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

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