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Today is August 1, an (in)auspicious day in Paraguay.  It’s traditionally the day when Paraguayans drink Carrulim, a homemade concoction of sugar cane, root, and lemon that makes a potent, sour tonic that Paraguayans claim promotes health, happiness, and protection from maladies (in Korean culture, that honor is reserved for kimchi).  It’s an old Guarani belief that manifests itself in a spirit that is passed around a group of native Paraguayans and Guarani aficionados who believe they must drink Carrulim to survive from year to year.  (The Guarani represent the largest indigenous group in Paraguay–the Guarani language and culture are ingrained in the Paraguayan psyche.)  The word “Carrulim” itself is derived from the drink’s three main components.  I have to admit that I did not have a chance to try some Carrulim today, although my Guarani teacher promised to brew some for us to taste tomorrow in class.  ABC Color, one of Asuncion‘s three main daily newspapers, published an article (in Spanish) about Carrilum Day:
Today is also notable in Paraguayan history because of the Ycua Bolanos supermarket fire, a tragedy that left over 400 people dead and 400 injured.  It is single deadliest event in modern Paraguayan history since the 1930’s.  On Sunday, August 1, 2004, while hundreds of shoppers shopped, cashed paychecks, and ate in a large food court, a fire broke out in the large supermarket in Asuncion.  The owner alleged ordered all doors chained shut to prevent looting, preventing the victims from escaping.  Those brought up on charges were acquitted earlier this year, leading to extensive rioting.  The courts initiated a second review and may overturn the previous ruling.
Today also marks the day after the Supreme Court of Justice referred Lino Oviedo‘s case to the Military Court for possible amnesty.  The former general and head of UNACE, a opposition party, was recently absolved of culpability in the assassination of former Vice President Argana and the 1999 student massacre, paving the way for President Duarte and the Military Court to pardon him for his alleged involvement in the 1996 failed coup against former President Wasmosy.  It all adds up to a possible presidential run in 2008.  If Oviedo is pardoned, he would be free to run for president. 
Pass the Carrulim.  I think I need some.
 

Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his wife Jing and son Alex. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or contact him by e-mail at me@mgedwards.com or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

© 2017 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author.

1 Comment

  1. Saksinee's Gravatar Saksinee
    August 3, 2007    

     
    I have to move to the new place to live concerning my baby’s health condition. We are moving on this coming Sunday. (Aug.5)
    That’s why I have been very busy (finding a new place, packing and will unpacking very soon)
     
    After all the moving, I might still busy with my son’s new school & new term. But the main thing, I am not sure when I will get my internet connection back.
     
    Until then… give me your post…enjoy your life and take a very good care of yourself…and each other…and the rest.
       
    Still blessing, still sharing
    Still loving, still caring
    My heart is exactly still the same
     
    May you’ve all the luck in every minute of your life.
     
            
     
    Saksinee (A’)
     
     ……..* ..* ……..*………* …..*……………* …*………………..* ..*………………….* .*……………………*………*….* *…………………….*…*…………..* .*…………………….*……………….* ..*…………………….*…………….* …*…………………………………* …..*…………………………….* ……..*………………………* ………..*………………….* ……………*……………* ………………*……….* …………………*…..* ………………….*..* ……………………* ……………………*

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