The computer programmer;
The woman asks her computer programmer husband to go to the supermarket;
“Get three pints of milk, and if they have eggs get twelve”.
The computer programmer comes back with twelve pints of milk.
“They had eggs”
The computer programmer’s son;
Waiting in the entrance to the swimming pool;
“Oh look Joni, they have goggles here, I’m OK to buy you some of these if you want”
“No thanks, it’s not a lesson”
Ten minutes later in the pool;
“Oohh, I wish I had some goggles”
“Well I did just offer to buy you some”
“But I thought you just meant to take back to Argentina, I didn’t know you meant for me to use them in here”
The computer programmer’s other son;
Suddenly realised that he couldn’t see me;
(Aunt) “Look there she is swimming. She’s a good swimmer isn’t she? Maybe you’ll be able to swim like that when you’re a big boy”
“But mummy isn’t a boy…”
We’re back in small town UK. Landed on Friday. Enjoying some family time, and started the first set of meetings today. We’re hosting open house at St Mary’s church hall in Baldock this Saturday at 3. You’re all welcome to join us for tea and coffee and to find out more about what’s happening in Argentina.
… and that was a fast turn around. Owing to a last minute (even by Argentinean standards) change of plan, within twelve hours, I came in from Scout camp;
showered, dumped a load into the washing machine, made two cakes, organised someone to look after the dog, a different someone to look after the fish, repacked for the family, went to bed for a couple of hours, and left again in the direction of the province of Salta and the annual Latin Link team conference.
Coronel Moldes village in Salta province provides an idyllic backdrop for team meetings;
Our team is very well established having gone through the whole forming-storming-norming process through our various encounters. Good outcomes; I made my exit from the team exec after eight years, and instead I now get to produce the monthly prayer diary. Martin makes his debut on the exec, together with folk who I believe have the potential to be a highly effective diverse and robust team. We also enjoyed some fun together, one afternoon “helping” (ahem) the fishermen on the nearby reservoir;
A trip out to the exquisite rock formations in the mountains around Cafayate;
Joni rearranging the rocks for the confusion of future archaeologists.
and on the last evening, a few of us stomped up the San Bernado hill overlooking the city of Salta.
Now we’re back in San Francisco where we are now halfway through a slightly more relaxing four day turn around until we leave for the UK via the bus to Buenos Aires tomorrow night.
Teen had her 16th birthday yesterday. In Argentina girls historically came of age at 15. Even though today legal adulthood begins at 18, the all-important birthday party is still the 15th. However, a year ago Teen was still living in the Residencia (hostel), which means that she didn’t get to enjoy her full compliment of traditions. In particular the one that she really want to make up on was:
friends and family painting the public road in front of the birthday girl’s house.
In the UK this would probably have you clapped in irons under the anti-terrorism act. In Argentina, this is a perfectly normal, socially acceptable, tradition associated with coming of age. The road painting event is really a pre-party party. There were around fifteen teenagers hanging out on the road in front of our house, listening to music (also fully socially acceptable), sharing snacks and drinks, and chipping in with the artwork. The finished product looks like this:
It will continue to adorn the road with ne’er an asbo in sight until the passing of seasons and traffic finally wear away the bright colours of the permanent paint.
Road painting led into cooking, as she and her friends put sausages in the oven for a “choripaneado” – big juicy sausages, slapped into impossible-to-get your-mouth-round french bread sandwiches, with salad and dressings. I received a request for a cake in the colours of “River”, her favourite football team, (one of the big two in Argentina). The teenagers really liked it. And it tasted good (shameless self promotion):
Teen is lovely to give presents to. Watching her take pictures of her presents and then sending the photos via mobile phone to her friends reminded me that she is still adapting to the novelty of having stuff to call her own. Everyone had a nice day, and even two of her teachers unexpectedly called in with a little gift.