Here is a excerpt from my journal. Unlike most, I journal to keep track of events and interesting times. It also cuts down on the creation of blog material , hence the reason I like it so much. Also, in a effort to achieve better readability and clarity in the presentation of my blog posts, if there are any errors, either in typing or in the sentence syntax and structure, send me a private email. Por favor y muchos gracias. Please and thank you very much for you non-speakers of Castiallano.
Sunday 4: Got up and chored, mainly I milked the cow. Then I slept for about a half hour. But once I’m awake, it’s hard for me to fall asleep again. So, I got up and started having devotions when my phone rings. It was Armi telling me that there is a transfer coming up. Yippee! On saturday, I had said that I wished I’d get one ‘cuz I couldn’t think of what to do to keep myself busy. A transfer is a half hour of work, if not more. So I found Mark, who was wiping the remnants of sleep from his eyes. He had previously said that he’d go along on a transfer if it happened in his time here. The dad of this particular unborn had to go somewhere for something, which gave me time to inhale some breakfast and get some cold water for tea. This transfer wasn’t urgent but I still drove down to the clinic. Good timing as the man had come back and within 5 minutes we were on our way. Normally, the transfers go to the hospitals in Camp 9 or Caaguazu. But today we headed to Conel Oveidio, which is over a hour away from the clinic. Arriving in town, we went to the I.P.S. Hospital, which is a government-run/sponsored/staffed or something. Not sure which. Mark and I waited outside as the other three, the couple and Armi, disappeared inside the building. Even though we waited a solid, if not more than, 15 minutes, the wait was pleasant. I’m discovering that the best way to amuse a Paraguayan is to start talking to him in Castiallano and then move the conversation into a lets-learn-Guarini session. The guard outside the door was a pleasant fellow and even though he did teach Mark and I a Guarini word, he didn’t teach it well enough for us to remember ‘cuz I forget what it was. It was the Guarini word for money. Coming back, we could have caught the closing prayer at church but decided that it wasn’t worth it. Lunch was down at the clinic. In typical Paraguayan manner, the food was empanadas and mandioca with ketchup on the side. Even though we eat it so often, it still manages to slip, in various bits and pieces, down the throats of those doing the consuming.
In the afternoon, Keith Eichorn came over with some of his German guests to visit the clinic or more specifically, and much to her chagrin, Joanna. She had met them on her latest trip down and as a result of a extended layover in Sao Paulo, got to talking with them. In the course of the conversation, the town that she worked in and one of the towns that they were going to visit was revealed to be the same. The head German fella knew Mark Eichorns from before and had been to Paraguay a time or two before but this was the first visit for his two buddies. He, German #1, lives in Cologne and is a zookeeper. His claim to fame was that he had been the first European to work at the Itapiu Zoo. As a result, when he saw the monkey cage, he thought it was utterly barbaric and said that the needed more space and trees to climb. After receiving the translation through Keith, I couldn’t help laughing. I told Keith that they make for better stress relief in a smaller cage. He too thought it was funny but the German zookeeper didn’t find it as humorous, though he did smile. That afternoon was about as frustrated as I’ve been communicating in another language and it made me realize how much Castiallano I really know (here I interject that I don’t know enough). But in Castillano, at least I can make a accurate guess as to what the are saying and know roughly where the words stop and start. Even though the sounds were the same crossing the P.A. Dutch/German barrier, it was still foreign enough that I got lost quickly. But I got a charge out of this guy all the same. He told us how he filmed some ‘half-monkeys’ in Madagascar. His talk reminded me of something that Snopes would be iinterested in but he said that he would send us the DVD that he made as proof. Well, in that case and provided that he pays for the shipping, of course! So in about 2 months, maybe I can see these creatures in the third person. They left and I tried to study but soon gave it up.
Monday 5: With Mark having quit and Joby being interested elsewhere, namely the deepening of his special friendship, I was the only maintenance guy on call. A busy day. I finished the new ‘casa de mono‘ or monkey house to put that back into English. Now I have to paint it. About 0800, Samuel’s electricians showed up to do some work, part of which was expected and part that wasn’t expected. They did the unexpected first. When Ray Stutzman, a name familiar to all of us staff, was here a couple months ago, he was so impressed with the rope lighting that Romans have at their house in Belleza that he got ‘board approval’, and around here, that is ‘carte blanch’, to install it in our pavilion. Interesting, great and cool. He had told someone that it was coming sometime so technically this wasn’t unexpected. So the part that was unexpected was that the bill was to be sent to him. Even better. Now I’m desperately racking my brain, trying to figure out how to get A board member to drive Mark Eichorn’s new van. I have a couple more months till delegation so maybe I can come up with something.
The rest of the day, the electricians worked on putting in a new transformer for the clinic. Come on down and I’ll explain why this is a improvement on the place here.
later and in need of food,