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Summer In Paraguay

Flame Tree

Temperatures in the summer frequently reach the high 30s and take quite a bit of adjusting to. In addition to the heat, the humidity which can be above 60% some days. Thunderstorms are frequent but are not predictable in their timing as in some tropical countries. It is not unusual for the heat and humidity to build up over a few days before a storm breaks refreshingly, giving some much awaited relief.

 

The temperature always seems to be dependent on which direction the wind is coming from. From the north is the hot and usually humid air that brings many storms. At the times that there are southern winds there is usually cooler air and temperatures sometimes fall to the mid 20s.

 

Some of the most beautiful trees and shrubs like flame trees and jasmine are in bloom during the summer. The displays of flowers last for months and during the evenings and early mornings the air can be filled with the scent.

 

Mangoes are also becoming ripe in december and will soon start falling from the trees. The trees generally have so many fruit that it is not unusual to pass someones house and see that bags of fruit have been put out for passers by to take home. Other fruits that are available now include pineapple, guava and watermelon. The watermelons are huge and are seen at every store and market. They are sometimes used for a juice that is sweet and refreshing, much better than in europe where they are often picked before being fully ripe.

 

In the southern hemisphere, summer is also Christmas time. As a native of northern europe I must admit this feels very strange. Festive treats include pan dulces or panettone, which are traditional Italian breads brought here by italian immigrants, cider and turron which is a peanut and fruit nougat. Fireworks start on Christmas eve, evening and build up until midnight when there are cheers. The main Christmas dinner is eaten on Christmas eve night.

 

School holidays also last from December till February. January is when many businesses take their annual break. Although some administrative staff remain the courts are also shut during this time. As Paraguay is landlocked, lake and river resorts like San Bernardino and Villa Florida are popular, although more people are now travelling further to the coasts of Brazil and Uruguay.

 

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