As long time readers will know, we are planning to move to Ciudad del Este next year, so the main purpose of this trip was to begin the process of familiarization with the city. We are beginning to look for housing , not only for ourselves but also for our daughter's family. We also plan to do a new church plant and so we need to be familiar with the logistics as we search out the place we feel is most desirable for this new ministry. It needs to be somewhere the people can find bus transportation to and from easily. So we need to learn the bus routes, among other things.
We have been able to follow a few leads in the search for housing and will need to make more trips to check out all the options. Housing is difficult in this city. There is not a lot available for rent. We also need to keep security in mind as much as possible. The safest places are all in gated, armed, private communities, but rents there are well beyond our means.
The middle class areas are full. People are reluctant to give up these places and keep them in the family. Wait for a rental can be up to a year. Other possible places are only made known by word of mouth and you have to be on the ball.
A missionary friend in the town has been directing us and has been very helpful. I was so happy to finally meet her and her husband. Through her we were able to look at a few possibilities. We also met a wonderful missionary family that works with the Ache tribe here.
Sunday was spent in getting to know the town more and visiting a small Baptist church. Sunday night we had a big storm which knocked out the power.The hotel was completely dark until they eventually started a generator which provided emergency lighting in the halls.
All the guest opened their doors and we sat and visited in the halls which felt quite neighborly! I met a Brazilian lady married to a Uruguayan man and their children that way. Everyone made a party of it and no one complained. I could not help but compare their acceptance of the situation to what I would have thought a typical American response may have been... anyway, a few hours later, the lights came back on and we all retreated into our private worlds once again. I guess I miss the tribal community and shared lifestyle of a village.
Monday morning we did a little shopping as we can get Brazilian products there. Things we can not find in Asuncion. Really important stuff!