I Can’t Speak Any Language Anymore

The ViewAs volunteers we joke about the fact that we can’t speak any of the 3 languages we know as part of our service—English, Spanish, and Guaraní. When we get together we speak a confusing mix of the 3 that no one but another Peace Corps Paraguay volunteer will understand easily.

Sample Conversation:

[Location Peace Corps office in Asunción]

Volunteer 1: “Hola! ¿Qué tal?”

Volunteer 2: “Fine. What have you been up to?”

Volunteer 1: “Not much. Everything is tranquilopa, but I’ve been trabajando un poco in the high school. You?“

Volunteer 2: “¡Que guapa! I don’t know. Che kui’gue.”

Volunteer 1: “Qué piko”

Volunteer 2: “I’ve just been visiting families, mostly.”

Volunteer 1: “Japu. Aren’t you working with una comisión de mujeres?”

Volunteer 2: “Más o menos. I presented a couple of ideas to them, but we haven’t started anything. Tranquilo, nomás. I mostly work with the niños in the escuela. Tengo a PE class.”

Volunteer 1: “!Que guapa, entonces! Where do you want to go for almuerzo?”

Volunteer 2: “Ndaikuaai, depende en vos nomás”

Volunteer 1: “I was thinking pasta, but I don’t need the carbs.”

Volunteer 2: “Igual nomás. The pasta place at the mall?”

Volunteer 1: “Yeah, he’tereri”

Volunteer 2: “Do you want to come back to the office after lunch?”

Volunteer 1: “Puede ser. I should call mi madre.”

Volunteer 2: “Jahama, entonces.”