Red Dirt

Fork in the road

When I was younger my family went on vacation to Prince Edward Island, the island of Anne of Green Gables. Much like Anne’s hair, Prince Edward Island has red beaches and red dirt.

Paraguay has red dirt too. I find myself thinking of Anne of Green Gables from time-to-time–not only because of the dirt, but because the ox carts and horse carts that plod along my community’s roads and hand washing my clothes remind me of a time past.

They say in the Paraguay campo (the countryside or rural areas) the red mud is worse. It can be hard to get out of your clothes and shoes. Volunteers in the campo suggest soaking red-mud stained clothes overnight to cut down on clothes scrubbing time.

When it rains even the paved and cobbles streets are flooded with red-water rivers and puddles. Most of the Paraguayan dirt I’ve seen is fine sand. The sand gets everywhere—it crunches on the tile floors in my house, tracked in on our sandals, and creates a light film that covers walls and windows.