A recharge, from Paraguay

Reporting once again from South America – this time, Paraguay.  I’m here with my friend and colleague Gustavo, on a fair trade mission of sorts.  We recieved grants from the Public Service Center and Legatum Centers of MIT to seek out interest, collaborators and explore social entrepraneurship and sustainable agriculture in this burgeoning democracy.  Over the next 10 days we’ll meet with representatives from various farmer organizations, Paraguay’s Ministry of Agriculture, NGOs and social justice organizations, the Slow Food  movement,  and fair trade folks.  We’re hoping to play some humble role in unlocking Paraguay’s potential to create a more just, vibrant, and sustainable food system – and develop some pretty cool products along the way. 

an aside: My journey here from the states was an interesting one, to say the least.  After spending a week in New Mexico and 2 weeks in Egypt, I had 24 hours in Boston to unpack, wash clothes, and pack again.  As a landlocked and pretty remote country, there are very little direct flights from anywhere to Paraguay.  I flew from Boston to NYC, to San Salvador, to Lima Peru… arriving at the Asuncion airport around 24 hours later.  I don’t know if the jetlag from Egypt, general lack of sleep and water, airplane food, or a combination of all contributed to my deliriousness, but I had one of the most startling airline adventures. 

It began on the flight from San Salvador to Lima… I felt lucky to have an exit row with extra leg room all to myself, until a giggly couple slid past me to occupy the two seats to my left after the plane had taken off.  Fair enough, I thought.  But after dozing off, I awoke to find that the Mexican woman was sitting on the Argentinian guy’s lap, on the airplane!  Coddling, affectionate, and way too much PDA for my mood.  Afterwards, at the airport in Lima,  was in the waiting area when two men started moaning and collapsed to the floor… a crowd gathered, thinking that they were having simeltanous seizures.  After sometime the airport police dragged the two men away, and a sober officer announced that they had been undocumented in the country and were being deported – “Damas y caballeros, tenemos dos personas indocumentadas….”.  Among the crowd of observers was “Miss Peru,” white and red sash hanging over a skimpy dress and her 4″ stiletto heals.  We finally climbed onto this last and final  flight of my voyage, during which I passed out, and to the astonishment of the two older women next to me, missed the safety instructions, turbeulance, dinner, and the landing. 

But, I made it!  Woke up to fresh mango juice and cozido, a paraguayan tea made with yerba mate, burnt sugar, and milk.  Looking forward to a recharge and some inspiration on this journey!


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    mom said,

    Never a dull moment!
    Remember waking up on your bus trip in mexico with someone’s head on your shoulder?
    love u
    safe travels

  2. 2

    langelo said,

    Best of wishes and be careful! Much love and admiration. As always, be well!

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