The 5 people you meet on a Paraguayan cargo boat – The inquisitive crew

14 Sep

This is part of a 5 post series where I tell you about my cargo boat trip to Concepcion through the people I met.

The inquisitive crew

As well as being friendly, I will remember the young crew for being inquisitive. At times I felt like a wise man telling them of the far off land of dragons and knights. They were so eager to learn of the world outside of the river, which is the only world they know.

An example of this was when I was sitting on the bow of the boat with Mauricio and Eduardo, two 20 year old boys who had grew up by the river and now lived and worked on the boat. I’m sitting with them and going through Mauricio’s cell phone telling him which country each of the time zone cities is in and showing them on the tiny cell phone world map where the countries are.

In between the crewing picking up new passengers and offloading cargo to riverside farms I was showing the crew a map of Paraguay, as I wanted to find a few things out about places. They didn’t want to show it, but it was as though the map of Paraguay was kind of foreign to them, it was like a 16 year old virgin fumbling with his new girlfriends bra strap but trying to hide it and pretend that he’s an experienced lover. Although they may not be able locate Asuncion straight away on the map, I’m sure they could tell me every curve and sand bank in the Rio Paraguay between Asuncion and Concepcion. It’s time like these you appreciate being from a first world country, having an education and the opportunity to travel.

A lot of the 30 hour trip was spent lying in a hammock or sitting on a sack of onions, drinking terere in a close knit group with the crew and them shamelessly hitting on the cute young passenger who was travelling back to the farm with her family. Them teaching me Guarani (the native language of Paraguay of which everybody speaks or at least understands, it’s the main language outside of Asuncion, the language of the people) and me teaching them English. Plenty of laughs, at my expense also, for example the boat clown (pictured below with my pack as he explains he’s going to run away and find a foreigner girl) said he was teaching me “Hello” in Guarani but instead taught me “punch me”, it didn’t take me long to figure out I wasn’t saying hello, haha.

3 Responses to “The 5 people you meet on a Paraguayan cargo boat – The inquisitive crew”

  1. Paul Matthews September 14, 2009 at 4:01 am #

    I’m totally pining bro. You look like you’re completely dominating over there mate, great to see. I always read your posts over breakfast, seems to work well although there has been the odd occasion where I’ve just about choked.

    NBL bro

    • Hap September 14, 2009 at 11:31 pm #

      Cheer bro, love to hear it.
      what you choking on?

  2. Paul Matthews September 15, 2009 at 6:15 am #

    Cornflakes usually, bit early in the morning for anything more substantial.

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