Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentines and Carneval

It’s a holiday here in Argentina, Carneval, and we get a day off work too; well, a day out of the office anyway. Dan’s working on security camera wiring and a presentation for Christian Sarmiento to use at Naz HQ tomorrow!

Last week included Valentine’s Day and, while it’s not celebrated in a huge way here, I wanted to share Valentine’s Day treats with our co-workers. I get any number of emails with creative ideas for cooking and holidays, so I had an idea in mind. We bought a bag of lollipops and made colored paper into hearts and leaves, using glue to make them into Valentine flower-pops, and standing them up in a plastic container filled with cracked corn.

Before we went out that evening, Dan and I had permission to borrow the Toyota camion(pickup), so we ran to Jumbo for a few groceries. On the way back to the truck, we passed a flower kiosk and Dan bought me a large bunch of miniature, pale pink roses – gorgeous and they smelled wonderful all the rest of the week as they opened! After taking the groceries home, we had 8:30 reservations so we headed out for a romantic dinner at Amore Mio, an Italian restaurant. They had tables set up outside as well as inside; we opted for an inside table, all with oil candles lit. Our waitress was very understanding of our limited Spanish and asked simple, short questions about our dinner choices and about where we from and how long we were living in Pilar. We shared salmon over spinach with a light creamy sauce after an antipasto platter – delicioso!

Wednesday, our day was filled with sporadic work among 4 Skype sessions to 3 different locations in the U.S. Isn’t technology wonderful?!

In addition to watching our missionary friends’ speaking schedules (Home Assignment in the States) and praying for them, we’re keeping an eye on our friend Dawn who had brain tumor surgery. She’s back in the hospital this week and we’re praying that the doctors will find the right balance of medication. Our Peruvian friend, Anna Melva (who lives and works here with NYI/JNI and in the church we attend), is recovering from a tumor removal also. Melva is having trouble sleeping and is in a lot of pain. We took some banana bread to her and her mother and visited a little, not to tire her too much. We’re also keeping tabs on Thea, to do what we can to help keep her from getting too tired. She’ll leave to go back State-side on Thursday, and will continue to work for the SAM Region remotely as she faces possible surgery and tries to better manage her health.

Yesterday, a large group of people arrived in 4 buses for a group baptism, to “christen” our new pool! They lined up in white sack-like robes (almost like angels without wings). It looked like about 50 people were baptized, 2 at a time, while their families watched. Dan and I were asked to take a few photos for the website; the photos will be great on the campground’s website to show other church groups how the facilities (and the new pool!) can be used.

Knowing too that our time here is short, only 7 weeks left, we’re starting the thought processes about what we’ll be able to do remotely, in our continuing relationship with the SAM Region. Another couple has committed to coming 2 weeks before we leave, to work on-site. I’ve been making a long list of kitchen things we can leave for them (things they won’t have to bring or buy). And we’re looking forward to giving them an orientation to life and work in Pilar!  Four and a half months ago we had no idea that we would be the ones to do this but God is in control and His plans are far better than anything we had or have in mind.

On a warm and muggy, but gray day today, we tried out the pool for the first time! The water was cool, but nice. We swam some laps and will probably have some sore muscles tomorrow, but we’ll sleep well!  As the summer season here begins to change our remaining time is starting to pickup speed.  We are again enjoying the cool evening breezes as we do our spanish tarea (homework) and wrap our minds around all that our team of scattered workers will look like as we continue to serve to support the important work of the leaders and missionaries of the South America region.

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