O-oh I’m an alien

I’m a legal alien.  I’m an English-woman in the 25th of May parade. 

25th May 1810 was the event known as “la Revolución de Mayo” (the May Revolution) in Buenos Aires, which was part of a series of manifestations, ultimately culminating in Argentina’s independence from Spain.  Each year “el 25 de Mayo” is celebrated with parades in every town centre up and down the country.  I had never taken part in a parade before; we tend to keep a low profile where patriotic phenomena are concerned, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. 

“Have you ever seen one of those old Soviet films where the army and all the tanks  march past the communist leaders?”  Said our Scout district leader. 

And that is more or less what it was; a civilian march past.  No tanks in sight, although there were more military than I would have thought one small town could possibly contain, along with every band, school, sports club, dance troop, goodness knows whoever else, and of course the Scouts, all marching past a temporary stand upon which sat the mayor and a bunch of local politicians, councillors, and other dignitaries. 

This is the picture from the local paper, featuring one of the primary schools;

And our bit looked like this;

DSC_0023  DSC_0037  DSC_0028

I’m sure Dave Burnett (our anthropology tutor from way back when) would have had plenty to say about civil religion.  It was an interesting cultural experience, which I did quite enjoy, despite (because?) it being quite unlike anything I have ever previously encountered.  O-oh I’m an alien…

Free Morning

Today I had a nearly free morning because my English student cancelled, and the car is in the workshop, so I can’t get out to the village either.  So after a mums’ meeting at school (I have to dress up as a cat for assembly next week, let’s not talk about it) I finally got behind my computer for the first time in daylight hours in a while. 

What’s new?

Danny had his second birthday last week, so I sent a cake and all the gubbins in to nursery on Friday to “do” his birthday at nursery in the morning, and then we had another cake etc. at home in the afternoon.  They said he spent the whole morning singing happy birthday to himself.  It is is favourite song, and he can sing it in two languages, which as my mum says is actually quite impressive to be able to sing in two languages by your second birthday.  We just take it for granted.  The kids spent the afternoon chasing each other round the dining room table:

kids on bikes Danny on trike Joni on bike

We had the first Scout camp of the academic year, which went off in usual Scoutly fashion:

Scout camp   Scout camp Scout campScout camp Scout camp  Scout camp  Scout camp

The car is in the workshop.  That’s not new.  But it is in a different workshop, belonging to someone who is described as expensive but honest.  That would be new.  Especially if they actually fixed it. 

The fridge has also broken down today.  Luckily for the contents of the fridge, the temperature here has dropped like a rock the last few days.  Although it was up to five degrees when we woke up this morning, which was quite nice for us after several days of waking up to see frost in the plaza opposite our unheated house.  The frost is quite pretty, but the house is too cold to appreciate fully the finer artistic merit of Antarctic weather systems. 

Joni and I are working on the latest book in our “reading scheme” series.  This one is about sharks.  I’m currently pondering the notion that there have been far more sharks eaten by people than people eaten by sharks.  So who is the deadliest species? 

And somewhere in the recesses of what is left of my brain in between creating cakes, teaching English and running around after kids, I am chewing over this paradox:  Jesus was rebellious to the cross, and he was obedient to the cross.  Which is about as far as I have got, but I am sure that there would be big implications if I can get my head round it.   


Been trying to find time to post this all week. 

These are photos from our trip to Santiago del Estero last weekend.  The project is called Am Tena, which I think is a phrase in Wichi, although I might be wrong about that, because the indigenous people in Santiago del Estero speak Quechua; I have lots of things still to find out!  We were in the Añatuya area of the province, which appears to be mostly desert.  We visited a couple of schools in the district, dropping off books and other material, then we went to the village of Atamisqui, which turns out to be the Am Tena project’s main operating base.  Outside the village itself the land is divided up between several indigenous families, and it was out here in the scrub that we spent most of the weekend. 

Joni and cactus arid land  quechua homestead

The men busied themselves with big boys’ toys, putting up shelving in  the library which the community has been building this year.  The women mostly served mate and talked; I can’t quite figure out if I should identify a job in order to make myself more useful next time, or if I need to learn that sitting around drinking mate for a weekend actually counts as being useful in some parts of the world.  Maybe some of both. 

putting up shelves    taking mate

The kids busied themselves with being kids, very much enjoying the big space, complete with goats and pigs to chase.  Joni was interested to find out that the indigenous children are also bilingual; speaking Quechua at home and Spanish at school.  He is used to being the only one who has more than one language, San Francisco not exactly representing a cosmopolitan metropolis.  And language or no language, one cardboard box is all that is needed for three small children of any culture to enjoy a good afternoon together;

children playing with box  children playing with box

playing on the rocks  Mud oven cooking bread