I just want to make a minor modification to my former post, by means of photo documentation. While I may still wonder about some of the people the U.S. sends abroad in the name of peace and the country – I have come to have, over the last few days, a much greater respect for those volunteers. I just returned this evening from the Campo, (countryside, in Spanish,) which was a pretty profound experience overall. It was pointed out to me all the places the Peace Corps Volunteers live, or have lived in years past, and it hit me like a ton of bricks the kind of work they are doing and the circumstances they are doing it in. Leaving home for a solid 2 years, (+ 3 months training) to live in potential squalor, unless you are the one lucky volunteer I met this week who earns enough to rent a 4 bedroom house in your German-speaking village, (plenty of Germans to go around in Paraguay!) is pretty outrageous and definitely amazing. I know when faced with a similar situation about a year ago, I chose not to put myself through that particular experience, so I can only imagine the culture shock of arriving in a new place, where you are likely the strangest person every villager has ever seen or met, walking outside across your yard to use the bathroom which is also attached to the chicken coup, and living without electricity or potentially even running water.
Saludos and felicitaciones to all the 200 or so Peace Corp Volunteers that are currently based in Paraguay doing the best they can to help the people of this impoverished nation.