New Beginnings!

21 Dec

On the 6th of December 2013, I swore out of Peace Corps Paraguay and became a RPCV! WOO HOO!   After the ceremony, I went out with my best friend, Miss Paraguay, Hannah N. Johnson.  We went out  to lunch and then brought in my next week in Paraguay with a toast and a last day together in the big Ol’ city of Asunción.  I went on to Cerrito to spend the week with my Cerrito family and to go out with friends and family as you saw in the previous blog.  The minutes were long, but the days were short. It was mentally taxing trying to express myself in a second language.


Before I knew it I was waking up after the last block party to the chirps of Paraguayan cicadas and the moon shining brightly at 3 am to catch the first leaving Chaqueña. There was no electricity or water, so  I took two last city buses all the way to the airport with my host sister Mirna and niece Milena.  We brushed our teeth at the public restroom and refreshed our faces and said our last good byes. We met up with Hannah and Gladys’ family and off I went to the sweet mother land all by myself.

I was given many beautiful heart warming letters to accompany me on the way to America making me bawl the whole way home.


Rio Paraguay


I landed in LAX to the sweet embrace of my Uncle Louis! The next day I went to San Francisco to meet up with my uncle Tinh and his wife aunt Viet to begin our road trip to Seattle, Washington!

Enjoy the highlights of the trip in my new blog soon to make its appearance in the upcoming weeks! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for going on this adventure with me! I have learned that it is never fun alone and you made it possible for the trip to be soo enjoyable!

The name of the Poem below is called “Two in the Campagna” written by Robert Browning an English poet.  Campagna is a small town just outside of Rome, but the title reminds me of the spanish word  “Campaña” meaning country side.  It was a complimentary  poem in the first chocolate bar I bought myself in America! Enjoy this Love Poem that so beautifully describes my feelings for Paraguay.

The champaign with its endless fleece
Of feathery grasses everywhere!
Silence and passion, joy and peace,
An everlasting wash of air-
Rome’s ghost since her decease.

Such life here, through such lengths of hours,
Such miracles performed in play,
Such primal naked forms of flowers,
Such letting nature have her way
While heaven looks from its towers!

How say you? Let us, O my dove,
Let us be unashamed of soul,
As earth lies bare to heaven above!
How is it under our control
To love or not to love?



I end this Blog with the notion that Love wins all.  And that I am certain.

With All my love,

Michelle J. Lam


No Casual Vacancy

20 Dec
The Sanchez Family threw a Surprise going away party!

The Sanchez Family threw a Surprise going away party!

Two weeks prior to leaving Paraguay I had each moment planned out to the second! I had this vision as to how I wanted my Peace Corps journey to close.  I had so many plans, so many decisions, and so many unknowns.  It scared me, it excited me and it made me who I am today ( a girl with a lot of learning to do).  The last two weeks in Paraguay were by far harder than my first two months in site put together.   The heat was the same, the mangoes were not quite ready, the mosquitos were some kind of fierce, the kids lit firecrackers all hours of the day, the oxen carts passed by, the stars twinkled the same way, the terere was just as refreshing, the guitar strummed the same polka melody and the list just goes on.

However, this time was different.  I was counting every last green mango I was going to consume, I was waving my hardest to every oxen that passed by, I was getting in every last sip of Terere in with the host family, I did not mind any of the heat, I was open to everything and anything if it led to my picture perfect closure to this time here in Paraguay.  I was just taking in and soaking everything preparing for the vacancy of Paraguay in my life.

The two weeks began on a more causal note.  I finished up my last week at the Ag school.  I made sure I had enough lesson plans and garden work plans schemed out until the next garden manager was hired.  I worked day and night on a garden manual for the 5 kids that are now officially the new Garden seniors.


We celebrated Thanksgiving by writing down on a paper leaf one thing they were thankful for during lunch.  They hung the paper leaf ornaments on a tree outside of the cafeteria.   The Thanksgiving lunch was followed by a hott Blackberry pie for all to try made with homemade crust and a lot of love in the “Tatakua”- Brick Oven.


On my last rotation through the garden I went to go harvest beans in the lower biointensive garden and 2 glorious toucans flew overhead of me.  Every morning during the morning harvest an average of 1 toucan fly north-east over the garden.  And when two flew over I was overflowed with joy and was in the clouds for the rest of the day!  The sound of them when flying is just marvelous. How they aerodynamically carry their 7.5 inch beaks and glide though the open air to perch themselves on a tree branch for rest.

I was able to go to a local world recognized Paraguayan Artist’s art exhibition in the capital, Asunción.  More so than an admirer of his paintings,  I am honored to be able to call him my friend, Fidel Fernandez.  He used to be my neighbor before I moved into the boarding school in Cerrito.  He and his wife are just normal Paraguayans that have a talent of capturing real life moments.  Below are a few photos of Fidel’s Paintings posted with permission.


The next days were followed with personal house visits and a lot of eating. If you have been following  my Cerrito story I had a couple of “speed bump relationships” that yielded me from a couple of pertinent development family relationships.  There was  a lot of forgiving to do, due to some cultural confusion or I am just going to be blunt and say, pride.  This last week I had to put my pride aside and think about how I wanted Paraguayans to view Americans.  So, I walked the 5 k walk to my first set of Paraguayan families and told them Thank You from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to know them and their country.  It was beautiful, a couple of material possessions were returned to me and hugs were passed around. Everything came full circle and I felt like I was now able to jump on the plane state side with a full heart.

After the “harder” visits, I made my way to the other families that treated me like their own family member.  Those good bye’s ended up being harder than what I thought were the “hard” goodbyes.  The ones who had nothing but still served me cocido with MILK just because I  mentioned I liked milk once in 2011. The sweet things that they did for me that I would not imagine writing up on a Peace Corps Volunteer Report form are the things that will always stick out to me.  I did my last “gift” collection of walking down the street and got a 3 liter bottle of Coca Cola, 17 eggs from guinea fowl, 1/4 Ib.  of cheese, hair ribbons from my garden class and other little letters.  How they give without double guessing will never cease to amaze me!

Mis Amis! Yo, Dianita y Gladys

Mis Amis! Yo, Dianita y Gladys

Our last Boba Tea( for awhile at least)!

Our last Boba Tea( for a while at least)!


These PA’s took me out to Mbejou and Coffee!!!!


I even got to Go out with this stylin couple!

I even got to Go out with this stylin couple!



All of Cerrito was invited to try Michelle’s Famous Pizza on my last night in Paraguay!

“I decided to leave the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves”
 -Henry David Thoreau, Walden
With that being said, Paraguay will be no casual vacancy in my heart.  I am overjoyed and overfilled with love the Paraguayans have given and shown  through serving me over the past two years.  Their servant hearts will always fill my heart with so much love for them.  There will always be a part of my heart where Paraguay will always fit perfectly.

Speed Dating

8 Nov

Here in Paraguay, over the past two years and some change, I have met so many wonderful people in such a short amount of time.

In a normal speed dating scene all of the participants move from table to table asking important questions referring to themselves as open individuals that want to get to know another individual on a deeper level.  They have questionnaires that are simple and more complex life questions such as  why they were no longer with their last girlfriend/boyfriend. All questions are asked in the name of getting to know and finding that someone on a more intimate level. 

 Well, correlating speed dating to my Peace Corps service would be so confusing if I did not share. In speed dating, instead of going table to table the Peace Corps is more intentional with the community by going from house to house.   I spent numerous hours skipping from house to house to get to know my entire community. And, I feel like I was able to successfully acquaintance myself with Cerrito.  They know all of my quirks, why I do what I do, what I like to eat, when I do my business, how I clean my clothes, they know it ALL.  I was not able to hind from them nor were they able to hide from me.  We were transparent with one another maybe sometimes, TOO transparent. 

Two years from the Genesis of my life down here in Paraguay seemed like a lifetime then and now as I am finishing up my service I am making so many revelations as to how 2 years in the grand scheme of things is so short.  I met all of these people so dear to my heart so quickly under so much pressure: language, heat, cultural differences and yada yada yada.  But, each relationship ended up being for my own good.  I am able to leave Paraguay with so much just because of all the things they have taught me.  

Let’s not just limit these “people” I am mentioning above as only Paraguayans. But my own fellow American Expats. And the beautiful thing about that is the relationship will be able to continue back in the states. 

  I have made several list of all the homes I need to visit before my swear out date.  However, I have this beautiful dilemma of trying to fit all the wonderful people I have met into my ONE agenda. There are just so many people that have left permanent footprints in my life.  Maybe it really is not a dilemma, more so a Blessing.  The spanish word for BLESSED is Bendito.  I am fo sho Bendito.  

So, here I am trying to figure out hour per hour where I will be each day of the week up until December 2013. So, I have been taking my students that have been working along my side for the past 5 weeks on a historic tour of the Big Mother Capital, Asuncion.  We had such a fun time prancing around in the rain and eating new local types of food! We even got to rent bikes and play a little bit of frisbee with Hannah!

We started out the day getting off the bus on Estados Unidos, America! (In hopes that one day each kids WILL visit me if they desire to do so.) 






Then it’s show time.  America, here I come.  Show me what you’ve got girl. 


*** Below are a few photos from October.  I had a surprisingly musical month! 

For starters I watched Paraguay’s 420 participant harp ensemble.

Thus, breaking the Guiness World Record as having the largest harp ensemble in the WORLD! 


Then, I found myself at the National Ballet the next evening. It was just lovely.Imagelo 


I was bendito and got to watch the recycled orchestra concert at a high school in Asuncion. 


Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

2 Oct

I left for Argentina on a Tuesday (Tuesdays are my busy days) and all I could think of was going on such a big trip alone, how my garden was going to survive, and the kids.  Well, while I was teaching my class outside that morning of the trip,  a group of beautiful blondes, black, brunettes and red heads passed by the garden.  Just  beautiful faces that represented the entire world.  Had to have been Americans.  They indeed were, representatives of the company TOMS.  A shoe company that provides shoes fabricated with a lot of love to many bare feet in the world.    They quickly came by to see what the kids were learning and took many awesome pictures of them.  They were so warm and kind, their energy was so contagious putting me more at ease for my trip.  They asked me what I missed most from home and questions that the kids at the school just don’t ask.  They asked where I came from and questions that made me feel just, well, Special! Then they went on their merry way touring the school grounds leaving me on cloud nine!  Later, as I was heading out of the school I heard Marcos screaming, “Why are you escaping??” and after him another kid ran after me and said “the people left this especially for you.”  THREE REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS.  That simple token of love meant the world to me.  I saved one chocolate for each village that I visited and savored the symbol of love in my heart during the entire trip.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis

Paraguay Street

Paraguay Street

My first stop was Buenos Aires.

The air was filled with tango,  men and women  dressed in their best; living their normal cosmopolitan life, taxis’, remises,  Starbucks and bicycles whizzing by with baskets filled with fresh bread.

Sunrise Over the City

Sunrise Over the City

Not Lost Art

Not Lost Art

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I told the barrista my name name is Michelle. She handed me my order. I can deal with that!

2nd Stop: The WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: Puerto Madryn, Patagonia

Then  I headed over to the bus terminal and waited 8 hours for a the next bus to the town 12 hours south of Buenos Aires.   The 12 hours was entirely worth the wait.  It was a beautiful town along the coast of the Atlantic ocean with all of my hearts desires concerning seeing wildlife in their natural habitat.  The air was clean, the wind blew STRONG, the whales danced through the ocean accompanied by the sea lions and penguins. It was such an exotic experience for me to be out in the pier just staring into the deep blue ocean filled with the Southern Right Whales RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

I was the only person on the beach!

I was the only person on the beach!

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The next day, I went on a pretty intense bike ride and made it to the most beautiful destination.  It happened to be that the coast where I was standing was a couple hundred years ago the bottom of the sea.  There were so many fossils and neat caves that just made the experience of being there even more magical.

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For the next couple of days I super glued my eyes to the beauty of the whales that just swam so gracefully through the ocean.  I took a break on Saturday morning to run a fun run around the shore of Puerto Madryn.  I was the first unofficial Chinese girl anybody in the town had ever seen so the entire town cheered me on all the way to the finish line saying, “Go Chinita!!!”

The next day was the first day of Spring! Being in Patagonia there was no WOW factor change in the temperature, but that did not stop the town  from celebrating! There was a family bike ride around the town and everybody decorated their bikes with flowers, bells, flags and signs of spring!

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On my last night I stayed in town so that I could go to a church in Puerto Madryn and was so blessed by getting to know a woman named Vicky.  For her privacy sake I won’t share her life story but don’t you worry I will tell everybody in person her POWERFUL life story. AHHH it just makes my heart shout for joy just thinking about the woman!

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3rd Stop: WEST IS BEST: El Bolson, Patagonia

Getting on a bus for 18 hours was really expensive but really beautiful.  The town was beautiful to me before I even got there because the locals were trying to describe it to me as we were going along the way and they said Forget IT! You will see once we get there.  They were correct.  I LOVED IT! I was basically given a tour of the foothills of the Andes Mountain range. I learned from a native how to say a couple of words!

Epuyen-  Dos Que Van or Two that go

Puelo-Este sol or the Eastern Sun

Antu- Sol or SUN

Mari Mari- Buen Dia or Good Morning!

I made my way around the town and got to a place where they did native tree walks.  It was amazing, I learned so much.

Then I made my trek over to the bridge to cross the Rio Azul, (Blue River).IMG_0635

 On the other side of that bridge, up  a mountain and around a couple of bends in the road lives a family of four.  This family is everything but Ordinary.  They are extraordinary.  Their home is in the process of being built with adobe and wood.  Their windows are made of wine bottles.  Their kitchen table was hand crafted by Pepe the loving husband.  The wife Alexia is just so sweet and a great mother to her to daughters Xio and Indie.  We spent the mornings painting on their kitchen table sayings like, Water does not last forever and THE SUN SHINES ON YOU.  It was such a joyful time being with this earthy family.  We ate indian rice and stir fry.  In the afternoons we created their first garden in the shape of a sun.  Oh I wish I could see their garden filled with veggies ga-lor!!  O did I mention that they have no electricity therefore no running water.  Xio played the violin while Indie skipped around her massive rock collection with her dolls while Pepe was in the back ground finishing their dry latrine and Alexia was telling time by a mere look at the sun.

It was a small house but filled with so much love!

Read the Sign Behind Them!

Read the Sign Behind Them!


They took me to go hiking on the side of a mountain called the Cabeza del Indio resembling a toothless hippie.


This town was so delightful to be in and  will never forget the hospitality of that beautiful family.

LAST STOP: It took 29 hours to get to THE ICE CASTLE: El Calafate

29, YES IT WAS LONG but so worth every hour on that bus.  The minute I got off the bus I breathed the cleanest most crisp air my lungs have ever come in contact with.  Oh it was almost squeaky clean. I was so excited to get going the minute I got off the bus, so I went to a National Bird Reserve called the Laguna Nimez located on the eastern edge of the bay.  After that I went to the Lago Argentino and found lot of fishermen having a lot of luck! The water was a turquoise blue and looked like a picture perfect post card.  The next day, I woke up super early to see my last Patagonian sunrise.  The sunrises stretch it seems from the west to the east with no effort.  The waves of pink and purple and cream all blended together so beautifully in the sky was like a waving nationalistic flag.  Then I went on an organized tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier located in the  National Park a quick 85 kilometers away from the town El Calafate.  Everything about that park was so beautiful.  The glacier was a major Jaw dropper or knock your socks off type moment.  We  all got on a tiny boat to the southern face of the glacier to go hiking on the glacier.  The guide told us that we were super lucky because we could see the ENTIRE glacier because there was not a cloud in sight. I felt like an ant in the Redwood forest.  We were assisted putting on our crampons (ice shoes) and then quickly led us to the frontier of the Glacier.  I could not believe that I was going to go up those slopes and had no idea if I was going to want to get down.  There was too much beauty to take in!  It was like a frozen sea, its waves being sculpted by harsh winds.  Once I got to the top (not even near the tippy top)  I could see so many beautiful turquoise folds and crevices.  At one moment there would be immense silence and SUDDENLY a mighty ROAR announced the fall of another hunk of ice into the blue waters below.  It was something like 30 km long, 5 km across and 60 Meters high.  AH. It was breathtaking.

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Home on the Range- Cerrito, Presidente Hayes, PARAGUAY

I basically chickened out on the what would have been a straight 72 hour bus ride back up north so I decided to break the bank and take a plane ride back.  It was so worth it because I was less stressed out.  The trip was all in all a wonderful trip, but what is more wonderful is that I made it back to my beloved little Paraguay safe and sound.  It is so good to be back in sweet Cerrito in my garden happy as a bee.  Just me and la tierra (and all of my new experiences and memories thanks to the Good Lord)!

On a Not So Spontaneous Note

21 Sep


Last Tuesday, I took a long haul down south to the beautiful country of Argentina for a minature sebatical.  This was not a sponteous trip, actually it is one of my life dreams.  I put a lot of time and planning into this trip and am so glad I took the first step (with a lot of encouragement and inspiration from close friends).  Image

I was very fortunate to be open and honest with my host family about the south bound trip.  I specifically told Mirna and Jorge exactly where I was going without feeling 100 percent guilty that I was going to spend X amount of $´s for travel.  They were very supportive and helped me mentally prepare for my journey solo.  It was actually a little emotional for me to leave my family for a week and half, we shall see how December goes!

This picture was taken on M. Roque Alonso as I got on my bus heading out of Paraguay.  It was such a beautiful afternoon for traveling with the flag hanging high and the sunsetting behind it.


I had to stop in Buenos Aires to catch my bus down south and at first did not think that I was going to have enough interest to spend a full day there, but when I made my way down to the center of the city and found a Starbucks, Chinese food and diversity within the population, the city made it very clear that I was supposed to be there.  I left at 6 am to do a 7 hour recorido for the city.  Followed a lot of honey mooners that wanted their picture taken, therefor have one too many photos of myself as a ¨Thank You¨for taking their photo.  =)


So, here I am 22 hours spent on an Argentine bus in the nautical town south of Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn, Patagonia.  I stress the word Nautical because Paraguay is land locked and the last time I got a good look at a flowing body of water it was called the Confused River.  Mirna and I decided to go fishing one day and caught no fish, she said because the river was confused.  Here in Puerto Madryn there is no confusion as to what there is the the Atlantic ocean.  After getting off my long bus ride, I found myself with my 34 pound pack at the harbor GAZING in AWE at 7 Austral Right Whales. If you had pinched me at the moment I would not have flinched.  I was in love.  It did not even occur to me that it was 40 degrees out and that I was totally underdresed.  The Ballenas (whales) are in there mating season right now, so they are all very active and playful.  It is sooooo beautiful! The little sea lions bobed playfully amongst the Ballenas with pink flamingos flying over head, everything is breathtaking.  It is like all of the native wildlife at the tips of your fingers. 

Below is a whale wading beneath the rays of the morning sun.



Everybody I have crossed paths with have been exceptionally friendly.  I met a friend along the way and we set off on a 16 km bike ride begining in a yuppie part of town, training into an industrial fatory (begining to question ourselves WHAT we were doing there) and up one too many dirt hills and down a couple of hills we found ourselves at the most breathtaking coast.  There were whales in the distance and birds occupying so much of the air.  The coast had many hidden caves making us completly loose track of time until the rain clouds came in and the 16 km bike ride haunting us to get back to town.  That bike ride kicked my butt.




And the adventure is just begining! In 2 days I head west (towards the Chilean border)  to the quaint little town, El Bolson. I am going to go on a hunt for 7 different organic gardens and to just go hiking on the rolling foothills of the Andes. 


In All of the World Paraguay, There is None Like You

15 Sep

Recently, I find myself so wrapped up in the spider webs in my mind.  Thoughts about the future, thoughts about the next step, thoughts about thoughts.  But these past couple of weeks after my Close of Service Conference it has brought me to the realization that this time down here in Paraguay has been such a special time and that it is okay to freak out about life without it physically in my life after December.

My family, the pink sunrise, the migration of the most extravagant birds in september, the Chaco Rally, mangos, the patience of a child trying to understand my broken Spanish and so much more will be carried in my heart.  I am realizing that I have so much ahead of me and that I need to let go of Paraguay in order to grow.  It is like our canine teeth and how they have to leave the buccal cavity in order for the permanent teeth to settle in and really shine.

In the meantime, my brother Andrew and his wife Holland have sent me a new canon camera and I have been having so much fun snapping shots of everything that I see.  The beautiful sights in Paraguay, the touching moments, the ugly and everything in between.  I hope that you enjoy the photos from my last bird watching adventure at a local ranch in Cerrito. Thank you for all the support and I hope that you join me for the rest of the ride as I embark on my less than 90 day countdown until I am forever in the state for lovers!!




Crazy Jungle Plant- RAWWR Looks like it could consume a humane whole huh?


t-ray with a flower


The most prickly plant ever- Non Scientific Name: Look at me, but don’t touch me No, but really ask any Paraguayan woman and they will tell you just that!

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A Sweet Start to September

6 Sep

This blog is the unofficial sequel to my previous blog.  I want it to be a gently reminder just how faithful God has been in my life lately! Oh my, what a beautiful learning curve.


Paraguay is a beautiful place to visit right now because the Orchids are in full bloom!! You can find them in Yellow with brown speckles, green, purple, pink, white, coral and more that I have not yet spotted!!! Today is only the second day of September, but I am already starting to really relax and enjoy my surroundings! The first month of being on the job is over. Pheww. Now, I just have to keep up with work and keep up the momentum and forget about August because SEPTEMBER HAS ARRIVED!!!!  So September is my official Vacation Month! YE HAW!

So please let me break down for a moment:

I just want to be real with everybody, that exactly two weeks ago, my students and if they translate this blog and read it I hope they do not get too upset, but as we all know Monday is her very own beast,  and that day in August was particularly the biggest beast of them all.  Nothing was going right. I mean nothing I said, did or thought resulted in something positive.  The seniors that are the “captains” or leaders just cannot see my vision for the garden.  They are rooted, embedded in their old ways and love to boss around the freshman and sophomores.  The younger ones work, while the seniors stand and stare.  I just don’t think that it is right and feel like voicing my thoughts but when I begin to state my opinions everybody just beings to gang up on me.  So, they did gang up on me and I cried.  IN FRONT OF THEM LIKE A BIG BABY!!!! HAHHAHHAHA  I can now laugh about it.

After that Monday, the week did not write out that smooth but a dear friend came up to help me judge my science fair and so much more.  She is such a beautiful gift to me and is well, just a sweet heart in general.  She did half of my garden data entry, cleaned up my pig sty =), kept me company when I felt so consumed by work, helped me sow carrot and watermelon seeds and countless tasks more. Then, that evening, my Haitian student Minociene’s father suddenly passed away due to a motorcycle accident in her hometown in Haiti.  She was distraught.  I had no idea how to console her.  I held her like my own baby girl and just sat with her in silence while she wept.  It was a moment in Paraguay when I felt the most helpless.  She is just so young, miles and miles away from he arms of her mother and close family and friends. Hannah made a homemade meal and we ate in my intimate living corridors serving the food onto my frisbee and other random flat surface areas that would cup food in a “humane eating fashion.” It was a beautiful night as we sang songs acapello.  We found ways to unite each other by singing in our mother tongue; Creole and French and English.  We sang in spanish and just took in the moment.  It was an unforgettable night for all of us.

The next two weeks I continued to have the last of the two science fairs and two agriculture and environmental conservation conferences.

I then made a special visit to a small town in which I skip over one time to many to meet up with a new friend! His name is Jeremy and was recently placed 2 towns over from Cerrito! What does that mean? A companion!!! He is super guapo and has a very sweet disposition about him that will be so nice to have as I close out my service!  We met up for dinner at a local food stand and had a great get to know you dinner.  A nice change up from the usual garden dialogue or Justin Bieber is so hott, take me with you to America so I can meet him type conversation (like Justin Bieber is my next door neighbor or something).   We had a mix up as to what the festival we were going to was called and the location, but it called for a search and a series of memorable events!

The garden is coming together very nicely and I am so impressed as always with my students at how hard-working they are.  It has been a true joy working alongside such amazing kids!

Also, on another positive note, back in May when I knew that sometime around August I would need a big pick me up (like harvesting my own fresh sunflower bouquets for my living corridors =) I asked Leah to help me sow a 2 pound bag of sunflower seeds. This little patch of sunflowers I have named the HOPE Patch.  I knew that August was going to be tough b/c I lost my two best friends in the Agriculture school, but I have gained so much at the same time.   Now that Leah and John are not physically here, I am soo excited to announce that the first of my buckets of sunshine sunflowers has bloomed and is blooming so beautifully! I cannot wait to harvest my first bouquet to gift to my Agriculture bosses as a little token of appreciation for all they have done to serve me over the past 2 years.  Then, the rest are ALL for me to share with my Paraguayan loved ones! ***If you would like, I would love to virtually send fresh bouquet free of cost through facebook/email if you would like to dedicate them to somebody, send someone a Just b/c bouquet… etc…. =) Nothing better than a bouquet of flowers to brighten someones day! ***

Well, September is going to be a beautiful month of Spring for me and I hope that everyone in the states are preparing for the beautiful crisp fall that is to come by enjoying all of natures little details!

Love to all!