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Category Archives: Music & Art

Music of the Heart & Soul (May 6, 2016)

Music of the Heart & Soul (May 6, 2016)

Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina  Editor’s note: Jane Spelce served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, South America, from May 2013 to May 2015. She served in two communities, Yataity and San Bernardino. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Jane worked in non-profit development. A native Texan, Jane recently moved to Charleston, to James Island, to be closer to her children and new grandbaby. Article By Jane Spelce, Special to the Post and Courier Just recently I returned from a two-year journey into another culture faraway. There are many things that touched my heart and soul during that journey ... Read More »

Ahendu in October

Ahendu in October

Several times a year Peace Corps volunteers hold a musical event called “Ahendu” at a club in Asunción.  Most of the music performed is rock, jazz, blues.  I thought it’d be fun to play the violin but wanted to make sure I played something in keeping with the mood of the night.  So, I picked out a piece called “Robot Roll” written by Joe McDermott of Austin, Texas.  It’s the coolest song and luckily, Joe made for me an accompaniment track with his musicians at his recording studio.  At Ahendu we had a great sound system and a DJ who knew ... Read More »

The Conservatory Project

The Conservatory Project

  September 10, 2014:  Here are photos of some of my violinistas in their first classes! I am very proud of them. They are so attentive. Although they’ve not yet learned how to play, I allowed them to pull the bow across the strings for the first time, for these photos; however, we will be working on good positions of the hands, arms, and body in the coming classes so that they will know the best methods for making their instrument sing. Iván, Cristhian Achu, Rojas Fedeirco, Nicolás Nicolas Villalba Ccp, Nati, Sofia, Jhoana and Maribel! Bravo! For those of ... Read More »

My Community, My Family

My Community, My Family

I will be posting “catch-up” photos and comments plus a few stories, on my blog as I wind up my service here in Paraguay. So you’ll receive notification of many postings all at once dating over the past six months. My apologies! August 29, 2014:   Performances along the shores of Lake Ypacarai Today was a great day of celebration!  The morning began with a service at the top of the hill at SanBer’s large Catholic Church, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.  Both the priest from our church as well as the one from Aregua, the community across Lake Ypacarai, ... Read More »

You Raise Me Up

You Raise Me Up

Last weekend I was asked to perform at an outdoor Serenata at the chapel  just up the road from here so I prepared a few pieces I thought the group of about 200 people might relate to and enjoy. One of the pieces, “You Raise Me Up” has been so overused in the States it normally wouldn’t be a consideration but here I felt they’d enjoy it and it would be appropriate on so many levels. Given the song’s meaning, it depicts many things, including our mutual admiration. They truly seemed to enjoy the piece and I heard myself quietly ... Read More »

Retired Professors Luncheon – Friendship Day

Retired Professors Luncheon – Friendship Day

July 31:  Yesterday was Day of Friendship here in Paraguay and words cannot describe the great fun we had! I was invited to give a presentation at the meeting of retired professors. How wonderful is this group of women. All are beautiful, with savvy, intelligence and a loving attitude. There were several fun skits and poetry. I recorded these and will post here. Afterwards, we sang songs they all knew, with violin and guitar accompaniment. Later, I gave my presentation on the topic of: “How to Have Joy in Your Life.” We discussed good methods for starting your day with ... Read More »

Little Chairs

Little Chairs

May 21:  just had to show you all this fun thing. Sometimes amidst project meetings, translation attempts and class preparation, it seems good to stop and do something simple and creative! Here is a finished product, a little chair, and the next one in progress. As you can see, Michi is supporting me in this effort. These will be used as art class examples and later, gifts.  Read More »

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” –Steve Martin

When Steve Martin said that, I laughed, but I thought about it this way, too –  The sun goes down, you lose it.  There is the darkness of night, and the next day, how great! There you are again, back in the sunshine. I thought about Steve’s quote when a friend of mine back home asked what causes me to be so positive much of the time.  I started to answer her in an email but I decided I’d like to share my thoughts with the rest of you, too.  Why do I often think in a positive manner?  I ... Read More »

I Can’t Stop Smiling!

I Can’t Stop Smiling!

I’ve been meaning to tell you about a very exciting project in my new site.  It’s so surprising and I’m very grateful. I will go into some detail because I believe that the unusual happenings are in the details. I need to give you a little background. You may already know that while growing up, I was a member of the now well-known Junior String Project in Austin. In an assembly I attended at , professors of music at the University of Texas demonstrated each instrument and informed us that we could take classes in any of those instruments, free ... Read More »

I’m Home!

I’m Home!

The juice of a most delectable mango is running down my chin as I try to type. I think I may be in heaven, actually. Most every night Nuni delivers to me a cold mango brought from the patio refrigerator just for this moment. She comes to the back door, we’re both in our nightgowns by this time and she grins, hands it to me with a smile. We admire it, yellow-orange with blushing pink-red down one side.  We giggle, I say “Me Encanta!” y “Muchisimas Gracias,” then we kiss both cheeks,  wish each other a goodnight’s sleep and off ... Read More »

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