Monday, August 6, 2007

A is for Argentina

So, I'm getting a late start, but I still want to participate in Bella Dia's Encyclopedia of Me Meme, so here it goes....

A is for Argentina

I went on an 18 month mission to Argentina for my church. I've been back for seven years and I still think about my experiences there almost daily. I have certainly been changed by that experience. I loved giving cheek kisses as greetings. I was almost a vegetarian before I left and came back a full-fledged meat eater. I'm not proud of this (I keep trying to get back to my vegetarian ways, but once you've had a nice cut of fresh meat, raised on the Pampa, it's hard to go back), but vegetarian is almost a curse word in Argentina. The Argentines I met were very confused by the concept of not eating meat. On a more serious note, I can never look at what I have and not truly be grateful for having such abundance, opportunities for education and economic stability. I lived in Argentina in the years just before its economy collapsed - these were difficult times for them and I learned just how much I took for granted as a US citizen. I am thankful for the experiences I had here that touched me and made me a more thoughtful person. I am still in love with the warmth of the Argentine people. And I hope I never forget what I learned there.

p.s. I DID try to scan some of my actual pics from Argentina and add them to this post. See them below. This little project is going to be a good time for me to learn how to use the scanner and not forget the next day (Ryan has showed me multiple times).

I was going to scan individual pictures, but realized most of my photos from Argentina had been scrap booked during my very brief-lived scrap booking days. So, I just scanned entire pages - you should be able to click on each page to see a larger version.

This was the most beautiful city - Balcarce. It was known for its lovely hills and its potatoes. It was home to a Simplot plant - sort of funny because I am again living in a town with a Simplot plant.

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. I am sweating and we are outside having a nighttime picnic. This was actually great - I never missed Christmas much because it felt more like the 4th of July.

Some of the wonderful, friendly folks I was privileged to know.

The skyline of a city in La Pampa, called General Pico. I lived in this unfinished cement house, pictured in the bottom right corner.


Christina J. said...

What a great post! I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures. It sounds like a rewarding experience.

Heidijayhawk said...

i am so glad you are joining in!!! argentina is one of the countries i have always wanted to visit!

iSew said...

Sounds like a great experience. I think everyone should try living in another country for a while, even if it's not a challenged one. You can learn a lot by experiencing a little change.