Sunday, February 1, 2009

El Club

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My host Rotarian, Julia González is amazing. She took the time to meet me at the airport and welcome me to Asunción. Since then, she has been exceedingly helpful, whether it be communicating with our landlord or helping Catherine and me make sense of our new surroundings. She has made our transition much easier than it otherwise would have been. I look forward to working with her and her Rotary Club.

El Club Deportista Sajonia (The Sajonia Sports Club) is the place to be during the lazy summer nights of December through February. Almost every night—but especially on weekends—the club transforms from a relaxing, quiet escape from the heat into an outdoor entertainment extravaganza. The entire town makes its way to the tables and chairs that surround the dance floor to relax and enjoy the evening’s festivities. One night live singers will entertain the crowd, another night a DJ will keep the people dancing, and yet another night a band will make sure people don’t stay in their seats for long. The music ranges from classic and contemporary American hits to traditional Paraguayan music. The club spares no expense either. An abundance of DJ and strobe lights light up the stage and dance floor while the plethora of speakers ensure that no one misses a note. The club provides for quite the fabulous night’s entertainment.

I cannot talk about the club without mentioning that it is the place to go if you are and young lad or lass between the ages of 12-17. If you did not spend your summer nights (and presumably your youth) at the club then you are just not that cool. You would show up on the first day of school with nothing to write about when the teacher gives that timeless assignment, “What I Did During My Summer Vacation.” If whatever you did didn’t happen at the club then you really didn’t do it. It reminds me of that age old ‘Old Money’ question when the inevitable Tuesday after Labor Day prompt is not “What did you do this summer?” but rather “Where did you summer?” Seemingly similar questions but entirely different in meaning.

Catherine and I have taken advantage of these wonderful evening festivities, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Despite the lingering heat, we dance no matter what music is playing. We attempted the salsa, danced our version of 8th graders dancing at a winter social, felt-like-we-were-at-a-wedding-reception dance, and any other form of expressive movement that crossed our fancies. It is a nice to look around and see the dance floor packed with people of all ages having a great time. It is easy to get swept up in the moment and before you know it, 30 minutes have gone by and you are still out there dancing away.

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