by Connie Weinhold
Beauty & Art touches the heart
On route to Aregua on Lago Ypacarai merchants are lining the streets for miles with art, christmas figures, toys all to prepare for Christmas. It's on the beautiful lake and you feel a cool brise, get ice cream and a drink inmidst of flowers and colors. We eat in New Justin, a unique Paraguayan bistro with a parrot in tranquilla atmosphere. Outside the town we find Alto Aregua an Art Cafe with glorious paintings... I love the many beautiful blooming trees here, yes and not its Christmas here.
Very kind people, Christoph and Melani, have invited us to the Christmas Concert in the German Concordia community - that was just fantastic with Christmas music (video) and atmosphere, considering that temperatures are currently up to 90° F, but in the heart can you always experience this spirit. There was so much rain on that day that the roads turned into rivers (video). A mess everywhere!
Hotel tour in ASU: "Portal del Sol" simple, but recommended. "Hotel Maison Suisse" very many paintings, pool, run by a Swiss, nice & simple. We liked "Paseo del Arte" very unique, a former art gallery, which the owner has transformed into a hotel (pictures). It is reminiscent of Hundertwasser. "Villa Mora Suites" awarded in the middle of the city, tranquilla and elegant. "La Mision Hotel Boutique" is an exquisite hotel. Both close to Shopping Marcial, a wonderful location with good infrastructure. Club Deportivo Alemán is the German sports club in ASU, beautiful grounds with pool, event hall and tasty food. ASU has everything you need, all the shops, good medical care, great restaurants and culture, so we literally "stumbled" on the Oscar event.
Knowing the language is a real plus !!! We struggle and speak with hand and feet. I have now met a young lady who speaks English and German very well, she wants to help me to learn Spanish. We constantly explore. But whoever comes here, must also have considered how to live. We hear that it is not easy to find work. That doesn't mean that there are no opportunities to make money here. The Mennonites have a lot of livestock and dairy farming. We meet many people from USA, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland who own and leased an Estanzia here. We are working on our online projects, that is totally expandable here. Here people still read books !!! Not everything is online, even though the young people are as lost in mobile phones as they are everywhere - just as global.
Using Taxis is great for getting around, but language is also often a challenge, it's better you can explain exactly where you want to go, despite your cell phone. Still, most rides here in ASU are between $ 5-10. This is really great with the huge traffic volumne and you can get there and back very easily by taxi.
We are still living in the Westfalenhaus. The location is unbeatable. It's like an oasis for us and we make great contacts. We get to know many Germans, including Mennonites, who really help us to discover life and understand customs here. First, we want to rent something suitable. Then we think about what we can do next.
Yes, Christmas is coming, it is super hot outside, but we were even invited by CFA to spend Christmas Eve with El Pastor Herman and his dear wife Gloria at their home. We are overjoyed! Still, we cannot say that it already feels like home, but with so many dear people around us it grows warm around the heart. People help us in our search and that makes us people with the mission to help others in their quest! In that sense, a Merry Christmas to you and this thought of Peter Senge for your journey: "Mission instills the passion and the patience for the long journey."