Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tech Team week

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Monday, Dan headed off for the bus before I started out for the Regional Office. He spent the day with the “techies”. I collected time cards and tried to enter stamped times in a spreadsheet I made for more accurate record-keeping. The ribbon in the machine is totally worn out, so I had to read the indentations!  I hope I asked the right person about getting a replacement; this has been going on for some time!  At home, we skyped with Erica (missionary candidate) and then with Erica (daughter)!  This was a long and full day!  It’s great to see the missionary candidates’ progress as they work through the process of God’s call and getting ‘ready to go’!  And it was great to catch up with our youngest, who is keeping everything in order at the house and screening mail and bills for us. She’s got a busy life too with work and friends and church.

Tuesday, Dan stayed at the Regional Office while the tech team returned to the computer stores in Buenos Aries for supplies.  Tuesday evening we got to use that tech team truck to get groceries at the Carrefour. It was kind of neat to be on our own for a little while, not dependent on public transportation or others with cars!

Wednesday is this week’s Friday! The Argentines celebrate Anunciacion Day and, since it fell on a Thursday this year, Friday is a day off too!  With the tech team here, though, Dan will certainly be working!  Cindy, on of the long term missionaries here, is leaving for 4 months in the States – her Home Assignment – and we’ve agreed to cat-sit!  She brought Neo over in the afternoon. He’s 11 and totally black. She brought LOTS of stuff for him: his purple blanket, toys, tons of food and cat litter!  He’s stayed in this house before, but it’s been a while, so he’ll take his time getting used to us and the house noises… Not sure, but we think he spent the first night under our bed!  We are also keeping Cindy's Christmas decorations from sitting idle while she is gone.  She loaned them to us to use.

Thursday, Dan headed off for the bus early again (but fewer buses run on holidays and Sundays) to spend the day doing techie stuff at the seminary and new office space!  I’d planned to do a couple of loads of laundry, so I started those, but Neo doesn’t like the washer or dryer noises!  He hid at the top of the stairs most of the day, until those noises were done!  I spent time knitting (finished Sarah’s scarf so she can be a little warmer back in Ohio), practicing Spanish with Rosetta Stone, catching up the blog and email, and continuing to hold up my end of Words With Friends games on Facebook.  The water guy came early today and I was glad I had some pesos to pay him!
Dan called mid-day with news that there will be a potluck at 8 p.m. at the Seminary grounds, so I found an easy apple cake recipe online to bake and take.  After a few tries, I got the oven going (Dan’s had the knack before now)! In the mid-eighties today, it really was awfully warm to be baking, on top of the dryer heat (not vented to the outside!), but the fans help! We have wall air-conditioners upstairs, but haven’t used them much yet.

The potluck was GREAT!
In a different culture, we really live for the fellowship times!  The potluck included a young couple from Bolivia and their little boy, the Peruvian seminary president and his family, 2 more Peruvian ladies, 6 techies from United States and us!  We had a wonderful dinner of baked meat, baked sliced potatoes, beet salad, green salad, and 2 apple desserts – how delicious!  Dan had picked me up so we didn’t have to take the apple cake on the bus but, not wanting anyone to have to drive us back home, we were content to take the bus home with an empty cake pan!

Friday, the tech team came to us!  They spent the day testing the network circuits at the Regional Office and CILP buildings, then untangling and labeling the wiring cabinets.

We’d been invited to join Josh and Freddy and the rest of the guys for a tourism day on Saturday, with Sarah as our guide. It was arranged for Ricardo to drive us and we headed for Buenos Aires!  What Ricardo had found out was that this was also Inauguration Day for Christina Scioli (the very popular new President of Argentina) and some of the streets were blocked off. Sarah told us what she knew about the government buildings that we saw the backs of, but we didn’t take the route that had been planned. We heard that there were other South American countries’ presidents in town for the ceremonies and we saw groups of people carrying flags to represent their part of Argentina – even some from Pilar!
When we did stop, touring La Boca was a fun way to spend the middle of the day – shopping, walking the cobblestone streets, and admiring the brightly painted buildings!  There are quite a number of artisans with booths selling their paintings and other crafts. We had split into 2 groups, but met back up for empanadas at an outdoor restaurant that featured tango dancers and gaucho couples too (traditional folk dancers who were in costume and excellent)!  Live singers with guitars really made that time special! The dancers try to get audience members to join them for photos, and they pass their hat for tips – and they’re successful with both!

The next stop was that La Recoleta Cemetery area where the rich and famous of Buenos Aires are buried including Eva Peron.  It's also a large commercial and tourist shopping area.  (For more photos of the day look at the slideshow on the right labeled "La Boca y Recoleta 2011".

This Sunday was the last morning Sunday School for the “summer” as school is out and it’s more difficult to get the bus ministry kids to come. So Sunday school will resume in late February again!  During the evening service, Sarah was honored as a vital part of the Sunday School ministry. She is a volunteer missionary that is leaving after several years of service here. She had made Iglesia Altos de Pilar her home church; we know she is going to miss it a great deal!

Neo is getting used to us after the first few days spending his time sitting on the tile floor, front paws tucked under in front.  If you know cats at all, you know that he was not relaxed; he was ready to move fast if he had to.  When he wasn’t in a spot on the ground floor, with views in more than one direction, he was under the built-in shelves at the top of our stairs, so he could see who was coming from that way.  After the first couple of nights under our bed, he curled up on the floor beside our bed each night!  By Sunday afternoon, he climbed up on the couch next to me while I was reading and actually curled up and put his head down – finally relaxed! We let him go outside a couple of times for a few minutes each time.  He’s used to being an indoor-outdoor cat, but we don’t want him to forget where’s he’s living for now!  He’ll get to spend more time outside as the days go on!  It’s nice having a cat around!

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