The train was apparently an old German or an old Dutch train, as there were signs on the train in one of those languages. We had to go through immigration on each side of the river, as we were leaving Argentina and entering Paraguay. The train travels on a new bridge that was built with a single train track on one side and 2 lanes of vehicle traffic on the other side of the bridge – beautiful bridge.
As expected the Rotarians were patiently waiting on us, and they took us to their new beautiful Rotary building – dedicated just for Rotary use. There is plenty of space, both upstairs and down. Additional Encarnacion Rotarians met us before we left to see the Rotary water project the Rotary Club of District 6000 and a few individuals sponsored. We drove about 30 minutes through a heavy agricultural area (we saw corn, wheat and cattle), before turning off the main road unto a dirt road – bright red soil. This area was rolling hills, which is so different from the areas we have driven in Argentina where it is table top level. It was great seeing the lush rolling hills.
|Road Leading to the Project Village|
On this dirt road we crossed a newly built bridge, before coming to a small village of 35 family units of indigenous peoples. The Rotary Club Encarnacion heard about their low standard of living, and their health needs. They decided to advocate for this small village to the local authorities and for the infrastructure of a bridge to cross the river. All they could do was ford the river when the river was flooded, they had no way of leaving their village. The basic infrastructure of a bridge was badly needed.
|New Toilet Block and Laundry Facility|
|Rotarians, Guests and Villagers|
|Old Laundry Hole beside the Bridge|
The next infrastructure need was water in the village. The women washed clothes in the river and carried water back to the village. This is where Rotary helped. A well was drilled and the water is pumped to the water tower on the hill behind the village. The Rotary Grant also built a building with two sets of 4 toilets and showers – men on one side and women on the other. In an open area between the toilet blocks there are 4 sinks with running water, each having a built-in old fashioned wash board, so the women are able to wash their clothes right there in the village. In another building nearby Rotary also built a shower house. Due to the influence from the Rotary Club, the local government and other agencies have stepped forward and made improvements in the village – school, mobile health clinics (the day we were there a team of health care workers were in the village doing pap smears for the women), and someone has been building houses of clay blocks for them. They are simple houses but they have tile roofs and are so much better than the mud style hut houses they have been living in. Some people are still in the old style houses so we were able to take some photos of them.
|Presenting School Materials to the Village Leader with the Rotary Club President|
|Television Coverage of our Visit|
|Left to Right - Gardener, Village Leader and Cal|
Due to having water right there in the village they have improved their garden area. They had a gorgeous garden area which they have enlarged. They now can water the plants without personally carrying the water from the river. The soil is a brick red color but it does grow wonderful veggies.
|Bench with Guitar Insider the Church|
|Roof from the Inside|
|The Front of the Church|
|Washing Clothes by her House|
|Drying her Clothes on the Garden Fence|
|Elderly Man Wrapping a Cane with Reed|
|Selling Home Made Baskets|
|New Water Tower with Tank|
|Older Village Houses|
|Newer Block Houses|
|Women Waiting outside the Medical Clinic|
|Mobile Clinic Medical Staff|
|Smile of Gratitude|
After returning to the city we had a delightful lunch at a restaurant owned by the daughter of one of the Rotarians. These lunches do not last for just 1 hour, but 2 hours! After lunch we returned to Posadas on the train, again going through immigration on both sides. We used the city bus to get from the train terminal to the hotel where we relaxed, freshened up and changed for the evening event.
|Newly developed Encarnacion River Front|
|Posadas across the River from Encarnacion|
|Lunch with Rotarians|
At 8:30 we were ready to be picked up by car by several Rotarians from one of the Posadas Rotary Clubs. This time we drove across the bridge to Paraguay, of course showing our passports in Argentina and again in Paraguay. I mention these immigration stops, as when Cal presented his passport tonight, the gal kept looking at it, and looking at it. “What was the problem?” Well apparently this afternoon when we returned to Argentina on the train, the guy at immigrations stamped everyone’s passport except Cal’s – meaning that Cal never left Paraguay this afternoon (like he actually did). This official did not stamp Cal’s passport this evening when we entered Paraguay - they will do it when we leave later tonight. So according to his passport, Cal spent a full day in Paraguay compared to the rest of us!!
After this delay we finally arrived at the Rotary meeting. This Rotary meeting was special. They felt so honored to have guest, as they seldom have guest, plus we supported them on this wonderful project and they were truly grateful to us for helping.
|BBQ'ing Beef and Lamb - A 5 Hour Process|
|BBQ'ing Sausage - The Dark Sausage is Blood Sausage|
|Ready for Dinner|
|Rotary Banner Exchange|
|The Finished Product|
|The BBQ Chef Serving|
|Will We Look Fat Full and Satisfied?|
It was another late night!! And I cannot go to sleep on such a full stomach!