Sunday, April 22, 2007

The day I met an Australian

This week, it was my great pleasure to make the acquaintance of Reinaldo Mongelos, the new consul for Paraguay in Melbourne. Melbourne has around 45 Paraguayans, but there are many more in Sydney and around Griffith in NSW. Señor Mongelos is a builder and has been consul in an honorary capacity for many years. He is also an amateur ceramicist and a keen advocate of crafts, particularly from Guarani. With Señor Mongelos is Señor Christian Wood, a fourth generation Australian, descended from the original utopian settlers who came to Paraguay from Sydney in the late 19th century. Christian's grandfather Donald found in the horrible Chaco war against Bolivia. His father Alcides is a lawyer in Incarnación who tried to 'return' to Australia, but found that he missed Paraguay too much. Christian is following his father's footsteps and studying law at Melbourne University.

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