Sunday, September 7, 2008

Of Buses and Notebooks

It's been an exciting weekend of riding buses and buying notebooks, taking pictures of things that are wrong with the house and making the best chicken cacciatore we've ever had with fresh bay leaves picked right from the yard. Oh, and being without internet.

So how was your weekend?

One of the suggestions for new missionaries is keeping a notebook to jot down new vocabulary, and here in Argentina you can easily find notebooks with alphabetical tabs. Throughout the weekend I've been transferring new words from my class notebook to the new one. I'm feeling all organized and efficient at the moment.

We knew there was a good public transport system but couldn't seem to find anyone who knew what the schedule was -- until Saturday evening when we hit the downtown tourist office. Finally, someone who could help! She gave us a phone number as well as a web address which allowed us to print out the different routes. There is no real schedule; the buses keep going around and around their routes and the times fluctuate, I guess.

Something we didn't realize is that there are three B-5 bus routes and we need to make sure we get on the one marked "ACA" or we could end up stranded on the other side of town, waiting for the right bus. Not saying that happened to us, but it may have. Leaving us rushing to catch a taxi so we could make it to church on time. Now we know that both B-1 and B-5 buses travel back to our end of town. As long as they're marked "ACA".

I've never had the opportunity to cook with fresh bay leaves before. Oh.My.Word. The smell is heavenly and the flavor is SO much better than with dried! We're pretty excited to try the fresh rosemary next.

And before we leave the topic of food, let me just say that next time I'll try to take a picture of the beautiful little pastries before we gobble daintily nibble them. One of the local grocery stores carries delectable little "masas finas" (fine pastries) of which we indulged in one or six for tea today. They're bite size for the hubbies in our life but we ladies can make them stretch for three or four. My favorite was an inch and a half high stack of cookie, banana, whipped cream, another cookie and dark chocolate -- the flavor somewhat reminiscent of banoffee pie from Ireland.

As to the pictures, the hubby found some disturbing things during his afternoon sojourn on Thursday. Like the fact that the kitchen sink is sinking because the cabinet is rotten. Among other things. So we're putting together a document for the home owner before meeting with her on Tuesday for a walk-through of the house. We agreed to clean and paint in exchange for lower rent but we didn't sign on for a lot of repair work.

So this is a matter of prayer. The home owner just moved to the area and bought this house as an investment. We are her first renters. Guessing that she went through and looked at the house like we did the first time, and has no idea what shape it's really in. Live and learn. Hopefully the end result will be something we can live with since we've already signed the rental agreement and handed over the money.

The antarctic blast is mostly over. Snow on Friday yet today was warm enough to get by with sweaters. But nights are still cold so I'm currently huddled under the covers. Looking forward to the heat of summer that most of you in the northern hemisphere are sweltering under even now.

By the time summer rolls around in January I should have filled up my first vocabulary notebook, don't you think? I'm feeling rather ambivalent about my Spanish. Some days I think I'm doing pretty good and other days I despair of ever understanding or being able to speak it. Another matter of prayer.

1 comment:

rita said...

Additional memory joggers: add a gesture to each vocabulary word, draw it, find an association like a mnemonic device, write out the meaning/s and phonetics if you need it.
These were very effective in the Reality spanish training Alan & I attended this past week.
We experienced it first hand in Russian.