We spent another day enjoying the serenity of Laguna Blanca before steering the bus north. As we headed out on the dirt road, the rain clouds gathered and started to follow us. The clouds were white to the west, and black to the north. We managed to get through the storm without sliding around too bad and hit pavement before the road turned to mush.
Bel had invited us to meet up at her parents house in Horqueta, which is a small town near Concepcion. Upon arrival, we learned that as we were relaxing at the lagoon there had been a massive police/peasant shootout leaving 17 dead and 80 injured – and that people were calling for the resignation of the president. The president, Luco, was once a bishop – who just before we’d entered the country, acknowledged a second child born to a nurse while he was still a priest. His popularity has been sinking fast, and the opportunistic congress has since impeached and replaced their Paraguayan president.
Bel’s dad, Don Juan, owns a funeraria which is attached to the house and makes for an interesting visit. We were assured that no bodies were there – they only make and sell the caskets. Apparently, in Paraguay the family takes the casket and prepares the body at home. It’s all natural, so the deceased is usually buried the next day.
We were happy to learn that a couple of clients who came by on Saturday night were there for Don Juan’s other service: premarital counseling.
Jeremy took us to visit Concepcion while we were there. It was a soggy day, but the Spanish colonial feel of the town was apparent. There were lot’s of cool old buildings that needed restoring. I’m not sure if it was the weather, our continual arrival during siesta, or if the town has just seen better days, but it seemed a bit deserted.
And, Pablo and Bode picked up where they had left off and had a great time. They managed to scatter toys all over Pablo’s grandparents’ house and play hide-and-seek among the coffins. No one seemed to mind.