Souvenir Shopping, Paraguay Style


Paraguay isn’t known as a tourist destination. However that being said, friends from Paraguay assure me its a beautiful country with really nice relaxed people.  Despite their endorsement, it is known as a land of exiled dictators, gun runners, possibly Al-Qaeda training camps and other sorrid, unregulated and tolerated  illegal activities.  So it would only follow that the  democratically elected president of Paraguay,  Fernando Lugo, is the former Archbishop (he left his orders) of Paraguay,  has just admitted to being the father of at least one of the several children several teenage girls are claiming he had  fathered during his priest days.  No impeachment here, just business as usual.  I think the thing that gets me about this story is that in this Latin American, prominently Catholic country, no one seems to care or believes anything should be done about it, but in the United  States, we impeached a president for basically having a blow job by another adult.  What is up with sex  and the American (as in USofA) culture?   I digress.

Anywhoo, Paraguay is a bit of a cowboy state, the perfect location for a boy’s long weekend.  My husband and two friends went to Paraguay for a despedida ( goodbye party) for one of the said friends, who after 5 years of trying to impose transparent business practices on unwilling Argentines,  is returning to the safe and predictable life of living in Norway.

So the idea was to go and get in trouble, but not so much trouble that they miss their return flight on Sunday afternoon.  The weekend starts with a 4 hour flight delay because a Paraguayan club futbol team gets hung up in BA and the plane waits.  This really pisses off my husband who has never been able to embrace the Latina concept of time and scheduling.  They arrive in Ascunsion at 5 in the morning and hit the ground running.  There is some discussion about  trying to find the colony Nueva Germania which was established by  Fredrich Nietzsche’s rabidly anti-Semitic sister and husband.   It is this point that details are sketchy and the narrative gets lost.  Good thing there are some artifacts to fill in the blanks. blog 003

So unless you are looking for contraband or cigarettes, there isn’t a lot to buy in Paraguay.  Apparently the boys  do visit some sort of local crafts fair because my husband purchases a really sweet table cloth and napkins with simple and elegant flower cross stitching.  Perfect for our asados.  He also buys me a very lovely in its simplicity, creche.  I decided to collect creches from each Latin American country.  I now have two, the other, one from Peru, is  in contrast fabulous in its riot of color.  I am very excited about this purchase.

The other two items in the above photos where not from a feria artesanal.  The hat is an actual police hat off the head of an actual policeman, who is apparently capturing the spread between the price a gringo is willing to pay and his replacement cost.  The license plate was purchased from the guy who for a price  cooked and housed these guys one night.  I asked my spouse,  “Like a hotel?” he said “not really”.  I didn’t ask what that meant.

I don’t need to know more, I am just thrilled with my burgeoning creche collection!

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About Elizabeth

Wife and mother of four. This blog is personal, political and hopefully relevant with a sense of humor. I got to have a sense of humor with the tough crowd I deal with everyday, and they cant even vote, drink or drive.

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