Happy Fathers Day

Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there. 

We had a bit of a low-key Sunday, punctuated by regular coffee.  Martin went off to preach this morning.  The kids flapped around in their pyjamas and made Lego models.  I put a roast dinner in the oven and created a dessert.  This is a “torta de alfajor”, I can’t imagine how I would begin to translate that.  Torta is cake.  Alfajores are round sandwich biscuit type affairs, but they aren’t really like anything I have ever eaten in Europe.  And a torta de alfajor would therefore be a cake which is a bit like a sandwich biscuit but not really.  I guess.  Whatever.  It was a bit of an experiment from a passed-on-verbally recipe, which worked just fine and everyone had two helpings. 


Now we’re about to heat some more coffee, and then go to church, where I am scheduled to be producing some Fathers Day craft with the Sunday school children. 

Spontaneous Sunday School

We spent the weekend making locro.  This is a long process, starting with chopping pumpkin and pigs innards from nine till six on Saturday and starting again at six on Sunday morning to make the fire to cook it all on.  We made two hundred and fifty portions and a healthy profit. 

On Sunday evenings at church another girl and I share the kids’ class.  Normally we are relatively organised about who is going to do what – relatively not in the UK sense of having a three month schedule, but in the Argentina sense of having had a conversation by text message at least a few hours before the event.   Since I spent the weekend making locro, we didn’t get to talk, and I assumed she was organising the class.  The bit I didn’t know was that she went away for the weekend and assumed that I was organising it.  If either of us had turned up to church with a working brain cell, we could have exchanged that useful piece of information at the start of the service, but, well, it had been a long weekend, so in the event I had the space of time between the preacher arriving at the lectern and me arriving in the Sunday school area – approximately ten seconds, in order to plan the class. 

Take one sheet of scrap paper and cut a capital I shape out of it:

house outline

Fold it along the red lines and you will be able to make a house with an apex roof… realise that houses in the ancient near east wouldn’t have had apex roofs and omit the central fold for a house with a flat roof. 

Take another sheet of scrap paper and cut it into strips maybe six centimetres width.  Give each child a strip and show them how to make a chain of paper people holding hands:

paper people

While they are making theirs, you can make your own set of six people.  Cut one man off the end and make it into a Jesus figure.  Cut another man off and lie him down on a square of paper of approximately the same height.  Turn the other four people into the man’s friends. 

Now you have everything you need to play Mark 2.  The kids enjoyed using their chains of people to be the crowd stopping the man and his friends from getting through, and the bit where we cut a hole in the roof of the house and dropped the disabled man through it to land at Jesus’ feet.  In fact they carried on playing with the figures for a goodly while after we’d finished talking about the story.  Danny drew chocolate buttons and chocolate trousers on his – Mark 2 meets the gingerbread man. 

Where did May go?

Every month our Latin Link southern cone team sends out a prayer calendar which we are all asked to contribute to.  I think this is a really good initiative, for ensuring good prayer support, and keeping up in a bite-sized way with what other people are up to.  The only real difficulty is that the new month seems to come round so quickly, and a lot of the time we are just busy getting on with getting on which makes it hard to dream up “key dates” or “special events” for folk to get excited about.  So, here’s a brief round up what we’re up to. 

Danny remains in plaster.  We went for an appointment the other day which reveals that the bones have shifted prior to healing, so the arm will have a new bend in it.  The traumatologist thinks that the extra bend will become less pronounced over the next couple of years as he grows, so they aren’t growing to re-break him at this stage, but the plaster remains for another week. 

I preached on Luke 24 on Sunday, my notes are up under the sermons tab.  The notes are but a rough approximation of what I actually said, since I didn’t look at them until the bit in the middle of the conclusion where I forgot where I was supposed to be going. 

The Teen is currently excluded from school for two days for fighting.  I went to the school for a meeting yesterday and another one today.  She’s gone to work with her boyfriend today, which she would almost definitely prefer as a full-time option than school.  The complicating feature would be finding someone willing to employ an unqualified fifteen year old with a range of personal issues; we don’t really have anything like supported employment here, either you are a competent member of staff or someone else will be found to take your place. 

The Scouts held a “Feria Americana” (jumble sale) on Saturday to raise some much needed funds, and a parents’ work-party on Sunday to do some much-needed maintenance and improvements on the railway shed where we are based.  This weekend we are cooking locro – stew based on maiz and bits of pig and cow offcuts.  We are hoping to sell 200 portions for Sunday lunchtime. 

I’m gathering more paperwork for yet another job offer that may or may not go anywhere.  The previous job I was offered has gone to a tribunal, but no-one knows when that may ever be decided.  This new offer probably won’t happen till August even if all parties agree to agree, because although the school are desperate for the kid to have a one-to-one support, so far she doesn’t have a certificate of disability.  This is a bit like being “statemented” in the UK – without it, you’re unlikely to persuade anyone to fund anything.  Her assessment is in August, and in the meantime we need to persuade her health-care provider to agree in theory that if she is successful in obtaining the certificate of disability, then they will fund the necessary support, and secondly that they will accept me as a person appropriate to provide that support.  

Joni is doing well and having lots of fun playing with negative numbers!  Martin is working on websites and enjoying playing with negative numbers with Joni.  Sergio is here for a few days doing useful jobs around the house, like replacing door handles.  I never ever had to replace my door handles in the UK, but it seems to be a fact of life in Argentina that door locks and handles just will all need replacing on a ridiculously regular basis. 

And here we are in June.