The three Scout groups of San Francisco spent Saturday afternoon constructing this giant flor de lis solidaria;
(photo courtesy of the local rag, me n’ my kids are down there somewhere.) I haven’t figured out how to translate the title, flor de lis in “English” is a fleur de lis, which isn’t English at all but we don’t seem to have a translation for it, and solidaria is somewhere between solidarity and charity but not quite the same as either; without the connotations of pity which surround charity, but without the commitment to “standing with” which we would associate with solidarity. So flor de lis solidaria is the best translation available.
Our aforementioned thing is made out of approximately 160,000 plastic bottle tops, sorted into colours, and laid out as the world Scout symbol across “la plaza civica”, San Francisco’s central square and most important public space. This photo is taken from a small aeroplane and I think it looks pretty good for our hard hours’ toil in the boiling afternoon sunshine. Publicity stunt over, the bottle tops are then transported to Buenos Aires to the Hospital Garrahan which is the national flagship children’s’ hospital, I guess the Argentinean equivalent of Great Ormond Street. The Garrahan have been fund-raising through collecting bottle tops for as many years as I have been involved in Argentina. I have no idea what they actually do with them to turn them into money but I imagine it must be some sort of recycling, like when we used to collect milk bottle tops and ring pulls when we were kids.
Three short videos for Granny and anyone else who can bear home-movies of other peoples’ offspring. These ones are from the end of year event at the swimming club, in which Joni participates with more enthusiasm than panache at this stage, but he’s very happy and definitely water confident.
Beginners’ underwater doggy paddle
“Spiderman jump” (so we’re told).
Signs that you might be becoming culturally adapted to Argentina; You think it is your lucky day when there are only forty people in front of you at the bank (forty-one to be precise this morning).
I preached on Sunday, continuing my meander around the “I am” statements in John. It’ll be up under the sermons tab when I get round to putting it there. I did “I am the gate” thinking about the start of Advent. The summing up at the end conclusively demonstrated that the “summer-upper” had totally missed my point by a factor of a hundred and eighty degrees. What ho! We battle on.
As soon as the service finished we hotfooted it out of the door and into our even hotter car to our rapidly-becoming spiritual second home of Miramar, complete with tent and related accoutrements. We divided our time between the beach, the pool and the waterfront cafe. We took a funny little 4×4 truck drive to see flamingos and black vultures. I even managed to use the long lens that I brought back from the UK last year. Next time I might even manage not to over-expose the images, and at least now I know where the vultures hang out, I’ve even got written instructions for future reference, so they’d better not move house without telling me.
Danny dispensing baby-charm and blonde cuteness around the beach found himself set upon and photographed from all angles by a young girl who turned out to be working for the Miramar municipality to put together this year’s tourism website. (It’s OK, no-one asks permission to take photographs here, that’s normal, we’re OK with that). When the second young girl arrived, also armed with camera, the first one went into raptures about the toddler she’d been featuring. “Oh I know that baby” said the second girl, “I took pictures of him for last year’s too!” Sadly we’re not receiving any royalties for all this high quality photo material, but it’s nice to know that we aren’t the only ones who think our kids are fantastic.