Thursday, August 25, 2011


We are taking a P-Day on Thursday this week because there were too many things going on last weekend and the beginning of this week to manage it sooner. We had a bunch of errands to run and one of them was to get gas for our car, which I call, “The Beast,” because it is so noisy. It takes diesel fuel. DSC02167

The first thing you have to do is pull onto the marked square.


When it is your turn, one of the guys in the yellow and green comes out and asks you what kind of gas you want and how much. After that, he/she goes to work, putting the the handle into your gas tank.

A funny little side story about our car. I guess I should tell you first that it is made by Toyota. It reminds me a lot of my Highlander except that it is quite a bit bigger. It is called a Hi Lux. I don’t know if they sell them in the US. Anyway, because of the ash falling from the volcano and the general winter weather nastiness, the car was dirty when we arrived and it was a couple of weeks before we had time to take it to a car wash. We took a walk while we were waiting, and when we came back, we couldn’t find our car, at first. Doug thought our car was light gold. I thought our car was dark grey. When we got home, we asked Brianna what color she thought our car was. She looked at us in that, you-guys-are-so-weird kind of way and then answered, “Tan.” As you can see, it is light silver.


If you want, you can get something to eat at the Spacio 1, while you wait. It only took us 25 minutes to get gas today,  maybe, because we didn’t have the windows washed. 


I jumped out of the car to take a picture of the refill truck and the lady taking care of the operation.




The diesel fuel costs about 4 1/2 pesos a liter. That works out to about $1.15 a liter. After you fill up the guy asks you if you want to pay the bill in one payment or in three installments.

Another worker saw me taking pictures and asked me, “Para que?” I told him that I keep a blog and since we are living in Argentina now, I share things about my life on the blog about this country.

So then he smiled and posed.


Buen dia!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

what a difference a year can make

For a while now I have been thinking about all the changes in my life the past year. Really, that night a year ago when I fell out of bed is kind of like the end of that period of my life and something else quite different followed.

DSC02164I guess there are two thoughts that follow:

One is to love and enjoy the good parts because you never know how long they last.

Two is that a year can make a big difference in a person’s life, whether we make that happen for ourselves or whether circumstances take their course involving us.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


We normally wear our name badges, called plaques here in Buenos Aires, except when we are having a P-Day and being parents, which would be today.

One of the elders gave us these cute matching sweatshirts, made for us by one of the women in the ward in Moreno where he serves.DSC01872 There are two unique things about these sweatshirts that I love. The first is that we are still wearing our names. 

Pte. is the abbreviation for Presidente and Hna. is the abbreviation for HermanaDSC01867

DSC01882The other is this great logo. The symbol at the top is the symbol for baptism (you can see how it shows going under the water).

Friday, August 12, 2011

in the world

Brianna was so thrilled that I was invited to a party being given by the mom of  her friend, Marena. That is because Brianna is a party girl! But, unfortunately, I am not. Nevertheless, I  baked mini-cinnamon rolls for the dessert that I was asked to bring, called the remise, arrived 45 minutes late because that’s what they do here, put on a happy face and entered the house.

Marena’s mom is Brazilian so many of the women were speaking in Portuguese, which shattered my confidence at first. I was truly hoping that I could understand some of what was going on. I turned to someone next to me and said, “Please tell me that they are not speaking Spanish!” If you could imagine a modern day Tower of Babel, this was it. In actual fact, there were very few English speakers, although almost everyone knows enough English to say hello, followed by the traditional Argentine kiss.

There were three tables of us, so about 50 people.  DSC01860I learned about the husbands that are diplomats and those that watch over the Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford,  Bosch  and various other enterprises here in Argentina. Of course, we shared information about our families and pretty much everyone had 1 or 2 children.

I soon became aware of my distinctness. The first surprise--that I have 4 children! the second surprise-- they are all girls! the third surprise -- 3 of them are married! the fourth surprise --I have 10 grandchildren! (I might as well have said that I have 100 grandchildren because the shock value would have been the same. LOL) The final and ultimate surprise--we aren’t here for business, but as missionaries for our church.

Truly, everyone couldn’t have been nicer. There was lots of food (traditional Brazilian and a gazillion desserts), picture taking, music and even some dancing. Yes, I ate and no, I did not dance. In the end, I stayed three hours before I did the rounds…kissing everyone goodbye, of course!

 DSC01861This is Lara’s mom. Next to mine, her story was the most unusual. She is a single mom with one daughter. She a business executive for a worldwide automotive parts supplier. They are from Germany and have lived all over the world. I think that she speaks 6 languages, but she claimed that she is only fluent in 3. English was certainly one of them. They will finish three years in Argentina in November and probably be sent elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Villas  is a slang word for  the Spanish words, villa “village” and miseria “misery”. DSC01764When we lived in Argentina before, we used to be able to see a little bit of this shanty town  from the freeway, but now, it has grown very close. As we were traveling across the overpass, I grabbed my camera and captured these pictures of where the very poor in Argentina live.DSC01763

Normally, these settlements consist of shacks made of whatever can be found. The streets are usually not paved. Sometimes there is a network of  internal passages that link the different areas. The villas miseria have no sanitation system, though there may be water pipes passing through the settlement. Electric power is sometimes taken directly from the grid using illegal connections. Sadly, these towns continue to grow. The populations of the villas in Buenos Aires has more than doubled in the past 20 years. DSC01761

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

19 birthdays

DSC01757I didn’t go into the office today with my husband. I have been thinking about about my 19 birthday boys.




I decided to make each one of them a candy treat.


They will be most happy about the alfajor cookie on the top.  An alfajor is a traditional Argentine treat. It consists of two vanilla cookies, glued together with dulce de leche (caramel), then the whole thing is dipped in chocolate. There are many companies that make alfajores, but we think Havana in the gold wrap is the best.

While I worked, I listened to Luis Miguel sing songs in Spanish.  One of the missionaries told me that he learned English by listening to American music. I am hoping that works the other way around as well because I have birthdays galore coming up!

Monday, August 08, 2011

p-day in san isidro

DSC01728The centerpiece of San Isidro is the Parroquia Catedral de San Isidro. DSC01725

It was build in 1898 in the neoclassical style. Since it is about 20 stories tall it helps Brianna and I find our way around as a reference point. DSC01739Today, however, I was shopping with my husband.  I wanted some boots for walking on the cobblestone streets and he wanted some sweaters to wear under his suits to stay warm. He picked out my boots and I, sort of, picked out his sweaters. DSC01726


I actually wanted him to get a light blue sweater, but he didn’t think that was a good idea. He did get several in the end, including this navy blue one.



Then we went to lunch at the  cute restaurant across the street from the catedral. It is in the top DSC01734floor of this building and even in winter, it felt like we were dining in the leafy treetops. It was recommended to us by one of the guys that sold us sweaters. Neither one of us were huge  fans of the food though. And when I used the bathroom to wash my hands, I realized too late that the plumbing for the sink was broken and there was a waterfall all over my new shoes :(

Fortunately, they survived their unexpected bath.

The office elders were tasked with buying a new video camera for the mission today. They met us at the house to show the President what they had chosen.  Suddenly,  I was chosen to be the subject of the video. There was only one thing for me talk about.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


DSC01721Buenos Aires has a Chinatown right in the middle of Belgrano, which is actually a high rent district for expats and wealthy Argentines. DSC01718We went and checked out the shops and grocery stores, but not the nearby homes or neighborhoods. The shops and streets were crowded with others who appeared to be doing exactly what we were doing. I saw Soy Milk for the first time since our arrival, but didn’t purchase it, since it was fresh and in glass bottles, which didn’t seem like a good idea on the train. And, as it turned out, the train was very crowded on the way home.


We shopped a little bit.  Brianna got a cute scarf, earrings, nail polish and of course, sunglasses!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

first day of school


Can you see her there just above the post box talking to the bus lady? She helps the driver and makes sure that everyone gets safely on and off the bus.

It is 2 degrees C (about 35F) outside and dark. I wave goodbye and say “Have a great day!” She is sooooo excited. When the same big bad orange and white bus showed up after school, I ran outside to snap a picture. She wasn’t exactly delighted about that.

But she took it in stride and then told me all about the wonderful people that she has met and how good or crazy half of her teachers are. Each class is 90 minutes and she thinks that is a very loooong time. On the bright side, she has a 15 minute break after each class and an hour for lunch. Today she did schedule A with her first four classes and tomorrow she will do schedule E with her last four classes.


After school we walked to Papel Norte and bought school supplies. Then she did homework until it was time for YW. Another school year has begun.

Monday, August 01, 2011


DSC01688 DSC01689

Maria’s daughter came and spent the day with Brianna. She speaks  very little English and Brianna speaks  very little Spanish, but they listened to music and baked cupcakes for Brianna’s friend that is having a birthday tomorrow. I love that my daughter can “talk” with anyone. It is such a great talent!