written by Tricia
It's Sunday and some sister missionaries have invited my parents to speak in a ward in Ituzaingo. We went the long way to church (which meant we were late) and I got to do some observing about how people live. Here's some from this morning:
- There is a lot of rubble around. It just collects in piles on the streets, sidewalks, and yards. I don't think anyone has any intention of cleaning it up.
- Family is important to Argentines. There is a special lane in the grocery store for the handicapped and pregnant. But religion is not important. Most Argentines say they are Catholic, but no one really goes to church. Sundays are for visiting family members.
- Most things are closed on Sunday.
- If the GPS says to go on a road, and you look down it and find out that it isn't paved the whole way, you don't drive on it.
Since we went in late, my parents went and sat up on the stand and Brianna and I ducked into our seats in the congregation. After the meeting was over, lots of people came over to speak to us. Brianna and I pretty much nodded and smiled. But everyone is very kissy. So there was lots of cheek/air kissing going on. I stood up to meet one lady and had a weird Alice in Wonderland experience. It turns out that I am a big woman in Argentina! In my heels I was taller than most of the women and even many of the men!
The sisters were having a baptism after the meeting. We stayed for the baptism of this sweet boy who was being baptized by a 20-ish member of the ward. The sisters were hoping the experience might get the older boy excited about serving a mission.
After the baptism, a group of young women hung around asking me twenty questions. I got asked about my spouse (everyone loves that he served his mission in Buenos Aires), my kids, what languages we are taught in school, and about how old I am.
One thing I loved about church is how each ward member takes care of the little ones like they are their own. I seriously couldn't figure out who the parents of this one baby was until well after the meeting was over.
After we got home, I got to go out and feed the turtle. My parents are the happy owners of a turtle. Apparently, it is somewhat common to have turtles in Argentina. You know how in the States people put stickers on their rear windows to represent their family? Well in Argentina, they have those too. And I even spotted one with a turtle sticker for their pet!
Today turtle got zapallitos (the round zuchinni).
Later in the day, we took a little drive to the river and San Isidro, the town where my parents used to live. The river is muddy and is polluted with methane gas. It's not for swimming, but it was nice to walk outside, even though it's quite windy.
A word now about driving in this country. It's InSAniTY. There are some lane markers, but there's really no point. People will make five lanes out of three. No one follows any rules. My dad pulled up to a toll booth and then backed up when it wouldn't read his transponder. TWICE. He finally drove to a third lane by driving perpendicular to the road. You could never do that in the States.
And just a little PS from me. Check out my cute necklace and earrings from the craft fair. :) And the pasta from Que Ravioles that we had for lunch was fabulous!