Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shopping in Paraguay

A week ago we spent some time with Ben, Melissa and their kids
at their home in Iguacu.It was great to be able to talk
and hear their hearts for ministry as new missionariesto Brazil.
We are excited to watch and see how God is going to use
the whole family.
And He will. He does that with willing people.

On the last day we were there, we took a couple of buses
and headed over to Paraguay.
Even as we were doing it we weren't quite sure why -
it's just something you do.
We laughed at the joke that the first 45 min. are fun
but the remainder of
the 5 hours - not so much!!!!

Actually we enjoyed our time with them
and we also met up with KaKa, Lilianand little Marcus.
We got to know them when they lived in Iguacu
during our time there in 2009.
They have since moved to Praia Grandeto begin a church there.
So happy that we could spend time with them.

This is the way we got around once in Paraguay!
And it was hot. Very, very hot!

Warren needed a new backpack since the one he had bought in the
states fell apart in a matter of days.
This store had so many it was hard to decide.
He got one. $9 for a really good one.
Oh ya, that's why you go to Paraguay.
For the prices!
Their import taxes are either non-existant or they are very low
so by crossing the border the prices of things go down considerably.
So it is a busy, crowded, dirty,
(we keep forgetting not to wear flip flops there. Poor KaKa!)
depressing town
because it's full of people wanting to make money.
But we go because Brazil is very expensive.

We went to a chinese restauraunt for lunch.
I'm not talking American kind of chinese.
It was wonderful and inexpensive.
The table was huge and sat all 10 of us
(the baby sat on a lap).

the menu.
They did have one in Spanish too which is the one we did our best with.

Slippers in one of the stores.
They have a lot of general type stores that carry a little bit of everything.

Recognize the packaging?!
From the same store as the slippers.
They also have a lot of specialty stores and high-end stores.
Just about anything you can imagine can be found here.

The streets are narrow and full of traffic. They don't watch out for anyone but themselves
so it's your job to make sure that you are safe from traffic.
Melissa almost got her arm taken off right after this picture was taken
as a SUV came down this and wasn't concerned at all that it didn't fit
along side of parked cars on one side and Melissa walking on the other side.
I was walking behind her and didn't see how it missed her.

The sidewalks are full of vendors. Usually more of the poor that set their wares
out there and send their children out to try and entice customers.
Many a times you would find children sitting under the tables where they
literally spend their day - maybe their childhood.
It is heartbreaking.

When you do purchase something from a store you must first take your purchase
to a department that writes it up and then has you pay for it.

Then you move to another department with your ticket
and they give you your merchandise.
That is how it is pretty much done in Brazil at a lot of stores too.
It is time consuming and frustrating sometimes but...
patience, Sheri, patience.

More of a look at the streets.
Monday is actually a slow day there.
The first time we visited it was crowded beyond belief.

A stuffed animal store.
Here they are sitting in one corner of the store actually
stuffing the creatures!
I tried to talk with them but my Portuguese isn't very good.
Oh, that's right, they speak Spanish over there.
No wonder!

Julia loved the fact that the bear was bigger than her!

These are packing supplies.
As you walk the streets you hear tape being pulled off of the rolls are they
repack things that were bought during the day.
The reason? Well, you can only take $300 or less into Brazil without paying
a duty tax. People don't always agree with that law so they take things out of the original
packaging and pack things together in other boxes
and then sneak them across the border.
Sometimes paying a runner that will take them across
by going under the bridge to the other side.
None of us had enough money to have to worry about it!

It was hot and tiring so we promised the kids ice cream at the end.
In all honesty, we wanted it as bad as they did.
Funny how McDonalds can even taste good when you haven't had it for a while!

It was good alright!

Notice all the re-packaged goods. Not sure how these were being delivered
without being found out. Or maybe it was for a whole different purpose that they
didn't have them in the original packages...don't think so.

Saying good-bye to KaKa, Lilian and Marcus.

And to Tim and TaLisa.
Who by the way had homemade ice cream for us when we got back.
(they've been to Paraguay before!)
And we ate it, every last bite.

Actually, it was a very fun day.
A good day to put in the memory book.

1 comment:

Mainely Me said...

Thanks for sharing your very interesting information about a place I will never see...I love to read about the differences in cultures.