Thursday, February 28, 2013

February – Both summer and autumn!

February is part of summer here in Argentina with kids out of school and families in and out of church as they take vacations. Some days are incredibly hot and we feel it especially when we walk out of our air-conditioned office and head for our un-air-conditioned house with all the windows open. Even the cleaning lady for our building says, “Hay como un horno afuero!” (It’s like an oven outside!)  When there are no retreats or camps on the Regional Office grounds, we gladly enjoy a couple of hours at the pool…

We took an enjoyable 3-hour boat ride to Montevideo, Uruguay, to comply with the laws of being here on a visitor’s visa (must not stay more than 90 days at a time). The 3-hour boat ride (each way across the bay) was enjoyable, as was the bus tour, the shopping area, and delicious meals at a chic restaurant!  

Dan has spent some time at the Seminary in addition to Regional Office duties, helping them map out a plan for security cameras like he has done at the RO.  The computers and cameras on the Regional Office grounds are always vying for his attention too! My work fluctuates with the demands of orders for Spanish literature and reports needed in accounting.

With the day in Uruguay and several holidays this month, we’ve enjoyed some new experiences! On Carneval Monday, we (along with Cindy) were invited for lunch at Dany and Seyda’s student apartment at the Seminary. They are missionaries from Peru with jobs at the Seminary. Dany and I have lots in common with our love of cooking – she prepared an awesome meal!

The next day, Cindy wanted to look for a special vase for her living room, so we went with her to Tigre, the port town famous for its produce markets and other shopping. It had been some time since she’d taken one of their tour boat rides (and new for us), so we packed ourselves onto the “Don Humberto” with about 70 others for an hour’s cruise on the river. It reminded me a lot of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, with such a variety of cute and colorful cabins and cottages (some for rent – it would be so fun to spend a few days relaxing there)! And Cindy found the perfect vase – white with black zebra stripes!

Valentine’s Day was muy bueno, as Dan bought me roses and we had delicious dinners – steak kabobs and grilled salmon kabobs – at La Caballeriza, a great steak restaurant. 

Our Sundays are quiet and we listen to Pastor Rich’s sermons online (from the previous week) as we wait for our local service to start at 7 p.m.  Soon, summer will end and they’ll re-start Escuela Dominical  (Sunday School) on Sunday mornings, for children and adults. There’s a strong children’s bus ministry here!

Have you seen either of the movies “Lincoln” or “Les Miserables”?  We’ve been able to see both, with Cindy – and loved them!  And it was SO interesting to watch the Spanish subtitles for the translations!  At home, we watch the previous night’s NBC news each morning on Dan’s iPad – what a handy device, so we’re keeping up with the winter weather in the States!  And we’ve been watching the first 2 seasons of PBS’ Masterpiece Theater “Downton Abbey” on DVD on Dan’s computer, an episode at a time, and really enjoying it!

Ginkgo Chinese Resturant
Last Saturday night, Cindy took us to a restaurant called Ginkgo (funny, though, it ‘s a Chinese restaurant in a log cabin in Argentina!) where we shared several yummy dishes together! Not only is she fun to be with, she’s a great resource for food and fun cultural things to do since she’s been here quite a few years!  

Even though the equinox doesn’t happen until March 21, already at the end of February it’s feeling like autumn! The nights are suddenly cool and the days’ high temperatures are in the low 70s. When the weather was hot, I didn’t do as much cooking  -and no baking – but, in the last week, I’ve baked brownies, rustic yeast bread, banana bread, apple scones, and peanut butter baked oatmeal! And still on the list to bake are a quiche, cookies, shepherds pie… Guess we’ll have to schedule some walking too!

We’ve been practicing weekly with the church choir formed to sing a special piece for the Easter service. It’s not an easy song with pretty harmonies. On top of that, it will be done a capella (without accompaniment) and we have the challenge of memorizing it in Spanish but are really enjoying it and the people.  It means so much to connect with folks outside Sunday services.

Our days have become reasonably routine but each one usually has something new or different. Recently, it seemed like our time here was suddenly going so quickly and, with lots still to do here, we were encouraged to stay longer… so we’ve changed our return date to the end of April! 

God continues to make good things possible and supplies all we need!

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