I just checked the calendar. I've already been here 8 weeks....how is that possible? In some ways I feel like I just got here and everything is new and foreign. In other ways it seems I've been here much longer! I've never been on a vacation this long, so I guess I'm starting to feel like I really live here...
I wonder if people at home still think I'm on a 2-year vacation. No, I really do work here. Even if my daily stresses are not the same as yours, teaching 22 10-year olds is still a LOT of work!
In the past 8 weeks, I have found my new comfort zone. I've started to learn my way around the neighborhood. In the past 8 weeks I have made great friends; friends I imagine visiting if they take another international job, or who I hope will visit me back in Colorado. Friends who will become my travel buddies. I have started thinking of Asuncion as "home." I have gotten to know 22 10- and 11-year olds, and their parents. I have gotten lost. I have been uncomfortable. I have had a lot of help. I have learned the sounds of my neighborhood, and I know which nights to wear earplugs (Thursday and Saturday). I've learned how to take the bus. I've felt stupid (a lot). And I've been grateful for kindness and patience. I've worked late, and I've slept a lot. I've watched. You have to watch, otherwise you wouldn't know how to get through a grocery shopping trip. I've learned some history, a little bit of Spanish, and a tiny bit of Guarani. I've gotten better and understanding giant numbers in Spanish, and mentally (or using my cell phone app) calculating the US $ value. I have asked a LOT of questions.
All in all it has been a wonderful experience, and I'm so glad I decided to come here. I'm optimistic about what the next two years will bring!