Aspirante: In our context, this Spanish term refers to a trainee.

Charla: Literally translates to “talk” or “chatter”.  In reality, refers to a sort of guest-led training event.  The speaker may substitute for a teacher in a school or host an independent training (single or multiple sessions) on any number of topics.  PC Paraguay loves charlas.

Contact or Community Contact: A person with whom the PCV partners with to initiate and complete projects during service.  A PCV may have any number of contacts and may not necessarily work with the same contact on more than one project.

G: Refers to training class.  Training groups are identified by the first letter in the name of the training facility followed by their successive number.  (Training facilities move every handful of years.)  Kevin and I belong to G-36.

Guapo/a: Although in many Spanish speaking places this term describes someone as attractive or good-looking, in Paraguay it describes a person as hard-working.

Look, The: All Paraguayan women of a particular age know and regularly employ “the look”.  Imagine the most disappointed look you’ve ever received from your own mother.  Now double it.  Now add a flash of rage.  Now hold it for at least seven seconds.  That’s “the look”.

Host Family: During training and the first three months of service, all PCVs in Paraguay are required to live with a family.

Intendente: The Mayor

Mandioca or Mandio: An uber-fibrous cousin to the potato.  Served peeled and boiled.  (The highly poisonous skin actually contains arsenic.)  Paraguayans serve it with every meal.  Seriously, every meal.

Michimi: Guarani for “a little.”  Answering the question, “Do you speak Guarani?” with “Michimi” usually scores big laughs- and sometimes a little credibility.

Moving-in Allowance: New volunteers receive a small stipend to assist with the associated costs of moving to site and settling in.  Although some move into furnished houses, more often volunteers need to purchase basic home necessities, e.g. mattress, refrigerator.

PC: Peace Corps

PCT: Peace Corps Trainee

PCV: Peace Corps Volunteer

Post: Peace Corps lingo for countries where volunteers serve

RPCV: Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Sister G: In Peace Corps Paraguay, each sector has two Gs (see above) in country at any given time.  The older “sisters” mentor the younger “sisters” throughout service.

Site: The town or city where a PCV lives and concentrates their work during service.

Sopa Paraguaya: First concocted (accidentally) by President Carlos Antonio Lopez’s chef, this Paraguayan staple resembles unsweetened cornbread.

Swear-In: During PC service, one does not become an official volunteer until completing three months of training and taking an oath.  The formal ceremony includes PC staff, local government officials, and wonderful cake.

Swear-In Weekend: Post swear-in, volunteers have a few free days before they move to their new sites.  Most volunteers use this time to relax, spend time with G-mates, and purchase last minute basics while in the capital.

SWOT Analysis: A tool used to determine a project's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.