Big City vs. Countryside

The Big CityComing from Vermont we always joke that we are years behind New York City. I mean, my parents still don’t have cell service at their homes and only got rid of dial-up within the past 5 years…and pop culture doesn’t get to Vermont any faster. The difference between the rural US and the urban US is dramatic. Now, times the city-country contrast in the US by 10 and you’ll get closer to the disparity between big Paraguayan cities (mainly Asunción and Encarnación) and the rest of Paraguay. Most of Paraguay is rural, ranging from rural with running water and electricity to rural with nothing.

In the many rural parts of Paraguay there are roads that can’t be crossed when it rains. Cows roam free. There’s bad cell service, no Internet, electricity that goes out, and water pulled from wells with buckets. It can be hard to find groceries because there are just little house-front stores with the basics: sugar, salt, and flour.

In Asunción, as least when it’s not flooding because of a downpour and no drainage—there are high-end clothing stores and sit-in restaurants with waiters and WiFi. There are coffee shops, ice cream parlors, movie theaters, and international businesses. You’d be surprised how many people in Asunción speak English, but don’t know Guaraní.

In Paraguay, the city and the countryside are like to different worlds. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe they are part of the same country.