I’m sitting on the floor in the airport in Sao Paulo, my various affects scattered in vagabond crescent around my crossed legs, with computer plugged into the wall, reflecting on the past 48 hours.

August 15, 2008, yesterday, marked the end of 62 years of singe-party rule in Paraguay. Having seized power in the late 1950s and maintained it through decades of dictatorship, chronyism, clientalism, and false reform, the Colorado party was, until yesterday, the world’s longest standing single-party power.

I went to downtown to watch the inauguration. Though the photos and videos I took can’t even begin to convey the power of this event, they are, as always, a start.

I was too far away from the stage to get a good photo, but Chavez, Morales, Lula, Kirchner, etc, are all up there (not necessarily in this shot).

Oh, hi Lugo!

One block outside of the central plaza…just in case. hundreds and hundreds of soldiers.

Si! Juro!

And just as a matter of side interest, this was the cover of one of the national newspapers this morning. Apparently Lugo and Chavez have become fast friends (for those of you who can’t read Spanish, Chavez is dancing, not being shot at).

Ordinarily airports make gourmet marinades for sentimentalists such as myself, but right now I am too exhausted, and my mind is in a different place. Paraguay will always have a special place in my heart. I am excited to be going home, but very sad to be gone. I can’t imagine a better way to leave her, though.