No, not oops! but OOP for Onfield Orientation Program. The Argentina team is developing one for new missionaries and we'll sort of be the guinea pigs. I personally think OOP is a great acronym since newbies do spend a lot of time saying 'oops!'
Another topic our field director brought up is the need for an emergency contingency plan. "We must be in good physical shape," said one of the older missionaries, "So we can run, run, run!" "And swim!" added a second. "And re-learn how to play 'hide 'n seek'," chimed in a third.
Although we enjoyed a good laugh, it is something to think about, especially in light of what missionaries in neighboring Bolivia face right now. So we're thinking through what we could/should do. Not just us personally, but the whole team. We serve in different parts of the country and what might be best for those in northern Argentina probably wouldn't work for us, so we do need individual "plans" but it's a good idea for all of us to be on the same page so we can work together to ensure everyone's safety.
The hubby remembers times when missionaries were somewhat concerned about the stability of the country but he doesn't think there's ever been a need for any of them to actually leave Argentina. While we don't think this is something we'll ever have to face, we aren't ignoring the possibility.
I just hope that if it ever comes to that, buses don't go on strike or gas stations shut down or roads get blocked or...
We took an overnight bus from Resistencia to Cordoba with plans to catch a commuter bus from Cordoba to Carlos Paz. But arrived in Cordoba to find the inter-urban buses were on strike :-( We ended up taking a taxi home which was an unexpected and unwelcome expense. Oh well. At least we did get here!
You'd think our team was trying to out-do one another with bus adventures. One couple found out after they were on the bus and in their comfortable first class seats that the person who sold them their ticket had written the wrong date on it, so they were booted off! They had to take a later bus and the only seats left were the scrunchy ones in back.
But the best is the missionary wife who went into the bathroom at a terminal during one of their stops, and the bus drove off without her! Her hubby thought she'd gone to the bathroom on the bus so you can imagine his horror when he realized that wasn't the case. Happily, she was able to take a taxi and catch up with them.
So there you have the travel adventures of our hapless crew in Argentina. I'm glad it's not only us newbies saying "Oops!"