Friday, November 20, 2009

BA Mission Trip: Wednesday & Thursday

Our last day in Argentina started early. Mark woke up around 3:00AM with a stomach bug or food poisoning, and struggled with that all day. Around 10:00 or so we went to La Boca, a tourism site, but were only able to stay briefly due to Mark’s illness. It was not really disappointing to miss out on the sightseeing as tourism stuff is not a big deal to me.

Aaron and Stacie Bray were gracious enough to let us crash at their house so Mark could rest and feel better. While he was sleeping, I went to a local restaurant to eat lunch and read. It was comical to order my lunch through an iphone app as the waiter spoke zero English and my Spanish was not good enough to communicate either!

Upon my return to the missionary’s apartment, Aaron took me to our hotel to collect our luggage. I really enjoyed the time listening to his heart and desire to serve God globally. He and his wife are waiting to find out what they will be doing long-term in missions. Please pray for the doors to be opened and for clarity in the process for them.

Once we collect the luggage, we headed for the airport. The trip back was my best flight experience ever; a special thanks to Mark’s friend who gave us free business class upgrades. A lady in business class looked over to Mark and said, "Sir, those socks are pathetic." Albeit hilarious, the funniest part was the utter rudeness from the lady, and how clueless she was in regards to her words. Mark was not quite sure how to respond, but I had no problem piling on my buddy! Anyway, on the flight we were served a 5 course meal including filet mignon and ice cream; we sat in reclining seats that almost went flat; instead of junky headphones, they provide you with a Bose headset; we were given a normal size pillow and blanket, and a complementary toiletry bag including a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, eye cover, earplugs, and mints… coach will never be the same!!!

Argentine Insights:
* Instead of knocking on a door, they clap and call for whomever they’re looking for.
* They always kiss on the cheek with a greeting
* When they get an ice cream cont they don't lick it (and they'll laugh at you if you do), they scoop the ice cream with mini spoon
* At a restaurant, they won't bring your bill until you ask for it
* Yes doesn't always mean yes, will tell you what you want to hear in order to be polite
* If property goes unclaimed for 2 months families can claim that land for free and it is illegal to remove them if they have children, they are referred to as squatters
* Argentines' traditional drink is called Matte. It is a tea that some have described as tasting like grass clippings. You drink it community style from the same straw. Your turn last until there is a slurping sound, at which point the cup is refilled with scolding hot water. You are expected to take at least two turns, once you've had enough you say "gracias," if you say it beforehand they will skip you in order to be polite.
* Argentine food is really bland. They do not use a lot of spices or salt, which is the opposite of what most people would expect. Also, the two primary meals are steak and pasta.

Ironic lesson:
Our translator, Nestor, told us Mexico is disliked by South Americans and Hispanics because they are known for torturing and mistreating illegal immigrants.

Meeting with Javier was a huge blessing for me. He has had some tough church experiences in the past and it was great to encourage him. He seemed genuinely appreciative of our time together. Hopefully, he will get plugged into a local church again.

It was also great reconnecting with my longtime friend Mark Spence. We grew up together, and have not spent quality time with each other in years. His vision for the ABBA project and love for Jesus was inspiring. I really enjoyed the time spent with my friend.

The trip in general was a blessing to. Being a part of the ABBA project has left me more inspired in my work with our partnership. Hopefully, we will see the same results as Mark and NRHBC has seen with theirs!

This was our breakfast everyday... the glorified croutons were referred to as toast, and the coffee tasted like meat!


Bruce said...

I think you may have miss judged the greeting in Argentina. They don't kiss on the cheek, they air kiss. It is a big faux pas for strnagers to actually kiss. Family and loved ones do, but air kissing with a pronounced smacking of the lips without actually touching is normal for strangers just meeting. I enjoyed your blog. Good job.

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