Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pre-Holiday activities

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This week, we were not looking forward to an-even-quieter compound. Carlos & Robin Radi and their 3 girls left on Monday for their 3-month Home Assignment. And Sarah, on Tuesday, started to distribute the things she would not be taking home; she’s going back to Ohio to stay. While we wish she was sticking around, we benefited greatly with additional baking dishes and foodstuffs. Wednesday, she added more things for us to use and some to store for the next missionary… She has been here for 4 years, this stint, and has been a wealth of information about living here in Pilar! It will be so strange not having her next door and available to ask advice… she’s nuts about Argentina!
Most of the tech team flew home Monday evening, except Josh and his dad Freddy. So we had them over for dinner on Wednesday night. I made a chicken shepherd’s pie, topped with homemade mashed potatoes (in one of my new glass casserole dishes, courtesy of Sarah). They were willing to take us to the grocery store after dinner, since they had a truck to use, and we did just that, right after we enjoyed a cup of Chocolate Almendras (choco-almond) ice cream at Dolce Pilar! When we got back, I baked some cookies (made the oatmeal-Craisin-chocolate chip dough earlier) and we had some decaf. What a nice evening with 2 nice guys… make that 3 nice guys!

Dan and Thea have been working on a project to gather accurate address information to send Christmas cards from the Regional Director to General and Regional leaders, friends (in both South America and the US) and district superintendents around the SAM Region. Friday was a particularly crazy day for them as they fought with the data, formatting issues and lots of other details. Only God held things together!

Earlier Friday afternoon, Patricia had asked if we’d be home in the evening. (She and her husband German are filling in for Carlos and Noemi, the facilities managers who are spending Christmas vacation with their family in the States.) Patricia and her family were going out for the evening and a gentleman from the church we attend was scheduled to deliver 50 chickens to the compound for the church’s Cena de Navidad (Christmas banquet – next Friday)! She and I had walked around the compound in the afternoon, inspecting which freezers we might use (in places not being rented or lived in just now), so I was ready with a list and some keys! The guard at the gatehouse was instructed to direct the man to our A-frame house and, with windows open anyway, we heard the car outside around 10:00 pm. I introduced them to mi esposo (my husband) and we started off to fill the first freezer! It was funny how we managed to communicate with our limited Spanish, as we helped unload 50 fresh chickens (in plastic bags, ready to bake) from the back of their small car into 3 different freezers! We had fun, though, with SeƱor Coehlo, his esposa(wife) and little nieto (grandson). As they were ready to leave, we all washed our hands and I gave them some cookies for their ride home. It’s little experiences like this that bring us some new friends!

Saturday, Dan continued to work on the Christmas card data, finally getting it to a point where we called Thea to come over and take a look at it. She came over and visited for a couple of hours. She’s been here 2 weeks longer than we have and has much more experience with Spanish. It’s good to compare notes! She’s involved in a Bible study here and she spends time on her computer in conversation with her parents and with her boyfriend back in the States. We’ve always got each other, but it’s easy to forget that she might get lonely here.

This week is the first of several Sundays during the summer break from school and, therefore, Sunday School as well. So there’s nothing until evening… weird Sunday! But this is Promotion Sunday, so the service will have lots of extra music and fun. In the meantime, we puttered around the house; Dan put up his new (from Sarah) hammock and we spent some time in the sun in the back yard.
Inside, when Dan was working on his computer, he didn’t even notice that I made empanadas for lunch – until he started smelling the dough baking! A little after 6:30, we walked out to the bus stop with Thea and watched as a red bus stopped just past where we were waiting (we usually get on a blue public bus). It was our church bus!! We ran to get on and continued the rest of the route through a nearby neighborhood to pick up more people. (Thea had just said she wasn’t sure if she had enough change to pay for the bus ride home, and then we got a free ride!) The Bus Ministry kids’ parents have been invited to this service too. The church filled up quickly and Dan went up to the balcony to take some photos. Lots of church workers were honored and there was cake for everyone at the end of the service! We were really hungry for dinner by then, though, so we skipped the cake and caught a public bus for home!

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