes like clockwork and is explained by meteorologists as a phenomenon related to subantarctic cold fronts. Yeah, that clears it up, huh?  This year it came the last week of June and first couple of days of July. Considering that our move to Encarnacion was planned for July 1, this couldn’t have happened at a nicer time.

MOVING DAY:  Camille and I bought bus tickets to catch the early morning ride (left the station at 5:30 AM) and get to the rental house before Caroline, Ken, the dog, and the moving truck. We gals wanted to give the house a thorough cleaning before putting all our junk inside it, so we figured we’d catch the first bus out, which also happened to be the least expensive. Turns out it was also the most ghetto and left more than an hour later than scheduled. We didn’t have any way of knowing that and stood on the side of the road for an hour and a half hoping we’d not somehow missed it. Normally, these longer distance buses are clean, comfortable, and climate-controlled. This bad boy was full of slime and grime and standing room only, as well as what I can only describe as the odor of a dirty diaper soaked in vinegar. I spent the ride with my sweatshirt covering my nose, something I try never to do in public, but saw as the only way to avoid vomiting.

Upon arrival and a good deep breath, we figured out the internal bus system, made it right to the house, cleaned it, and lay down on the cold tile floor for a break. We thought the moving truck and the others would arrive an hour or two after us, but it turns out our moving guy was legit. This dude was half the price of any other companies we contacted, made sure we had the proper paperwork (which, incidentally, was requested at various police stops along the way), and took his sweet time getting here by observing the speed limit. I tell you, I was totally shocked. That's just really uncommon.

And 3 of our friends—nice, strong men from Itaugua—decided to ride along with him to help us load and unload. What a real blessing they were!  They all arrived late that night, Niko a little worse for the wear of riding in the VW all day.  After unloading everything, the friends and the mover guy turned around for the 5 hour trip back to Itaugua, while we spent the first night in our new place.

 The next day was a little cloudy, but that helped with the heat we’d been experiencing the last week, so we didn’t mind. We got everything inside that shouldn’t be in the elements and unpacked all the boxes before the bottom dropped out that night and the rains came in. Since then it’s been ridiculously cold (we can see our breath in the house) and wet and yucky.

 THANK GOD that San Juan Veranillo fell just right this year and we got the packing, transporting, and unpacking done just in time. Now we’re setting up house, meeting neighbors, and finding the hotspots for youth. Thank you all for the prayers about our move—the Lord kept His hand on us and sent us great help!! :)

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