Yesterday, on America’s independence day, I was feeling very sick, and when you are sick you always think of home. However, all I could think of yesterday was Isla Pucu. I had been living there with a great family for almost a week and I really felt appreciated. It was almost as if this host family was my real one.
Arriving in Asuncion for the second time on this trip was a bit of a culture shock, however the people were just as warm and welcoming. Yes, of course here in Asuncion we got a different type of greeting than the one in Isla Pucu, but a greeting just the same. In Isla Pucu they played the harp for us and performed a traditional Paraguayan dance, and here we were welcomed with big houses and fun get togethers.
Today we really dove into our first day of work. We joined our respective groups (environment, sports or art) and we started to make a difference in the Santa Ana community. I am in the environment group, a group that mainly focuses on health and well-being. Our goal for today was to educate 7th, 8th and 9th graders about HIV and AIDS. Because children in this community don’t know much about them it was important for them. We discussed the different ways on how you can receive these viruses but also on the ways that you can prevent them. Although, I do believe that this topic is very important, I think the most important thing we are doing here is conversing with the kids. Demonstrating to these poor kids that we care is priceless and giving them an outside perspective is completely necessary.
Working within this community has been a great experience so far and bringing them close to the San Jose kids has been picture perfect. I know it sounds like a movie, but we are truly uniting two types of kids from two completely different backgrounds. Life in Isla Pucu was great but more people need our help and there is work to be done in Asuncion. We are now on a new adventure and this is a new learning experience for everyone. Not only will the two groups of kids from Asuncion benefit but we the Americans will greatly benefit as well. This is something I will never forget.