Disclaimer: I've been fighting sinus problems for a few weeks. I've resorted to sinus medicine and it makes me loopy. I'll probably kick myself tomorrow for posting after taking Benadryl but if I keep procrastinating due to medicine I'll never blog. My apologies in advance. I just hope I'm not too embarrassed tomorrow!
Where do I even begin? The past two years have been the slowest of my life while these past two weeks have flown by. So much has happened!
Of course, life has a way of derailing my best plans. I didn't have time for my blog in Argentina. I didn't have time for sleep! There were far too many things to do and people to meet. Then, when I got home and started uploading pictures with great plans for my blog . . . the graphics card went out in my computer. Such luck. My computer is home from the Mac doctor and healthy once again.
Argentina was amazing! I intend to share as much as possible on my blog. I would love for you to read along and share the journey but I have to do this for my own benefit. I can't forget the gift I've been given to fall in love with so many amazing new friends.
We flew to Argentina to pick up my baby - he'll always be my baby - and I left part of my heart there. I love the people, the culture, and the precious experiences we shared.
We arrived in Buenos Aires Saturday morning, September 24. Elder Moore was touring the city with all the missionaries also concluding their missions. The mission president wanted them to see some of the city's famous sites before heading home. Nice treat after lots of hard work.
We were SO blessed to have Charles and Norma Romano help us with our trip. Charles is pictured above with Sir Thomas and Keaton. Charles is originally from Ghana and fluently speaks FIVE languages! I can't tell you how fabulous he and Norma are but you'll get to "meet" Norma in a later post. (P.S. If you ever go to Argentina and want a tour guide or transportation - these are your people!)
*Plan on L O N G waits for your food. They are very relaxed and provide time for you to visit while they prepare your food. They also don't want you to think the food isn't fresh - nothing is prepared in advance.
*No ice. Ever. It's funny to watch the straws float up and down as the waiters carry the drinks. The waiters at this restaurant let the drinks slosh all over and spill everywhere as they carry the drinks to the tables. Most glasses arrive half-full!
*There is a fee for sitting at the table. This isn't the tip but an actual sitting fee. Just expect it.
*You must request your bill when you are preparing to leave. I guess they consider it rude to ask for money or perhaps they don't want to offend you and make you feel that they want you to leave so they really won't bring it until it's requested.
There are a few other interesting customs but those should be enough fun trivia for now.
Another cultural note of importance . . . don't make the "hook 'em horns" sign in Argentina. It's a bad sign to them! (Especially with your hands facing forward like Elder Calderon's.) Like I said, Elder Calderon's from El Salvador and it didn't mean a thing to him so Nolan had already taught him our Texas sign! =)
We arrived and met the very precious Martina and her little boy. She was already there when we arrived and we were early! The best surprise was discovering "her" missionary, as she called him, was our son. He had baptized her a couple of weeks before and her dedication never ceased to amaze me.
While we were there, they each shared their testimony with us and also the love and appreciation for our son. The feelings and emotions of that day continue to play out in my mind. I love these people. They are so good, kind, and selfless. I'll share a little more about them in a later blog.
Nolan's pension (apartment) was interesting. I can easily see why he had such bad allergies! They don't have mops in Argentina so Nolan made this one using yarn. He's so industrious! They also don't have carpet so I asked how they clean their tile and concrete. My kids would love this system: They fill a bucket with soap and water and then pour it on the floor. To rinse, they fill the bucket with water and repeat. The final step is to squeegee the floor. According to Nolan, nothing is ever really clean. Hmmm. I might have noticed in a few public locations.