Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birthdays, Stingrays, and Carrots, and Mata Vampiros

So this post will probably have to be a work in progress because I've only just found a good signal and it's almost nine at night and who knows when the signal will go out.  Is this Hawaii?  Is it Tahiti?  Is it Florida?  Close, really close.  But it happens to be Encarnacion, Paraguay.  On a beautiful day.  In the summer this beach is absolutely filled, bursting to the brim.  There's bands, there's food, there's beer.  But in the winter when the weather is actually still really beautiful there is nobody.  So you can sit on the beach and take photos and not be bothered by anyone.  

This is the sunset from the same beach as above.  I know I am posting an inordinate amount of sunsets on the blog.  I just can't help it.  There is something about a sunset from the middle of a continent.  I really don't know what makes them so stunning.  I'm sure there is something weather/climate related about why they are so beautiful.  In the ocean, in the mountains, in deserts, or in the city I have never seen sunsets as consistently beautiful as they have in Paraguay.  So alas, the photos will continue. 

Caught some freshwater stingrays.  This is the man who dd the catching.  He really wanted me to put "Vampire Killer" in the title of the post.  He wanted this because the teeth of the stingray look a lot like the mouths of vampires.  They have sharp fangs.  If you will notice the tail of the stingray is also cut off.  That is because like their cousin the saltwater stingray they have stingers on their tails.  Thus the name STINGray.  Here is Roque the Vampire Killer (or Mata Vampiro in Spanish) holding up his 12.2 pound stingray.  Badass. 

My host mother Antonia told me that twenty years ago before they put the Yacyreta dam in these things used to come out of the water at 30 kilos.  That happens to be over 65 pounds.  Imagine that for a second.  A 60 pound stingray.  Here's another shot of the two rays that Roque pulled out of the Parana river.  I just had to add another photo because they are so cool. 

We also celebrated my host dad Mario's 68'th birthday in the last week.  As I've said before he's a really cool guy.  Here is a shot of Mario and his three sons.  From left to right their names are Alcides, Fredi, and Dani.  Today they are more than just my host brothers and Mario is more than just my host Dad.  They are real family.  Happy Birthday, much love, and thanks. 

Mario on his birthday with his wife Antonia and their youngest grandchild, Adriana...

In future posts you will see more of this man.  His name is Justino.  He is a super hardworking farmer and he has taught me so much about how to grow crops using your own two hands, a machete, a hoe, a horse, and a carriage.  In this picture he is cooking the meat for Mario's birthday.  When I come back to the United States I am going deer hunting with my closest friends and we are going to cook a deer in the same fashion in the woods. 

Mario on his birthday with all his son's wives.  From left to right Lorenza, Theresa, and Noelia.  The kids are Adriana, Santiago, and Nico.  Good picture. 

I just happened to take this picture after my umpteenth harvest of carrots and beans.  I'm sure pulling a lot out of the garden these days.  Hippies might talk about living off the land but I am trying to do it.  Hippies, eat your hearts out!

I like ending the post with a classic shot.  This is a really cute photo of Adriana, Mario and Antonia's youngest granddaugter.  Beautiful child, beautiful family, beautiful life.  I hope to not ask for more than that when I am older.  So let's just keep it at that...for now.   


  1. i will always hate sting rays after they killed steve irwin. Death to rays!!!!!!

  2. i hadn't thought about the steve irwin connection. poor old stevie... i shall kill as many rays as possible. i hope they're endangered. kidding. a joke. only a joke.