Saturday, July 30, 2011


The official name of this school is Asociacion Escuelas Lincoln. This morning the three of us went to an orientation meeting. The high school has about 250 students. There is a six story building behind this “mansion” that houses all of the high school classrooms.


It was bitter cold today and the wind blowing off the river was piercing. I did pause and wonder though, how the students will manage to concentrate on their studies in a couple of months when they have views of the city and the river beckoning from almost every classroom. Even today, we saw several sailboats.DSC01684

School starts Wednesday. Brianna will be picked up by the bus at 7:10 and arrive home around 4:10. She has 8 classes. She will attend four alternating every other day for 90 minutes each.

DSC01685 After a question and answer session for the parents and our school tour they fed us all empanadas and sent us on our way.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

good morning

There have been many days that I have watched the sunrise while we traveled on the freeway to our various destinations. Buenos Aires is a big city full of dirt and graffiti, almost everywhere you look. But there is also beauty, almost everywhere.

Today I had the luxury of watching the sunrise from my bed. Even  the screened and barred windows could not hold back the glory of the coming day.


Buenos dias!

Monday, July 25, 2011

galeria pacifico


One of the beautiful architectural buildings (Beaux Arts)  in Capital is the Galeria Pacifico. It is modeled after Le Bon Marche in Paris, the first ever department store in the world. At that time it was called Argentine Bon Marche. Clever!

Later the Buenos Aires and Pacific  Railway acquired office space, and because the railway wanted to go from Buenos Aires to the Pacific Ocean in Chile, they changed the name to Edificio Pacifico. Twelve beautiful frescos done by Argentine artists adorn the ceilings and eventually that artwork saved the edifice from demolition when it fell into disrepair.


Brianna and Doug were great at figuring out the symbolism for the paintings, which I had researched. In 1991, as part of the renovations, four new frescos were added. We liked the older ones better, however.


The three floor shopping center is beautiful  and there are great architectural features all over the place.


DSC01674We had a delicious lunch in the Patio de Comidas and then went upstairs to see the art housed in the museum up there. It was not very interesting, except for a cool hanging thing.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

the tren

DSC01651Brianna went on the train to “Capital” the other night, with a group of friends from school,  to see the Harry Potter movie. We have a station just a couple of blocks from the house. With that successful experience in her repertoire, she and I decided to venture over to the next suburb, San Isidro, for a little bit of shopping this sunny and warm afternoon. Sunny and warm meaning 55 degrees.


It was awesome. San Isidro is the next stop and including our walking time to the station, I think it only took us about 12 minutes to get there. We can’t even do it that fast in the car!

San Isidro is a town built with cobblestone streets, which is a picturesque, but  bumpy, ride. The train, however, wasn’t bumpy, or I should say…wasn’t too bumpy, or in any scenario, wasn’t as bumpy as the road. It costs about 25 cents to ride the train and we have plans to spend it again on Tuesday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

wrapping it up

I went to the panaderia this morning to buy a birthday cake for Elder Packer, one of our assistants.  They are coming over to set up the transfer board at the house and we are having an informal lunch together ie hamburgers, potato salad, green salad and cake and ice cream, of course. It is a little weird eating summer-y kinds of foods right now when it is so chilly out, but the elders love it.

Anyway, they don’t really box things up here, so here is the unwrapping of the cake.


Inside the place bag, are several sheets of paper, about the thickness of present wrapping paper that are used to wrap the cake,

like a present!

including the use of clear tape.


Under that layer are various small sheets of something that reminds me of wax paper, except that it isn’t waxed.


Under that we have 3 lightweight cardboard bridges protecting the decorations.


And finally, the beautiful chocolate mouse cake that truly did make it home, safe and sound, ready for consumption by four wide-eyed elders

as soon as they learned our birthday song,

of course.


It makes me think of the good ol’ days…la, la-lah, la, la, lahhhhh…….

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the sister

I have a new name. I’ve wanted a new name for a very long time. Although I wouldn’t have chosen this new name, it is probably here to stay for the next few years.

The sister missionaries  in our mission are always referred to as “the Sister Danes” or “the Sister Clayton” which I am pretty sure is a function of the Spanish language to include the article when saying someone’s name. However, I am simply, “the hermana.” Even when the missionaries are speaking in English, I am “the hermana.” So it is el Presidente and la hermana this, or the President and the hermana that.DSC01544

In this picture the missionaries are listening to “the hermana” tell a little bit about our family. Later they will meet with me in individual interviews to tell me about their families and their mission experience and their after mission goals. I have met with 127 of them now. It will be one more week before I have met them all. We will receive a new group from the MTCs in mid-August. Fortunately, I have already met 12 of the 19 that are coming.

The hermana loves meeting with them and appreciates the help  and encouragement they are giving her learning Spanish.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

grocery shopping


Brianna spent the night with a friend and Doug went into the office today to do interviews. I decided to gird up my loins and go grocery shopping…alone.

First I had to find the grocery carter thing-a-ma-gigy, which ended up being on the patio. Then I practiced locking and unlocking my front door because I wanted to make sure that I could actually get into the house when I returned.

Seriously, I feel like Daisy Mae “Granny” Moses from the Beverly Hillbillies. Things that used to be so easy like locking the door, now come with their special and unique idiosyncrasies. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have turned on the garbage disposal thinking that I was going to get light, or opened the coat closet looking for the bathroom. We also have a new series of bells ringing at our house. It can be the US phone, the Argentine phone, the gate phone or one of our cell phones. Sometimes we just look at each other and laugh because we have no idea what to answer.


Back to the grocery store. I spent a l-o-n-g time walking around today trying to figure out what things were. Packaging/advertising has taken on a whole new level of appreciation in my eyes.

I was moaning to Tricia the other day about the fact that Baggies come in boxes of 10. Am I supposed to by 10 boxes? Afterwards, I realized that I did exaggerate. They actually come in boxes of 6. I can use a whole box of baggies just making my lunch!

Since it was Saturday, the store was really crowded. An elderly lady standing by me in line was chatting to me. I was trying to get the gist of the conversation. She eventually left her cart for me to watch while she ran around the store and collected her groceries, returning every so often to check the status of the line and empty her armfuls. Then she continued with her shopping plan while I continued to tend.


One of my favorite things about Argentina is how much they love children and every accommodation is made for them. Doug and I were out to eat last night at a very nice restaurant that, by the way, didn’t even open until 8:00pm. There were plenty of children there though, enjoying the beautiful food and attention from the waiters.


I finally got through the line, loaded up my  grocery carter thing-a-ma-gigy and negotiated my was across the street, where I bought flowers and took a picture of the fruteria and verduleria, my next stop to purchase my fruits and vegetables.


Then I walked my nine blocks back home, without getting lost! and took this picture at the front door just before I successfully opened it.


The whole experience took me about two hours and was terrifying on so many levels, from start to finish, but chances are excellent that I will do it again

…and again…

and again.

So, I sat down and ate lunch and rejoiced that I had  food to eat.

Monday, July 11, 2011

helping out

DSC01480Our boxes arrived from the States and made it through Customs so we woke up excited to receive them and unpack today. Brianna’s friend, Marena came over to help out up on the third floor. There is a narrow and crooked little stairway leading up there and these two girls were laughing so much that they could hardly make any headway.DSC01483


Later, they decided to go to the mall and check out some boot possibilities.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

future missionaries


We have been interviewing in various rooms in the church buildings this week. One day in a Bishop’s office, Doug saw this great “future missionary” board. The boys have goals starting at age 12. We especially loved the cute missionary slated to go in 2025. 


Saturday, July 09, 2011

travel plans


This is one of our APs, Elder Thompson. His parents arrived this morning to see his areas in the mission and  a little bit of Buenos Aires and to pick him up from his mission. Travel here has been very tricky because of the volcano in Chile. Our poor elders that were supposed to fly home on Monday are still here. We think that they will be better off in Chile, so a bus has been booked to Cordova and they will hopefully fly to Santiago from there and get a flight home. Crazy!

But the Thompsons also have a crazy story. They were supposed to fly in on Thursday, but their flight on Wednesday night got cancelled. They were re-booked for a flight Thursday night, which actually flew…all the way to Venezuela…before the pilot told them that they could not go into Buenos Aires and they turned around and went back to Atlanta!

They were re-booked for Friday night and the plane actually flew…all the way to…Santiago, Chile…because, surprise, surprise, they couldn’t get into Buenos Aires again. Delta, in case you are wondering because American Airlines temporarily cancelled all of their flights.

This morning these great parents were able to get into the city and we had a wonderful time getting to know them at lunch today.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

mission blog


If you are interested in following our mission blog, it can be found at:

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

mission home

DSC01391Above is our house. Brianna has her room and bathroom way up there at the top. There is also a little sitting area and another dollhouse-like room where I will set up my sewing machine. Our room and two other bedrooms and bathrooms are on the second floor. We plan to change one of the bedrooms into a mini mission office. (Already Doug has had several interviews at the house.) Downstairs is a kitchen, dining room,  living room and small study.  DSC01389

The other picture is the corner of our street where Gabino hangs out. He watches our house and the other houses on our street to make sure that there is no foul play.

We understand that the neighborhood is relatively safe. I have walked to two different grocery stores and the pharmacy the past few days on various errands for food and necessities.

Monday, July 04, 2011

the assistants


These three missionaries have been almost everywhere with us and done so many things to help us. Truly, it is the assistants that make the transition from one mission president to another as smooth as possible. Elder Thompson, to the right of Doug in the picture, will be leaving us this week. Elder Packer, behind me and Elder Horracks on the opposite side will be with us for a little bit longer, thank heaven!

We arrived at The River just at sunset. It was beautiful to see downtown in the background. It is a very cold 4th of July and even with my coat and a jacket underneath that, I am shivering!