Friday, December 30, 2011

juan carter


This is Juan. I actually don’t even know what his last name is. He told me at New Way Remis, where he works, they call him Juan Carter. He takes Brianna and I all over the place. He goes the extra mile making sure we are safe and can accomplish our intentions. I am so grateful that I don’t have to drive! When Juan is not available, he never makes us call the company, he calls them for us and tells whoever will be picking us up exactly what to do.

The other day a combi (20 person bus) was supposed to pick up the refuerzos at the house. There was a misunderstanding and it ended up that they needed alternate transportation. We called Juan and asked for 5 remises. Pretty soon, he showed up with 4 other cars. He got out and gathered the other drivers to give them instructions.

He thinks he speaks English. Believe me when I say that my Spanish is waaaay better than his English. That day, however, in the moment, and loud enough for my husband and I to hear,  he said, in English, with his heavy Castellano accent, to his peers… “Listen to me!” We laughed and laughed.

When Elder Aidukaitis came to do our mission tour, he told me that I need to drive. I told him that I don’t even like driving in the States! “Oh well,” he responded, “you surely aren’t going to want to drive here then. How do you get around.”

Between Juan and the trains, I am doing pretty well.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

time with taylor heyman

Our friends, the Heymans, are on a real mission, meaning, they live out in the boondocks of Argentina where there are no beautiful old theaters that have been revamped into bookstores. However, their son, Taylor, joined us today on his very long layover back to the States. He hung out with Brianna and I as we toured some of the cities sights.

El Ateneo was once know as Teatro Gran Splendid. You can pretty much guess the translation of that. It opened in 1919, but about ten years later it was converted into a cinema showing the very first sound films here. DSC00586

In 2000, Argentina’s largest bookstore group, Yenny, converted the building into their flagship store. It is pretty amazing for a bookstore. You can even sit in the theater boxes and read. It is now considered to be one of the best bookstores in the world. A million people drop by every year to take a look and now we are among them.

DSC00588As we were driving down the road on the way to our next destination, we saw all these papers flying. Juan, our remis driver explained that the last work day of the year, many businesses have a tradition of literally throwing the papers out the window.








We headed over to the Cafe Tortoni. It was founded in 1858, making it the oldest cafe in the country. It is also rich in history and architecture. We stood outside and waited about 20 minutes to be seated for lunch. Surprisingly, when we got inside, it wasn’t crowded, at all! Taylor and Brianna had pizza and I had a vegetable tart and we all decided that the food was decent.





I understand that there is a tango show here in the evenings and I think I would like to go to that because it is small and the ambiance is really quite special.

There are two huge rival soccer teams in Buenos Aires, Boca Juniors and River Plate. When I told Juan that I wanted to go to the museum for both of them, he told me that he couldn’t go to River because his car would blow up. He meant it! They take their soccer very seriously here. We headed for the Boca Museum where everything was blue and yellow!DSC00594

    DSC00607 DSC00601


Even though I don’t know a thing about Argentine soccer players, it was interesting to see the displays and some of the amazing plays that are recorded for the fans’ viewing pleasure.DSC00605

DSC00597If you look at the advertising in the stadium, you will notice something about the Coca-Cola banner. It is pretty impressive and encircles the stadium inside on two levels and outside, as well. Have you noticed?

It is black and white!


ARGENTINA-RiverPlateGuess what the team colors are for River?


The stadium is called The Bombonera.

Three sides of the Bombonera are made up of traditional stands. However, the fourth side had to be built vertically, with several seating areas stacked one on top of the other, to stay within the property limits. My husband tells me that when he went to a game there ten years ago, no one, NO ONE, sat for the entire game. Even when nothing was happening on the field, everyone was standing.

Actually, La Bombonera is renowned for vibrating when fans start to jump in rhythm and apparently, the vertical side will sway slightly.

I don’t think you could talk me into going into the stadium on a game day!

All this shaking has lead to the saying,

"La Bombonera doesn't shake: it beats (like a heart)."


La Bombonera no tiembla. Late.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

at the ballet

DSC00559 Every time we take the Pastores Tour with the missionaries that are leaving, I think that I am going to go home and buy tickets to an event at the Colon Theater. Then I go home and don’t buy tickets. Fortunately, we have a very amazing office couple. Sister Cox was a ballerina herself and her sons and daughter grew up dancing and still participate in ballets. They gave us tickets to the ballet!




This one is called The Corsair. These people were authorized pirates. In this ballet they are saving the maidens or ballerinas from the slave traders. I read about the story online before going, but I was so mesmerized by the experience, I don’t think it would have mattered had I not known it.


It was beautiful in every way. The scenery, the music and of course, the dancing. The prima ballerina is ranked among the top 10 in the world, but her counterpart elicited the standing ovation, even though she was too wonderful for words herself.


It was the last night of the season, but I hope to be able to go back to the ballet for the 2012 season!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

christmas eve


Lilies of the Nile bloom right around my birthday every year. I love them and have had them in my yard for almost all of my married life. They are blooming all over Buenos Aires now!

Doug and I decided to take a walk in the city today. There are so many beautiful store windows. I would have loved to have captured the one with the Christmas tree surrounded by mannequins in bathing suits. I have discovered that photographing windows isn’t that easy.

Summer is in full swing with the local kids out of school until almost March. Brianna attends an international that will resume in February.


I thought this was a cool Christmas tree made out of triangular leather samples.







Many vendors are promoting peace and love.


We became  fully Argentine tonight when we decided to open our presents before going to bed!


Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

elder mather


We were very happy to meet Elder Mather’s parents. We are very sad, however, that it is time for him to leave. He has been a wonderful missionary.

We planned to have an early dinner, meaning 8:00pm because that is when restaurants open. There were some problems for the Mathers getting up to the suburbs tonight though, and we finally arrived at the restaurant around 9:30pm. It doesn’t really matter, because when you book a table, it is yours for the whole evening. We ate and chatted and ate and chatted until we realized how really late it was. The Mather’s didn’t end up getting back to their hotel until 2:00am! We are so grateful for the time they spent with us tonight. They are on their way home tomorrow to spend Christmas together with the rest of their family.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


3 Nephi 11:38

38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

One of the most difficult things for our missionaries is finding a man and a woman who have a testimony and want to be baptized, but they cannot because they are not married. They cannot get married because one or the other of them is not divorced. Divorce is very expensive and very time-consuming. We recently had a couple that have made it through all the loops and hoops and after three years were finally able to get married and then baptized the next day.

One of the sweetest experiences is to go to a baptism. Presidente and I went and met up with Elder Parque and Elder Davis this Saturday afternoon. These kids are excited to be part of the Young Men/Young Women programs in their ward and their leaders were there to welcome them.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

it’s beginning to look like christmas

We haven’t had much time for extra-curriculars, but I did talk Presidente into taking a couple of hours today. DSC09528

We ate outside at a little sandwich cafe and afterwards walked a couple of blocks around Palermo Viejo. DSC09523

It is a trendy little neighborhood with lots of interesting stores and places to eat.


We smiled about the windows announcing summer, in  English,  and the new year simultaneously.