Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Brokedown Blues (Paraguayan Style)

I seem to have the worst experiences with my vehicles. Andrea and I purchased a Honda CRV from one of the previous missionaries and are quite pleased with it. But, it decided it wanted to make a trip to the mechanics, so it overheated and blew some hose. (In all fairness, it was 110 degrees that day). Then, Josh's battery died in his vehicle. So, we threw in the towel. We pulled out our "equipos" and sipped on terere until the tow truck showed up. We were having so much fun that Josiah decided he wanted to join us!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sacramento Brethren Present Us With Paraguayan Tradition

Sipping Yerba Mate is a Paraguayan tradition. Almost everywhere you go, you will see many people carrying around their "equipo" and refreshing themselves with the summer-time version called "Terere." They have been doing it for centuries.
The brethren at the Avenida Sacramento Iglesia de Cristo presented Andrea and me with our very own "equipo" and a bunch of yerba mate. An "equipo" has a "bombilla" (a perforated straw for sipping), a guampa (a cup), and a thermos (for cold or hot water).
After you prepare your guampa with the mate of your choice, you simply pour a little water into the cup, sip it through your bombilla, then repeat.

We are so thankful to be here and to be embraced by our Paraguayan brethren. Chau!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Progress Update: Received Driver's Licenses

Traffic is crazy and the drivers drive crazy in AsunciĆ³n:

Andrea and I received our driver's licenses! We are excited because it is quite an accomplishment due to the processes involved.

The way it works in Paraguay is this:
1) Upon arrival at the "DOT" (which is actually legal place for the municipality), you must select a "hestor." He is a person that will assist you through the entire process.
2) Once the hestor takes your name and info, he goes to the registrar(?) and then returns with a price to complete the process. (Our price was double what it normally costs, but, he said he could get everything done in one day - we decided that would be great)
3) He then proceeds with the paperwork which includes:
a. an eye test (from a worker who really doesn't care what you say as long as you answer)
b. pricking your finger to find out your blood type
c. a photo taken
4) then, you just wait until everything is complete and he brings you your license.
5) If all is good, you give him a tip (even though he is already making money off you) and you go away happy.
6) Upon returning to these offices for other documents, it is wise to always use the same hestor.

How's that for bureaucracy?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Team Update

It has been a busy week!

First of all, I apologize that our website has been down recently. We are praying to get that fixed real soon.

Otherwise, we have accomplished a lot this week. We registered the car and began the paperwork for transferring ownership. We signed up for language school and for health insurance. We are looking into car insurance, too. Andrea had an allergic reaction, so we made our first doctor visit this week. We had a team meeting on Tuesday and have been out to eat with most of the team members since Monday. We worshiped Wednesday night and today with the congregation. The members presented Andrea and me with Paraguayan mate and teas as a welcoming gift. The team gave us an "equipo" which is used to drink the mate with.

This week we will start our language school and look for a place to rent. We are so happy to be here!

Here is a video of a young man being baptized who had been studying with Enoch. His name is Raul Riveros and he decided to obey the Gospel this past Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hola de Paraguay!

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are doing great! We hit the ground running and are getting a little bit settled in. We have started the paperwork process to get our car registered and to get driver's licenses. They do things quite differently here. For example, a notary public basically handles all the legal stuff like tags, title, and plates. Even the inspection process was quite an experience. We are also working on getting our cell phones turned on. The next things on our list are getting insurance (car and health), then residency papers, and looking for a place to live.

Here is a little "Hola de Paraguay" video clip of the team reunited and ready to go to work: