Update 5 -- 27th March 2006

Hey there everyone,

Well I am writing this time from General Aquino, but there was a lot of distance in between.

We ended up spending a week in Asuncion, because after getting the car fixed, there was another day & half of hold ups, plus we had to do a months worth of groceries, and you don’t travel here in the dark, so we needed to leave in the morning.

We made the most of our time in Asuncion, although it was hard to find things to do without a vehicle, but we endured a bus ride, went to the markets (see photos) and sampled quite a few restaurants/cafes. Spent a lot of time reading and killing time.

The last day we were in Asuncion (Friday) we had a huge downpour of rain and the streets became rivers!! Then the thunder & lightning started which resulted in the power off for a few hours. We decided to walk down to a cafĂ© on the corner for tea, which happened to be a main intersection & watched the cops standing in the “river” which was the road, trying to direct the traffic because the lights were out! After a while they got sick of it and left, and it was quite humorous to watch the intersection get clogged up and stuck and cars, buses & trucks went everywhere!!!

We left the next morning and traveled 2 hours on a sealed road, and then about 2 & half hours on a dirt road. The dirt road was only 45kms long, but was also contained lots of puddles, holes & other interesting objects. We also had to stop a few times because the car was again overheating.

We arrived here at about 4pm or after and unpacked everything from the very muddy car & trailer.

We encountered for the first time that night the huge range of bugs and beetles this land has to offer including big moths (I really don’t like these!) fireflies, huge toads, spiders and other creepy crawlies!!

Sunday we went to church, and spent the day relaxing, and today Monday was our first real day of work. The girls had school; Jon slashed long grass with a machete, & other jobs with the boys. My project is to sand, varnish & paint 16 little chairs & 4 tables for the pre-school. This kept us busy today and we are enjoying a bit of routine & work.

Jon is quite sun burnt & has a sore throat so we hope that gets better overtime.

I also had my first Spanish lesson today when Joanna & I went “down town” to buy an alarm clock.

My description & the photos will only give you a small snapshot of what it is like here, it really needs to be seen to be believed!!

Until next time,

Jon & Ruth Ellen Pirini

Update 4 -- 21st March 2006

Hey there everyone,

Thought I would send some photos this time, so they are attached.

We are enjoying Paraguay and think we have lost the jetlag problem so that is great.

Yesterday Frank spent at the mechanics workshop while the car is getting fixed. It looks as though it is the head gasket so it will be a big job!! He has to stay and watch them the whole time, as they may do something dodgy otherwise. We are just hanging at the guest house and killing time, as we have no vehicle, but it's been good just to relax, do some reading and hang out with my nieces and nephews.

I went to the hairdressers yesterday and got blond streaks in my hair. Cost me $10 NZ!! We are heading to the markets this afternoon on the bus, so that should be an experience!

Hopefully next time I write from General Aquino (the village Joanna lives in) if the car is fixed in time!


Jon & Ruth Ellen Pirini

Update 3 -- 19th March 2006

Hi there everyone again,

This time I am writing from Asuncion Paraguay! We arrived in Friday here about tea time, with no worries at all. After leaving the hostel we went out to Buenos Aires airport via taxi and basically spent the day there trying to kill the time before we boarded the plane. It is a very boring airport, and we managed to embarrass ourselves a few times, and make a few mistakes in Spanish. I think the funniest thing for us was going through the customs area where they scan your bags, and watching a women in a booth trying to play solitaire on her computer (she was obviously very bored) but it didn’t look like she actually knew how to play (I don’t think she knew we could see her) and kept moving the same card backwards and forwards!! Rather amusing.

Once we arrived in Paraguay we were pestered by people wanting to push our trolley, and although we opened our bags to declare some honey I had bought they were not interested at all and we got through without a hitch.

It was great to see Joanna and her family and also great to again speak in English. There car has a mechanical problem, so we will be in Asuncion to either Tuesday or Wednesday until it is fixed. It is much hotter here than in Argentina, and averages around 34 degrees, but it is not unbearable, although at times I feel quite lightheaded. We are pretty much over our jetlag, so sleeping and feeling much better.

Yesterday we went down town, and had a look around, and also saw a show being put on in the street. We came home for the cooked meal of the day and a rest, and then later on went out for a later light tea and a look around a mall.

Today we went to a church, which was great, friendly but I had no idea what was being said. We sang 3 songs, 2 of which I knew the tune of because they were English ones that had been translated. Quite an interesting experience.

I am enjoying Paraguay and really looking forward to getting up to Jo’s house so we can settle and be in one place for awhile. Our basic plan at this stage is once we leave here and head to London is to stay there for about 2 years, and then look to come back to New Zealand.

Hope you are all well, and we are enjoying getting the news from home, keep it up,

Until next time...

Update 2 -- 17th March 2006

Well we have almost finished out first leg of the journey here in Argentina. We leave our hostel this morning and head off to the airport to await our flight to Paraguay.

It has been an interesting time here, it’s definitely not a city that would be on my visit again list! The hostel has been good, and we have had free internet so that has been great, but not sure how well we will go with internet in Paraguay.

We haven’t really had a good impression of Argentina, because we have only been in Buenos Aires, which is a huge city of a population of 13million. It is dirty, old and quite poor. The streets have to be believed, the traffic is insane and the soccer is everything. There was a party all night long last night, as i think there team won.

Getting Jon's visa for Paraguay was a complete breeze, the hardest part was finding the consulate! But once we got there, we waited about 30 mins then had to come back in about 2-3 hours and we had it.

We tried out a restaurant for steak (photos on my blog) and did a bit of shopping, but other than that haven’t really been too adventurous. Trying to get over the jetlag, and learn a bit more Spanish!

Thanks to those who have emailed us, it’s been really good to hear what is happening at home,

Keep in contact


Jon & Ruth Pirini

Prayers Answered -- 14th March 2006

As I type we are winging our way to Argentina on Airbus 340. So obviously we got the required documents in time!

It was midday today we had to make the call to either postpone our flights or take the chance of missing them since we still hadn’t received our passports and Jon’s visa. 12:10 the phone rang to say they had arrived from where we needed to pick them up! Praise the Lord, and thanks to those who prayed, we felt very relieved and were happy to make our way to the airport knowing we were leaving today!

It was great to have Jon’s sister Geordie and her family surprise us by coming down from Kaitaia to see us off. Our parents were also there and Jon’s aunty. Although it was a bit sad, we were joking about having our names over the loud speaker to make our flight, and just our luck as we were boarding we heard our names!! I don’t know where time went!

We are about to have dinner on the plane, and we will arrive in about 9 hours time, which will be 1pm local time. We aim to head to our hostel and then the embassy for the last visa we need!! Will update you more then! Bye for now and thanks for your prayers

Um yip, so we are here, it is random, and I feel I think culture shock!! The plane flight was bearable, but I think I might have got about 2 hours sleep!!! We arrived in the rain, the customs was loose as, and very easy to get through, without even scanning one bag. No problems getting a transfer to the YHA hostel we are staying in, although Jon tried to hop in the front of the car, and almost got in the drivers side, as it is left-hand drive here!! The lanes on the motorway are just guidelines I think because they seem to drive more on them, than in them. All the apartment buildings look like lego houses, and things here are quite old, but so far the people are very friendly although they talk very fast and are very expressive.

Jon has just left to walk 10 blocks to the Paraguayan consulate, and as it is muggy I will have a shower, and maybe a bit of a rest, after all it is still today! (March 14th)

We plan to have these email updates with just what has been happening etc. my own thoughts/feelings and other info will be on my blog, the address for that is at the bottom of this email.

That’s all from us now,


Rufus & Jay