Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Almost Forgotten Argentina Posts: Part Four

The biggest project of our trip was building a half pipe. The kids love to skate and what better way to draw them in?  Obviously we didn't come with professional carpenters but we had hammers, lots of nails, a saw, blueprints and several willing bodies and that's all it takes right?

                                                            We did lots of measuring...


                                                                         and drilling...

                                        and two days later had some semblance of a half pipe.

We only had one sheet of plywood on at this point. This was right before Sasha put a hole in it with his heel.

Did I tell you it was cold here? I had five layers and a scarf on at this point and was trying to attract some of the sun to warm myself.

                                                                      More sawing...


                                                         painting(courtesy of Chelsey)...

and it is finally done. Four days work to get to this night. The youth outreach that was the main reason for going to Argentina. And every single frustration, speck of sawdust in the eye and hammer to the thumb was worth it.

                                                  Attempt number two went much better.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Almost Forgotten Argentina Posts: Part Three

Today started our first day of work. And, believe me, there was more than enough work to go around. These lovely ladies got to cut and staple invitations for the Saturday night outreach. Don't worry girls...only 5000 to go.

There was a lot of cleaning and de-junking too. This whole area had to be cleaned out so the new basketball hoops and skate ramp could be stored. It may not look like much but it took a lot of time and people it took to get this area in ship shape. There was a lot of junk stacked and hidden in there.

Rob, Skye, Aaron, Brady and I took on this project. There is an area like this on both sides of the church, more specifically on either side of the platform. They had the glass doors covered with paper and drapes so the congregation didn't have to look at this while at church. We decided it might as well be cleaned out so we got started. Among the things rearranged and removed from this area:
*a rusty rotting bathtub filled with years old rain water and soggy rotten junk
*tons(literally) of tile
*shutters and doors(which I would've given my eye teeth for)
*cement and sand bags
An interesting fact about Argentina is people are not the least bit proud to go dumpster diving. There were always men out front waiting to see what we would bring out. We would fill it up and, ten minutes later when we headed out with another load, the dumpster would be almost empty. That rusty bathtub? Yep, gone.
      It took some elbow grease and a lot of work but when we were done it looked like this.

    Jeff Geer tried to fix this copier. Just when he thought he was caught on fire :O)

                       Some people washed walls and painted.

     This is the other side of the platform. Not nearly as bad as the other but still in need of some work.

Much better.

Work projects are always hard and not always fun but I feel like we've left our mark on a place when we get in and get our hands dirty. Definitely one of my favorite parts of missions work.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day

I was planning on skipping the green meal this year. Both boys had practice til 7:15 and it made more sense to do something quick than to make a big ordeal out of the day. Emily didn't see it that way, it is St. Patrick's Day which means we eat a green meal.
Totally unprepared we headed to the store after dropping the boys off at practice. Wandering around the store we came up with this meal.

Green tea and chipotle lime tilapia(not exactly green but there were green flecks of cilantro so it did the trick).

Cucumbers, roasted asparagus and broccoli and french bread with green butter.

Chocolate cake with green frosting for dessert. Looks scrumptious doesn't it?

I am so happy that the kids love our traditions and they aren't just something that I get a kick out of doing. Anytime I try to skip something at least one of them makes sure that I do right and, in the end, I am always glad they set me straight.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Almost Forgotten Argentina Posts: Part Two

The group ventured to La Cumbrecita today. It's a small German town nestled in the hills of Argentina about a two hour bus ride from Cordoba. Obviously we are in South America but we got to this village and you would have thought we were in Germany somewhere. There don't allow many cars in town so we had to walk down from the main road and walked into this.

We walked about a mile or so and came upon this waterfall. We didn't ahve a lot of time so we hung out here and took in the beautiful scenery. If I didn't know better I would have thought we were back in Idaho.

                                     They had to reinact a picture they took many moons ago.

We ate lunch at a restaurant in the village. We had an amazing panoramic view from high on a hill and great company to share it with.  One thing I learned pretty quickly is the food in Argentina is unbelievable!

They brought out the appetizers and they didn't look that great. Looks can be deceiving. One appetizer was sliced potatoes with a cream sauce and the other was like a potato soup with bacon and cheese rolled in a ball and deep fried. Holy smokes! I thought the four of us were going to come to blows trying to get every last morsel off the plates.

Then they brought out dessert. A crepe filled with dulce de leche and ice cream. I may or may not have licked the plate clean.

After lunch and a hike back to the bus we made the trek to another settlement. This one was an actual town. Big and touristy. But we were told they have the best apple streudel and best hot chocolate anywhere. We walked around and shopped for a an hour or so and then stopped in for an 'el submarino'. They take hot milk and sink a chocolate bar(the submarine) and let it melt. It is the richest, most decadent drink I have ever had. Pure joy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Almost Forgotten Argentina Posts: Part One

I realized the other day, when I was printing my blog, that I never posted about Argentina.I almost decided not to but since it was a big part of our year I wanted to have the memories written down.
When the Argentina trip was announced we immediately knew that we wanted to go. Argentina, and more specifically Cordoba, is where Sasha Rasmussen moved to be a missionary. We thought this was a great opportunity to, not only see another country and do missions work, but do it in the place that we have heard Sasha talk so passionately about.
We left June 10th.

We took off bright and early and flew the usual route through L.A. then onto Santiago, Chile where we would have a six hour layover. We landed there at midnight and didn't leave til 6 in the morning. We thought it would be easy to sleep until we got off the plane and found out pretty quickly that south Americans don't use heaters. It was so cold. People walking through the airport had on huge jackets and scarves. That would have been nice to know before we left home. Skye and I were trying to get warm enough to sleep. I didn't get very much between being cold and the overhead announcements every few minutes.

We made it through the night and got into Cordoba about noon. Mostly the first day was orientation, getting sleeping arrangements taken care of and taking a very long walk around the city showing us the main plaza, the market, several cathedrals etc. It was great to see the city but after all the traveling we did we were all ready to be in bed.
                                                 The cathedral at Plaza San Martin. It was beautiful!

The next day was the first game Argentina had in the World Cup. It was also our first big outreach event. There are many differences between our country and other countries but one of the biggest I noticed in Argentina was their affinity with soccer. When this game started Cordoba became a ghost town. Stores closed and the streets were deserted. It was a little creepy. But when a goal was scored it came to life. Singing, cheering, dancing, canons going off. It was insane. They do love their soccer.

We also tried Mate tea. This is a social drink. Argentinians are very close. One person brews the mate in a special cup and they pass it around to all their friends and share it. One cup, one straw, many people. I tried it and did not enjoy it. It must be an acquired taste.

      These are a couple of the girls that go to the church. They loved practicing their English with us.

After the game was over, we had eaten dinner and most of the students left, which was very late, Sasha and Chechu took us to Grido Helado, an ice cream place a couple blocks away. Oh. My. Word. This stuff was like heaven in a cup. And it was only 75 cents for a cone which is probably why we ended up here almost every day slurping down ice cream. My favorite was the white chocolate.
Ice cream should always make you this happy!