In the spirit of the project, and kicking things off…I figured I would repost this:

I arrived in Asunción yesterday. The past 36 hours have been a blur of airport terminals, incomprehensible languages, and sleep in hour-long intervals. Leaving Durham was bittersweet, and I wish I had been able to stay for just a few more weeks. That said, this place is truly incredible, and I can tell already this summer is going to go by too fast.

I have moved into a house with all of the other interns who work for La Fundación Paraguaya. This house is more or less what you would get if you multiplied MTV’s Real World by the United Nations. It is packed full of young, excited students – all new to this city – living together, working together, cooking and doing dishes, etc. Except instead of being obnoxiously loud and self-absorbed borderline-alcoholics as per MTV, these kids are real.

They have come from all over the world, and the only common language is Spanish. They came here because they want to learn about microfinance and sustainable development, so imagine people who are smart and serious about making a very concrete difference, but maintain a penchant for long, flowing skirts and unruly facial hair.

The house itself is a relic of these people. I opened my closet and was greeted by a note-card pasted to the shelf that will remind me every morning that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” There are two books on the coffee table in the living room – “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and some microfinance manifesto entitled “The Change Makers.” Both are equally worn.

This bodes well.