This week, I’m excited to experience my first Semana Santa (holy week) in Paraguay! While I don’t believe in the religious miracle of Easter, it is one of my favorite holidays (from my own culturally Catholic background at least) because it involves chocolate, the start of spring time (in the northern hemisphere), and egg decorating. I’ve also realized that it’s pretty cool to think back to what I was doing on each of the past 7 Easters since it has happened to coincide with some pretty important life events that happened across 3 continents, 4 countries, and 5 cities/states…
In 2011, I was in Valls, Spain for Easter, celebrating at a Romanian Baptist church with my first ever host family during my first international trip without either of my parents, and first using the Spanish I started learning in high school. This was when I decided I definitely wanted to study abroad during college.
In 2012, I headed to Washington, DC on Easter Day for a high school trip which convinced me I wanted to go to college in the capital (mostly because I wanted a library card for the Library of Congress).
In 2013, around Easter time I decided I wanted to stay in DC but wasn’t happy at GW.
In 2014, I had transferred to Georgetown and went home to NH for Easter because Jesuit universities give you a few days off around that weekend.
In 2015, I was in Valparaíso, Chile for Easter, staying with another host family and having the time of my life during study abroad. This experience may have fully convinced me to work abroad after graduation.
In 2016, I went home to NH for Easter and realized the amount I missed the guy I was starting to call my boyfriend, Shawn, might indicate some sort of feelings about him. I had already accepted an offer to serve as a PCV in Paraguay but decided to stay in DC for the summer before leaving.
In 2017, I’m approximately 7 months into my 27 months (or approx. 205 of 805 days) in Paraguay and still feeling a whole range of emotions about being here.