Update 9 -- 26th April 2006

Week 7
Hey there everyone,
We are doing well here and just coping with the very hot weather we have at the moment!
Yesterday it was 38 degrees in the sun, and 33 in the shade!!
We have completely finished the soccer field although it still needs leveling, and also
finished painting the windows. The doors have been hung, so I suppose the next job
(apart from the playground and volleyball net & poles) will be to put the last coat of varnish
on them. There is lots here to keep us busy.
We are off tomorrow on a bit of a sightseeing trip, which will include the largest falls in the
world and also the largest hydro-electric dam in the world, plus a night or two with the
Ache Indians and also a look at some Jesuit ruins. We aim to be on the road about 2 weeks in
total. We will take our laptop, but the email maybe sporadic.
Last weekend we took a trip out to the country to visit Frank's great uncles, who live in a
small cottage (see photos). We also got to see firsthand the making of a thatch roof -- very
Other than that, not much to report, we are keeping well, attempting to make plans for our
trip to England. Once we get back from this trip around, it will only be about 2 more weeks
before we leave.
Thanks for all the news we get from home, it is really good to hear how everyone is going.
Until next time,
Hasta la vista

Update 8 -- 20th April 2006

Week 6

Hey there everyone,

Hope you all had a good Easter. Over here the Easter break is quite a big thing, religiously and family wise. A lot of families get together for this time.

We had a few trips away during the long weekend. We drove out to the port (river, not the sea!) and went for a ride on a boat. I was desperately trying to see a crocodile or piranha but I had no luck. We also visited a few people plus a trip to Friesland for groceries. My sister also had her birthday on the Friday, plus one of the next door neighbors had his on the same day, so we were invited over there for a Paraguayan style BBQ to celebrate (see photos) with all the extended family. Jon especially enjoyed the interaction with the people, and spent a bit of the weekend with the boys over there playing chess and volleyball. We were also going to go and visit Frank’s uncle, but on the Friday night (just as we were running back from the BBQ as fast as we could) it started to pour with rain & we had a massive electrical storm -- the best lightening & loudest thunder I have ever heard & seen! Because of this the roads were really bad, so we didn’t go out the next day, although Jon & Frank went and put a tarp on the roof (see photos) of a guy who is paralyzed and his roof was leaking because of the storm. It actually got quite cold after that, and we had to put on a jumper & long pants!

Work wise we have finished the varnishing of the doors, and this week we have measured, mown, & marked both a volleyball court & soccer field (see photos), and we have enjoyed using the soccer field, yet to get the net sorted for the volleyball court. We have also painted the table tennis table its last coat, and been painting the louver windows in MEGA.

MEGA is coming along quite well, (see photos) and is not far off being ready for the pre-school to start. We have enjoyed the physical work, and learning things as we go.

Next week we are off to visit I think the biggest dam in the world in Brazil, Iguacu Falls, and the Ache Indians. Should be really good.

When we get back our project is to start the building the playground!

We are well, although suffering from insect bites, and I dropped a glass jar on my foot last night & got a few small cuts! But otherwise we are good and enjoying the change, lots of good books and time to talk and chill.


Well it has been another week of learning Spanish- and making mistakes. This week’s funny was when I was trying to say that “this is my brother-in-law”, instead I managed to say “el es mi hermano epeleptico” meaning this is my epileptic brother which brought a bit of a laugh.

Hasta luego,

Jon & Ruth Ellen Pirini

Update 7 -- 12th April 2006

Week 5

Hey there everyone,

Another week, and another dollar, or is it in our case another week, another few dollars spent!! Actually here there is very little to spend our money on, so that is good. We are just enjoying doing and being here with not much stress!

I have finished sanding, painting, sanding again & then varnishing the tables & chairs (see photos) and now both Jon & I have started oiling & varnishing the 10 doors for MEGA. Jon had sanded them all by hand before this! (I will include photos of MEGA and its progress next week.)

We have been playing soccer a bit (no-one really wants us on their side tho, cos we are useless & it comes so naturally to them!) and Frank has just completed the legs for the table-tennis table, so I'm sure that will become a fierce competition soon!

We had a little visitor to our bedroom the other night (lucky Jon found it before we went to sleep) in the form of a little frog (see photos) that could jump a mile high! We attempted to catch it with a container and Jon thought he had it when it jumped on his arm & he screamed (I did as well just for effect), then Joanna managed to get it & put it outside. Phew, glad it didn't do that during the night! Although these little ones are quite harmless, not like the big toads.

Every morning & night me & my little nephew (he's 2 and a half) go "og" (his name for frog, but he actually means toad) hunting. There are 3 that we know where they live, so we have named them Fred, Mack & Wooster and check on them everyday. He is quite good at spotting them and gets very excited when we find them. I pick him up so as not to get too close tho, because if they feel under attack they will shoot stuff at your eyes that if it gets in them will make you go blind. So although it keeps him (& me) occupied I make sure it's at a distance! There name in Spanish sounds like "Gestapo" so that's what I have named them!

We have met a few people around the town, and it seems that the conversation seems to go something like this: Hola! Then if I'm not with Jon, the next question is, "Are you married to which I answer yes, then the next question is do you have any children, to which I answer no. Then they ask why!! So I tell that we are still practicing! They then carry on to tell me some story about how they never had the chance to do that, or that they were pregnant 1 month after getting married, and all this other stuff. It's quite amusing really.

GRINGOS (foreigner learning Spanish) CORNER:

Today I (Jon) tried the traditional "sopa". It is a bread type dish made in that outdoor oven in the photos. Anyway when I left I said "gracias por el sapo" which mean thanks for the toad! LOL.

Anyway, that's enough for this week, we are well, the Easter break here started today (Wed) and is until Sunday, so we may do a few different things. Let you know about it next week!

Until next time,

Jon & Ruth Ellen Pirini

Update 6 -- 4th April 2006

Hey there everyone,

We have had one week here now, and have enjoyed getting into routine and settling a bit into "everyday" life.

After the initial shock of hard physical work to Jon's body of machete-ing a field of grass (in the heat) he has adjusted, is feeling better and enjoying helping out with the building & cleaning up of MEGA (Multi Education for General Aquino) & it's grounds.

I have finished sanding & painting the tables & chairs, and will be varnishing them in the next week.

We have meet some of the locals, had an exciting trip to the Mennonite colony (called Friesland) on a very muddy road, and been introduced to more of the bug life (see photos).

We are gradually getting more understanding in our Spanish, and keeping well. It's not too hot here, nothing we can't handle.

It has also been good to have a break and take a step back from our lives in NZ and re-assess what is important to us, and dream about our future.

The field that Jon spent some time cutting (& taking the hay away) is now been able to be used for soccer, so tonight was the first game. Apparently it's a daily occurrence after work is over for the day, so that should keep us fit.

Hope you enjoy the photos, and that it gives you a bit of a visual idea of what it is like here,

Until next time,

Jon & Ruth Ellen Pirini