Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kure Luque

I find it interesting that the mascot for the Luque soccer team is a pig. A reallly BIG pig.

'Kure' means pig in the Guarani language. Its unclear as to how this came about, but some say that the area where the soccer stadium is built used to be a pig farm so the Luqueños adopted the pig for their mascot.
There is a large metal sculpture in front of the stadium that depicts four men holding up a pig.

I'm not sure I would be, but the Luqueños are very proud of their pig mascot.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Iguazu Falls part V

Near the falls there is a bird park with all kinds of exotic birds and butterflies native to the area. We were able to take some nice close-ups of the birds loose in the park.

They were fairly tame and would let you get right up to them. I still thought it was a good idea to steer clear of those razor sharp beaks.

There is an area where you can take pictures with the Macaws if you are brave enough.

Iguazu Falls part IV

Some of the merchandice in the gift shops can be a little pricey. This toucan is made out of crystals. Look at the price on this baby ... just over $1,000.00 US dollars!
This lapacho tree is only around $7,000.00.
There are some interesting and very creative works of art in the shop. Here is an eagle that is just beautiful.

The shelves are lined with smaller chunks of crystals if the others are out of your price range.
My son loved these huge orbs. He thought it would be cool to play marbles with it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Iguazu Falls part III

Another amazing thing to see at the gift shop are the crystals. Some of them are HUGE like this Lemurian Seed Crystal.
These Amethyst crystal clusters are over 6 feet tall.
This one was made into a coffee table.
Sculptures are also made from the crystals and stones. I really like this lapacho tree.
They are really expensive, so I'll have to settle for my photographs of them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Iguazu Falls part II

Part of visiting the falls is also visiting the gift shops. There are all kinds of interesting items to purchase in the shops, but my absolute favorite is the "homemade" chocolate.

They have a large variety of chocolates to choose from and the best part is that they have free samples available.
The chocolate even comes in styrafoam boxes to protect them from the intense heat. Can't beat that!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Iguazu Falls Part I

If you ever visit Paraguay you must see the amazing Iguazu waterfalls. It's one of my favorite places to vacation. You have to actually go to Brazil or Argentina to see the falls, but it's in the area where the three countries meet.

It's difficult to put into words the power and majesty of the falls, nor do pictures do it justice. It's just something that you have to experience. Iguazu falls are taller than Niagara falls, and twice as wide with 275 cascades spread in a horseshoe shape.

My kids get a kick out of the "wild life" at the park. We learned real fast that you don't want to feed the Coeti or they won't leave you alone.
Had one climb up my leg once because I gave it an M & M. I had to run down the path to get away from it.
These little snails on the pathway along the falls intrigued me. They were almost iridescent and tiny. My son wanted to collect them, but that wouldn't be "ecologically correct", so I convinced him to let them be.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mr. Toad

I am not fond of creepy-crawlys, but Paraguay is full of little critters that decide to pop in for a visit now and again. You eventually come to some kind of understanding with them..."I won't bother you if you don't bother me". We found this big guy hanging out in the swimming pool our church uses for a baptistry. I can't help but think of him everytime someone is baptized.


This little guy has seen better days. He was found in the same vicinity...probably related to the big guy. Not something I'd want to touch though...shudder.
We found this poor dude in the chaco during a visit with some friends in Loma Plata. Considering how hot it gets there and how dry it is, our guess is that he was freeze-dried...or rather dehydrated! He could actually stand up by himself.

My kids had fun playing with him....yuck!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bride-to-be

I had a friend recently get married here in Paraguay. We threw a bridal shower for her, but it wasn't your typical bridal shower. Paraguay's bridal showers have a unique spin to them. First of all, the bride-to-be gets dressed up for the party.

She is given a boquet of carrots, celery, and other veggies. Then her friends begin to dress her up like a clown bride (watch out...can be scary). Very humiliating, but my friend took it all in stride. At least they didn't put makeup on her like some do.

We then played some action games like...Ring on a String race. We had to use our nose to push the ring...got awful roap burn!
There were also funny party hats and masks for all to wear. Lots of fun!

Monday, March 2, 2009

German food in Paraguay

Paraguay has a large German influence, so good German food is not hard to find. Recently we went to one of our favorite German restaurants: the Bayern Stuben.


The restaurant is actually the owner's house that has been converted into a restaurant. You will often see the owner and his family eating in a private dining room off of the kitchen with their Daschund running around freely.
Inside the decore is quaint and has a rustic feel to it.


Our favorite dish is pork and asparagus in a mushroom cream sauce served with noquis and a side of mixed vegetables. Delicious!