Martin spent half of last week in Buenos Aires at the expense of his English conversation student who has decided that his favourite way of practising his English is by taking Martin on trips with him. Very nice too if you can get it.
They arrived back on Saturday, well timed for me to hand over the child-care baton and disappear off to Arroyito (small town about 100km away) on a Scout leader training event. Not as glamorous as expenses-paid to Buenos Aires, but that’s me officially recognised and insured for another year. I have a new task arising from this trip, which is to produce a document outlining the important differences between Catholic and Protestant beliefs. This is a discussion which I have had at nearly every training event, being the only not-Catholic Scout for several hundred kilometres in any direction. However, where it has until now been an interesting conversation for lunch, now it has taken on a new urgency since one of the local groups has recently recruited a not-Catholic child, and now the leaders are panicking because they realise that they don’t actually know the difference between an Evangelical and a moon worshipper, and, bless their hearts they really do want to make the kid at home and not do anything that might compromise anyone’s beliefs. I think that’s great, and I can’t remember any time since I’ve been here that I’ve heard any Evangelical willing to put themselves out to accommodate a Catholic point of view. In fact I’m ready to put money down to bet that said kid’s pastor doesn’t know they’ve joined the Scouts. Seems like we might have quite a bit still to learn about translating doctrine into action when it comes to loving our neighbour. So I am very happy to write a handy cut out and keep guide to the on-going effects of the Reformation, and indeed to support them in any way that might be useful.
And so Monday crawled into action this morning, looking forward to Wednesday which is the May Day bank holiday here, and a chance to recharge batteries from last weekend, and prepare for the unknown next weekend. Me n’ the kids and a bunch of other people, most of whom I have never met, are heading up north to Santiago del Estero. This is Argentina’s desert province, and the location of a project called Am Tena, which I know very little about, except that they are some sort of practical social project working with small communities in the middle of no-where in Santiago del Estero, and I’ve wrangled myself an invite to go check it out. Could be fun, will definitely be different.