We spent our first full day in Asuncion today. We were going to take
an early morning walk with Robert and Brenda but we had trouble
getting up so early our first day.
Robert had to prepare for a funeral in the morning. The founder of
his church in San Lorenzo passed away yesterday. They had to have
the funeral right away because they don't embalm here.
Brenda, Mary and I went to a shopping mall that has a farmers
market on Tuesdays. We found two booths that sell gluten free items.
Yay! We bought some bread things and some empenadas (beef and eggs
in a corn pastry). We also got lots of fresh fruit. And I bought
a cap with the Paraguay flag. So I later gave my "Jesus said Go
Fishing" cap to Robert. Robert joined us at the mall for lunch.
The mall has a food court but the food is real food, not like
the fast food at home.
In the afternoon we went to the funeral. Most of the family are not
Christians. Robert gave a great gospel message. At the cemetery
another CMA pastor also gave a spirited message. We met lots of
people who put up with my rusty Spanish, and they in turn tried their
shaky English on me ... I think they won. We met one girl who grew
up here and lives here now, but she went to a community college in
Redding for a year. She's now going to the seminary here.
The funeral was typical in flavor compared to others we've been to
recently, but it had a few oddities like the casket being welded
shut in the front of the church, in front of all the congregation.
After the funeral we went back to the house and they taught us
Progressive Rummy, a fun card game we'd never played before. Then
Robert had to leave for pastor duties, but the rest of us watched
the Tom Hanks movie "Ladykillers" on DVD. It was very funny. It was
about a batch of master criminals who were outwitted by an elderly
southern baptist lady and her cat.
Tomorrow we are supposed to visit a beautiful and huge Catholic
church. It's probably the closest thing to a real tourist
attraction in Asuncion.
Oh, Asuncion is the capital of Paraguay and the city where our
plane landed. The church is in San Lorenzo, a short way outside
Asuncion. And the house is in Fernando de la Mora, which is
between Asuncion and San Lorezno. Through the grace of God,
Robert and Brenda found a beautiful huge house with several
bedrooms that can be guest rooms. We are the only guests here
right now. This is much better than the best room we stayed at
while on our road trip around the US. Sitting on the porch
playing cards, or watching a DVD upstairs, it's hard to imagine
there's a third world country just outside your walls. But when
you drive around the city, it's more evident. But we haven't
seen anything really bad yet.