Monday, April 9, 2012

Worst. Week. Ever.

Good lord we're bored.

Last week was Semana Santa. For those who don't know, Semana Santa is a week-long celebration to commemorate some guy the locals call Jesus (pronounced Hey, Zeus!) and his rise from the dead.

Here in Paraguay, they pay homage to this zombie Jesus by doing absolutely nothing all week and eating cheesy bread. Government offices and area businesses shut down. Fields go unattended. Schools are closed. Dogs are left unkicked. The entire country is encouraged to take a break from work and spend time with their families. Which is all well and good, unless you're a couple of Nortes in desperate search of work and whose closest family is on another continent.

Roughly 24 hours into Semana Santa the stir craziness started to kick in. Since everyone else in site was pretty much on vacation for a week, we elected to create work for ourselves just to get out of the house. For instance, one of the world maps we painted at a nearby school was essentially finished. But, since we literally had nothing else to do, we decided to "trick out" said map.

We added the school's logo in one corner. Next, we threw in a snazzy compass. The entire map got an extra coat of paint. Everything was labeled and, sometimes, re-labeled. Out of sheer boredom, we started to go a little overboard. You know what would really spruce up Africa? A racing stripe!

Unnecessary map work only got us through two days of the doldrums of Semana Santa. We survived the middle of the week by feasting on a steady diet of running, crossword puzzles, full-on philosophical discussions with the cat and watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on our computer. And you were worried your tax dollars were going to waste here, America.

On Friday, things picked up a bit. It is Paraguayan custom to fast and only eat chipa on Good Friday. Chipa is basically dry, hard cheesy bread made in a brick oven. Starting at the crack of dawn (literally), we had neighbors lining up at our gate to give us some of their homemade chipa.

Carly and I decided to follow the local custom and eat nothing but chipa all day. This wasn't for religious reasons, we just had so much of it gifted to us and we forgot to buy groceries before all the stores closed earlier in the week. We gorged ourselves on the stuff. By the end of the day, we could hardly move. Chipa has a tendency to sit like a rock in one's belly. It became a struggle just to get up and answer the door when the next neighbor came a calling with another batch of chipa.

"More chipa? You shouldn't have. No seriously, you shouldn't have. I just took a dump the size of a football."

A crazy windstorm came from out of nowhere on Saturday and we lost power through the weekend. As if the week wasn't bad enough, now we were incredibly bored in the dark. It was pitch black everywhere and eerily quiet except for the gentle sound of Carly and I sobbing.

Time was moving so slow it actually felt like the clock was ticking backwards. And then on Saturday night, it actually did. Like some cruel joke, another hour was added to the longest week in history thanks to daylight saving time.

Easter Sunday was no better. We were still without food or power, but now it was cold and rainy. Add to that the random flying bug infestation that overtook our house and you have yourself the perfect ending to the worst week ever. The annoying-ass icing on a shit cupcake, if you will.

Thankfully, Semana Santa is now over. Paraguay is up and running again and Carly and I have some important work that is sure to keep us busy this week: we're headed to Uruguay for vacation.

Until next time, amigos.

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