2017

A Slice of Life in Paraguay

On our way down to Paraguay, a nice surprise was being bumped up to first class on our flight to Panama. IMG_1594Mike is often bumped being 1K but this time they said I could go beyond the veil too! First on, first off, wide comfortable leather seats, moist hot towels and warmed roasted nuts to snack on as we watch everyone else file on the plane 🙂  Food is served with real silverware, dishes and glasses. So this is what goes on in front of that little curtain! So fun!

We stayed in the home of Tim & Gabi – the Transformation Paraguay Team Leaders. It’s very comfortable and comes with a maid! Beds made, meals cooked, wash done, folded and put on our bed, house tidied, floors wiped and bathrooms cleaned.  I’m feeling totally spoiled! I could get used to this 🙂 Feli and I often cooked together. I taught her how to make banana bread and hot sauce and I learned how to make breaded chicken or beef and potato soufflé. She was good company for me during the day when Mike was working hard training facilitators and meeting with officials, doing radio and TV interviews and being super busy.

One evening Mike and I went for a walk and when we returned the lock on the door wouldn’t open. Since it’s a new house, the key we were given was a plastic one for emergencies only. It broke in the lock! We had gone out without our phone and didn’t know anyone’s phone number off by heart. We didn’t have the keys to the car either. The houses here are locked up tight, the glass is special thick glass with serious locks on them. The other two doors all have sliding bolts on the inside as well as deadbolts.

 

Tim & Gaby were away and there is no way to get into this house except through the front door with the key.  

Gabi’s mom, Rosa,  lives nearby but by now it was dark and on the street where she lives there were a group of guys drinking and burning something in the street. This very weekend there were protests going on in the city and we were told to be careful. We walked past them and there was no answer at Rosa’s house. We were intimidated by these guys, but it turned out they were only burning leaves and often got together on the street like that, they knew Rosa and were very friendly. Back at the house the next door neighbor was tinkering with his car and so we enlisted his help. He offered superglue which actually worked on the two pieces we had, but the tip of the key had also broken off inside the lock. What a mess we were in! Finally another neighbor stopped by and suggested they go to the grocery store and see if they could find a number to call a locksmith, it was now 8:00pm on a Sunday night. We weren’t too hopeful, but they got in touch with a young man who agreed to come and showed up an hour later because his scooter had broken down. He was able to extract the broken piece of the key from the lock, took the three pieces of the key and left again to make a new one. By this time the neighbor had got in touch with Rosa who showed up with her son and daughter-in-law, it was turning into a party! The locksmith returned with a key, unlocked the door and the crises was over. A good time to practice the values of restraint and patience!

Another day as we were waiting for our car to be washed at the supermarket, we went for a walk and visited an interesting looking clothing store. Turns out the owner of the shop had recognized Mike’s voice from an event we had done at her church the previous year. She went on to explain that her husband was a pilot and the morning of the event he wanted her to fly with him but she didn’t go because of the seminar. When it was over she took her books and was excited to share it all with her husband, but when she got home she found out the plane had crashed and he had died while she was at the meeting. They had only been married 8 months. It just seemed like God that we went to that store that morning and were able to talk with her.

Six weeks went quickly as we prepared for the second event with Maxwell and coaches since the first Transformation Paraguay initiative last February 2016.

To date there are more than 2,000 organizations involved including Government institutions, Public education, Universities, police, banks and businesses of all sizes. 35,000 facilitators have been trained, more than 150,000 people are involved in Round Tables, there are 60 cities on board, 40,000 km traveled and 32 live events have been done with John Maxwell. What an honor to be involved in this huge vision of transforming an entire nation, top down and bottom up.

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