Tag Archives: Mercado Cuatro

Day 8 – Back to Work & Mercado 4

Each morning we begin our work day at the school with a devotion and time of sharing.  Today, Hadassah led the morning devotion by reading from Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season”. “God is with us each day in all the seasons of life”. “We need to focus on living for him each day”.  “Ultimately, he is in control and lives within us to take care of us wherever the day finds us”.  “He may open other doors in the future, but today we just have today; let’s live it to the fullest for Him”.


For the boys, the day begins with sweeping up around the soccer court, so that we can paint the perimeter of the court.  The temperature is supposed to hit 95 degrees Fahrenheit today, so we want to maximize work on the court this morning while there is more shade.  They manage to clean and paint the perimeter of the court and add a second coat of paint to the court as well.


The girls are back to work painting the upstairs classrooms.


The Noon meal consists of meatballs, potato, and sweet potato with rice.  For dessert, Brian and Jordan find a local Helado shop and bring us back a big bucket of ice cream in multiple flavors.  By the end of the day the boys have finished painting the perimeter of the court and adding a second coat as well.  The girls have finished all of the upstairs classrooms in the original building and started on the upstairs classrooms in the new building.

We stop work at three o’clock in order to get to the Mercado Cuatro and shop before it closes.  The Mercado Cuarto (a.k.a. Mercado 4, Mercado Municipal 4) is a collection of shops spread over several blocks in Asuncion.  From an American perspective it is a giant flea market.  Our primary objective for today is to find a “termo” (Tereré thermos) and to experience the unique culture of this place.  Marcel, an accountant at the school, takes us there and leads us through the maze of shops.  We find a suitable termo for Jordan and move on to enjoy the sights.

We find a few other items worth purchasing and end with a stop at what we call affectionately call the “juice ladies”.  They serve ice cold freshly mixed juice drinks which really hit the spot on 90 degree day.  With the temperatures in the 90s again today, this was a welcomed break.

On the way back to Oscar and Karen’s home, Brian talked Marcel into stopping at an empanada café for a snack.  While we were stopped in traffic, a man selling chipa  (and balancing it on his head) came by, so we bought some chipa as well.  Chipa is a Paraguayan/Argentinian sour cheese bread, usually made in the shape of little balls or  shape of a bagel with the cheese baked inside.  It’s great when it’s hot and fresh, and also served cold as a snack for anytime during the day.


After arriving back at Oscar and Karen’s we begin a series of volleyball games in the Las Garzas church yard next door.  We play until it is too dark to see even with the lights and we finish with a supper of Milanesa sandwiches that Karen has left us because she and Oscar are working at the kid’s camp being held at the Quinta.  Around 10 p.m. we are all exhausted from our long day of work and play and we retire for the night.



Day 12 – What is Gamuza?

It was an exciting day for us as we finished with painting the classrooms and ready to move to the exterior walls and try out our new color, “Gamuza”.  I always thought the names for paint colors were cryptic, but first “Arena” and now “Gamuza”.  I would describe Gamuza as a medium to dark tan color; whereas, Arena is closer to a light tan with a more yellowish appearance.  Regardless, it is now our job to paint the exterior walls and posts Gamuza.  The posts holding up the second story of the school classrooms are all painted in two different colors. The upper layer is white and the bottom layer is, well, for lack of a better word, “Gamuza”.   We begin by taping around all the posts and walls where the current paint line changes color.  Then we roll out the new paint and attack the walls feverishly with our rollers and paint brushes.  By lunch time we are close to finishing the first floor exterior painting except for the trim.

Pastor Pedro and his wife, Marti bring us an elegant looking dish for lunch.  It is like a Swiss steak with a vegetable “white sauce” served with mash potatoes and rolls.  As usual we are famished by lunch and make a gallant effort to do justice to the cook by leaving no leftovers.  Alas, as on most other days, we make a valiant effort but reluctantly fall short and leave the cook some leftovers.


After lunch, we have our devotion from Hebrews 11:1-6.  According to the Amplified version of the Bible, Faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things we hope for (and the proof of things we don’t yet see).   The Greek word translated evidence or assurance also means “title deed”.  A title deed shows that we own something (e.g. a house or a car).  The title deed represents our legal claim to the asset.  In this case faith represents our proof of ownership or claim on the reality of our hopes, even when we can’t yet see how they will come to pass.  Often, when we seek to do something in faith, we are tempted to become discouraged when things don’t go as we hope.  When we started this work team, we were hoping for more people, yet the enthusiasm of those who committed to this project buoyed our hopes and when we arrived in Paraguay we found Gabe and Hadassah ready to help us.  The Lord brought just the right team together and we’ve experienced a lot of blessings this week because of it.  We can’t let discouragement overcome us, we need to accept the “title-deed” to be as valuable and as real as the physical asset it represents, and step out in faith trusting God to realize our hopes in Him.

After lunch we completed painting the exterior wall and railings of the second floor  Gamuza and completed the trimming as well. This leaves us tomorrow to paint the portion above the tape line a different color and add any second coats needed.

After finishing painting, Marcello took us to Mercado Cuatro (4) a giant “flea market” type of shopping center in Asuncion.  Sarah was able to purchase a maté thermo and a bombilla “straw” so that she can make tereré (the cold version of maté, preferred in Paraguay) at home.  Brian and Rod settled for a an old favorite, a blended strawberry-peach fruit juice from the juicing stand at the market.  For supper we got take-out from Miguella’s, which was closed when we tried to stop there earlier in the week.  We took Gabe’s advice and ordered the Lomita Arabic, a large wrap loaded with beef, chicken, bacon, a fried egg, tomato, lettuce, and maybe a few other things we didn’t notice.  The boys took theirs to share at the young men’s group meeting.  Our time in Paraguay is swiftly drawing to a close: there is only one more day of painting remaining, then comes Sunday services and a farewell luncheon, and by Monday we need to pack for our afternoon flight. In retrospect, the time all seems to have went by so quickly.