It was New Year’s Eve, 1995. I had just graduated from college that May and moved to Asunción Paraguay in July for my first adult job as a kindergarten teacher. It was summer in the southern hemisphere, and we were on summer break at a time when I was used to cold temperatures and piles of snow in my native New York.
The week before, I had celebrated Christmas with my American pastor’s family. They’d gone to great lengths to get a real Christmas tree, and put the air conditioning on overdrive, working for a chilly Christmas feeling by battling the hazy, hot, and humid outdoors. The morning cloudiness had let us imagine a white Christmas, but when the sun broke through, we experienced midsummer’s tropical glory.
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