|SAM Region Logo|
|Gate House sign|
|Luana - 10 Months old|
Saturday 22 October 2011
|Thea, Sarah, Cindy & Janet|
|Tigre market street (one of many)|
This evening, after we arrived home from work, we walked the ¼-mile down the road to the closest tiendas, the small local stores. La Esperanza has a produce section and a meat department. And there’s no self-service here; you ask for exactly how many apples or carrots or ears of corn that you want. You just don’t walk into the small produce department – the produce guy gets them for you. (This is great practice, as we have to use Spanish food words and Spanish numbers!) These items are bagged up and weighed and you are handed a small slip of paper with the total bill written on it. You take your produce to the meat department and ask there for pork chops or chicken breasts or steak or ground beef (a kilo, or half kilo) and they weigh and bag those too! The lady at the register has been smiling as she listened to me struggle with the Spanish. She added the numbers together, on paper – then puts in the total. We pay in cash, say Gracias(thanks) and Ciao(good-by), and walk back home!
Tuesday 25 October 2011
Carlos has graciously offered to take us to a different grocery story this evening. He says that this place has better prices than Jumbo and, on Tuesdays, there is an additional 15% discount. Did I say that the Jumbo grocery store was like a Super Wal-Mart? It‘s not quite as big as this Carrefour store! This store even sells appliances, clothing, home goods… that’s before you ever get to the cleaning supplies, personal sundries, and a huge variety of groceries! Feels a lot more like shopping at home, even though we’re reading Spanish names of things! The spices were a challenge, not something I had even tried to look up. I’ll go next time with a translated list!
Friday 28 October 2011
Weekdays have settled into somewhat of a routine and there is certainly some comfort in that, given that we’re away from home, in a different culture, with different work, different language, different shopping and cooking, different church services… Routine gives some, well, routine to the vast array of different things in our lives these days.
We get up and shower, fix breakfast and clean up the little kitchen. We walk to work and begin the day in the lobby of our office building with staff devotions. Liliana’s compassionate voice reads from scripture, then from the book of petitions – prayers that have been asked from the staff for their friends and family. As she reads each one, people respond as to the status of each need; as prayers are answered, she crosses them off and says, “Gracias a Dios” (Thanks to God). It’s a great way to start the morning, although we don’t have the language skills to understand all the requests. After someone closes that time in prayer, we greet one another with Argentine cheek-kisses and go to our offices to begin our work. We work with some pretty special people, all dedicated to their work and their families and friends, and to God.
At 12:30 or so, we walk home for an hour of lunch preparation, eating, and cleaning up. Then it’s back to work until 5:00.
As our confidence grows and our business skills are used, we are depended upon for a little more. It’s gratifying to be accepted and counted on. And it’s very special to be able to have these experiences with my best friend!
Parts of this past weekend were so fun! And parts were just kinda hard!
Friday evening, we decided to invite our 3 lady missionary friends over, make popcorn, and listen to the World Series game on ESPN Radio online. The invitation got reversed, however, and we took our popcorn over to the seminary, to Cindy Downey’s apartment and got to actually see the Cardinals win on Direct TV! That was the terrific, fun part!
Saturday, Dan spent the morning re-learning some video editing software to polish up the recording we made Friday morning to send to our church for our first Sunday morning update! I had made pancakes for breakfast and caught up with emails and current Facebook news, but needed to get up and move around after a while! So we decided to walk around the compound; it probably takes 4 or 5 times around to make a mile! But, on the first round, we noticed that our friends German and Patricia were moving from house #5 to house #1, so we offered to help for a while. They speak some English, so we tried to practice Spanish too. We learned some new words (piso is floor and techo is ceiling) and enjoyed their company until they needed to take a break for lunch! We also needed to have lunch and finish that video, so we excused ourselves and did just that. Later, we walked some more laps around the compound!
Sunday 30 October 2011
|Bus stop just outside the gate.|
After we got home, the thing that saved Sunday night was an email from our friend Edna – a note full of news and love and missing us. It was just what I needed! It sure is great to have friends!
Our little bathroom is all tiled, includes a shower (in the slanty part), toilet, sink, mirror and a couple of shelves - totally adequate! Dan did install a small mirror in the laundry room for me for make-up. The laundry room includes a window and the back door with a big window, so there's lots of morning sunlight for that job! The kitchen is definitely interesting! There’s a small double-sink in the a gorgeous black-and-white granite counter top, but it's quite small. We borrowed a microwave from another house (no one's living there now) and a computer desk (from the same house) to put it on and for more kitchen work space. The bottled-water-guy comes around every Thursday afternoon so we can buy water for the dispenser on our counter. [Don't drink the water!] :)
We were provided with towels, blankets, pillows, sheets, plates, cups, glasses, basic cutlery, 3 pans, and a few cooking utensils.
|This toaster is much cheaper than electric.|
I'm REALLY grateful that I brought my favorite wooden spoon, a whisk, 3 hotpads, 2 dishtowels, silicone spatula, peanut butter, steak seasoning, some Tupperware containers, and a few Ziplocs. Zipper bags are few-and-far-between and expensive. I think that people here, like in many other countries, simply cook what they need when they need it and don't have so many leftovers. (Now, as for me, I love to have leftovers to create something new out of again!) We brought a French-press for morning coffee, so we didn’t have to buy a coffee-maker. It works great! We walked to the little tiendas (markets) after work tonight and bought some more produce and juice and homemade bread. Even if things aren't terribly modern here, it's really fun to enjoy the differences in the culture!