Living in Paraguay is an adventure in and of itself, but some things are more adventurous than others, one of them being going somewhere by myself. Every time I’ve been here in Paraguay, I’ve never ventured out on my own for several reasons: I don’t speak Spanish fluently enough, I don’t know my way around, I’ll admit I’m slightly nervous about being by myself here and finally, there’s been no need when we’re on vacation. Now we’re living here and trying to live life as normally as possible. Grocery shopping, getting gas, doctor’s visits, going to the mall, etc…normal things. Part of normality is that I’ll need to get places on my own, which for now, can’t involve driving or taking the bus, so that leaves walking.
Being the only non-driving adult in the house and waiting on someone to take me places is getting pretty annoying. I miss the freedom of driving to the grocery store to grab some things, or driving myself to an appointment or to see a friend. I forgot how that freedom feels and it harkens me back to my high school days when I didn’t drive and everyone was my chauffeur. All my friends had their licenses before me and now I feel the exact same way.
Okay…my pity party is over.
So anyway, last week my sister-in-law came to visit from Chile for the weekend and it was so nice to spend some time with her after 4 years! The second day she was here, I decided to venture out on my own to Pueblo, the grocery store/mini-mall/one-stop shop for most of what you might need. It’s only a 4-block walk. My sister-in-law dropped me off since she was going that way anyway and once I got in to the store I realized I was on my own. After having to lock my purse in an oversized red canvas anti-theft bag, I walked around with my wheely-basket looking at everything, touching everything, picking things up to read their labels as best as I could and putting a few items in my basket. It felt weird being on my own for the first time in a month and made me appreciate the time alone. I enjoy living with my extended family, but it is a big change that will take time to get used to. Being alone and not being able to talk to anyone felt good. I walked and thought and really took time to get to know my grocery store. I was finally making this place, for the first time, my neighborhood. I enjoyed my time so much that I forgot even to take pictures!
By the time I found my way to the check out lane, I was ready to walk home. After the 4-block walk, I hugged my girls tightly, ever so thankful for them and for being here in Paraguay. I sat down with Sofie and we ate one of the pastries I bought and enjoyed the moment and for the first time since getting here, I finally enjoyed and savored the moment.