A Saturday Morning In Paraguay

“Should I take a year off to travel with my family?” would be the question that, for obvious reasons, caught my attention on a popular Q&A website a couple days ago.

To be honest, the poor bugger sounded like he already knew the answer: despite a decent job, he and his wife were busy working long hours and, as a result weren’t spending nearly as much time with their kids as either would’ve preferred. In addition, he even recognised that the sum total of all his hard work seemed to be little more than the accumulation of ‘crap’.

It was clear he was in search of validation for that gnawing feeling in his gut.

“Should I take a year off to travel with my family?” would be the question that, for obvious reasons, caught my attention on a popular Q&A website a couple days ago. To be honest, the poor bugger sounded like he already knew the answer: despite a decent job, he and his wife were busy working long hours and, as a result weren’t spending nearly as much time with their kids as either would’ve preferred. In addition, he even recognized that the sum total of all his hard work seemed to be little more than the accumulation of ‘crap’. It was clear he was in search of validation for that gnawing feeling in his gut. I dove in quickly and started giving a brief overview of our past almost four months in attempt to provide whatever last vestiges of convincing I thought would be enough to get him across the line. But, as I did, something didn’t feel quite right and I’d put the ‘project’ on the back burner for reasons I still wasn’t really even sure of. But then something happened to give me my answer. Something that reminded me that details such as the names of towns, itineraries and incredible sights, great though they were, really was just missing the point. That something? A simple Saturday morning (our fifth since arriving). Five whole weeks isn’t exactly operating in dog years but, considering how we once wondered how we’d pass the school-less weekend hours here in Podunk Paraguari, apparently it’s been long enough. Long enough for us to have become comfortable enough with things to actually look forward to Kaia’s days off from school. Exactly just how comfortable, being demonstrated with the words I actually heard myself utter to Bec this past Friday night before turning in. “Ah, it sure will feel good to not have rush off and be at school by one.” Yes, apparently, reassimilating ourselves back into modern civilization may take some getting used to. But, until then, we still have a bit of time on our hands and never more so than on the weekends. And it’s a fact, we’ve come to realize, we couldn’t be any more content with, even if we tried. Because even here in sleepy Paraguari—landlocked, extremely limited in culinary options, watering holes and badly lacking in variety in food shopping as it is—there is, apparently, enough of something to get us by. A something that was hard to put my finger on at first, but something I knew revolved around being able to bask in drawn out family morning playtime in bed, multiple, lazy cups of tea in the sun and watching as Kaia stoked her creative inner self with markers and water colors. It explained why something as simple as flour, oil, a dash of yeast, salt and water in the form of chapattis tasted as rewarding as a brunch at a Michelin starred establishment. Or why lemonade, freshly squeezed with the help of Kaia’s marker stained hands, with the sounds of obscure music gifted from old friends filling the air in the background, felt like an intimate concert for three. Regardless, as they say, all good things must come an end and, as it was approaching 1pm on the day in question, that meant only one thing. It was time to put some pants on. That daily chore ticked off the day’s to do list, into town we’d head for our weekly ice cream shop visit before, for something a little different, for a stroll up nearby Cerro Pero. Atop what can only be described as a uniquely shaped war memorial, we’d be greeted with a cool breeze and stellar panoramic 360 degree views of the town we’d been calling home for the past five weeks. We could see it all. The church steeples in the park where most school days saw us having our lunch after our 40 minute walk into town. The corner where Kaia’s school was located. And, with just a minimal amount of effort, our lovely residence on the outskirts of town, snuggled comfortably against the base of Cerro Negro. And with the majority of our Saturday rapidly draining away we could also see the big picture as clearly as the town all around at our feet. That image being the answer as to why a year off to travel with one’s family made perfect sense. The truth was it didn’t have a thing to do with destination. Paraguari had taught us that much. Of course the answer was time. The glorious, blissful luxury of time. The time to really focus on and enjoy the things that really matter.I dove in quickly and started giving a brief overview of our past almost four months in attempt to provide whatever last vestiges of convincing I thought would be enough to get him across the line. But, as I did, something didn’t feel quite right and I’d put the ‘project’ on the back burner for reasons I still wasn’t really even sure of.

But then something happened to give me my answer. Something that reminded me that details such as the names of towns, itineraries and incredible sights, great though they were, really was just missing the point.

That something? Little more than a Saturday morning in Paraguay (our fifth since arriving).

Five whole weeks isn’t exactly a long time but considering how we once wondered how we’d pass the school-less weekend hours here in Podunk Paraguari, apparently it’s been long enough. Long enough for us to have become comfortable with things to the point we actually look forward to Kaia’s days off from school.

Exactly just how comfortable, would be demonstrated with the words I actually heard myself utter to Bec this past Friday night before turning in. “Ah, it sure will feel good to not have rush off and be at school by one.”

Yes, apparently, re-assimilating ourselves back into modern civilization may take some getting used to. But, until then, we still have a bit of time on our hands and never more so than on the weekends. And it’s a fact, we’ve come to realize, we couldn’t be any more content with, even if we tried.http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/IMG_3794.jpg

Because even here in sleepy Paraguari—landlocked, extremely limited in culinary options, watering holes and badly lacking in variety in food shopping as it is—there is, apparently, enough of something to get us by.

A something that was hard to put my finger on at first, but something I knew revolved around being able to bask in drawn out family morning playtime in bed, multiple, lazy cups of tea in the sun and watching as Kaia stoked her creative inner self with markers and water colors.

It explained why something as simple as flour, oil, a dash of yeast, salt and water in the form of chapattis tasted as rewarding as a brunch at a Michelin starred establishment.

Or why lemonade, freshly squeezed with the help of Kaia’s marker stained hands, with the sounds of obscure music gifted from old friends filling the air in the background, felt like an intimate concert for three.

Regardless, as they say, all good things must come an end and, as it was approaching 1 pm on the day in question, that meant only one thing. It was time to put some pants on.

That daily chore ticked off the day’s to do list, into town we’d head for our weekly ice cream shop visit before, for something a little different, for a stroll up nearby Cerro Pero.  Atop what can only be described as a uniquely shaped war memorial, we’d be greeted with a cool breeze and stellar panoramic 360 degree views of the town we’d been calling home for the past five weeks.

http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/IMG_3799.jpgWe could see it all. The church steeples in the park where most school days saw us having our lunch after our 40 minute walk into town. The corner where Kaia’s school was located. And, with just a minimal amount of effort, our lovely residence on the outskirts of town, snuggled comfortably against the base of Cerro Negro.

And with the majority of our Saturday rapidly draining away we could also see the big picture as clearly as the town all around at our feet. That image being the answer as to why a year off to travel with one’s family made perfect sense. The truth was it didn’t have a thing to do with destination. Paraguari had taught us that much.

Of course the answer was time. The glorious, blissful luxury of time. The time to really focus on and enjoy the things that really matter.

 

 

 

 

 

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