It Was A, Beautiful Day Off In the Neighborhood…

Yellows, and greens, and blues, and browns, and greys and hues that ooze beneath dilapidated woods.

The roots have taken again in this fertile land of Paraguay.  It’s been about a month, and the nostalgia of leaving to go home, spending a month in L.A. and coming back here has dissolved.  It’s now spring/summer time and the flowers are, proverbially, blooming.

Upon returning, we hit the ground walking, briskly.  We started student counseling at the local high school.  Out of about 300 students, about 100 signed up.  They were able to talk about their future plans, issues that they are dealing with and just have a one on one on one conversation; these are kids that usually don’t get the opportunity to express themselves.  It’s crazy that something that is taken for granted in the states can have a lasting effect on the students here.  There has been positive feedback from parents, teachers and students.  There was one student in particular with whom we barely even said a word!  This student just needed to vent; with tears and smiles and deep breathes; there was lightness in the air afterwards.  We received a thank you, but we literally didn’t do anything.

Through doing this project, we think that we’ve found one of our passions; and that is working with kids/youth.  There are not too many opportunities in life where you’re able to get instant feedback from your work.  Either teaching, tutoring or counseling (or some combination of these things) will be in our future!

Next in line is a project that was underestimated during the first year; basketball!  There wasn’t an urge to start this because it didn’t seem like it would be worth it.  But looking at it now, something new can always spark many innovative ideas.  The wood was cut, the metal was worked, the net was tied; todo casero!  Out of all the years playing basketball, I never thought that these hands would construct a rim and backboard!  Though, I’d be a fool not to mention the real heroes of this endeavor.  Isi (pronounced E.C.), the carpenter, helped me choose the right wood and cut it for me.  Humberto (one of our close friends) recommended the treatment and paint for the wood.  And Louis…

Louis is a very gifted, yet unconventional, mechanic/carpenter/metal worker/philosopher/you name it!  He’s the type of mechanic that has all of his tools and his projects all over the place; but he knows exactly where everything is.  He makes his own tools when he needs to and always has this wise smile on his face, like a guru.  He told me (while we were braiding the net for the rim), “Paciencia es la madre de virtud.”  It was so simple, so elegantly spoken; accompanied with that quirky smile.  I felt like I was a pupil of a master of some sort.  Measuring with his squinty eyes, he put together two, impeccable, basketball rims that will see a lot of action during the summer.

Once we finish (and find a new camera because we forgot ours in L.A.) we will be
sure to post pictures!

Everything’s great out here, it’s heating up and there is this eternal glow (or sweat layer) on our faces!  Nine more months, that is all that we have left out here! We plan on taking advantage of this once in an, every chance we get, opportunity!

With much love from Paraguay!

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