Because It’s There!

A Tree in the Center of the Road? Yes, This Is Paraguay!

My mind keeps returning to Paraguay, and this without having done my Guatemala trip yet. There is something attractive to me about a country with such a screwed-up history. And yet, at the same time, the country fascinated Graham Greene and kept appearing, albeit peripherally, in his books, such as Travels with My Aunt (1969), A Sort of Life (1971), and The Honorary Consul (1973). It is also the country which gave birth to one of South America’s greatest (and most unsung) authors, Augusto Roa Bastos, who wrote The Son of Man (1960).

I want to go to Asunción, learn how to speak Guaraní, and drink endless glasses of iced tereré infused with herbs. I will read more about the sad history of the place and enjoy myself thoroughly. It will give me great pleasure to hear people ask me, “Why Paraguay?” I will, of course, answer them by saying, “Because it’s there!”

Palo Borracho Trees by Filadelfia in the Gran Chaco

Or, if I were someone other than who I am, I could take a gigantic passenger ship to some Caribbean isles where the sun will scorch the skin off my back and my fellow passengers will bore me into catatonic rage.