Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A busy day in Carlos Paz

My friend Graciela came over this morning. We hadn't seen each other in a long time so had a lot of catching up to do. She and her hubby have been helping their daughter set up her own beauty salon (peluquería). Flor (short for Florencia) had been commuting to Cordoba 35+ km away but on weekends she'd do hair for family and friends at home.

Anyway, they found a place to rent really close to her house but it was bare bones and they had to do everything...install lighting, run the water line from the bathroom in back to the sink in front (where Flor washes the clients' hair), paint, build storage...a LOT of work!

Graciela is an artist and she painted a large mural on one of the walls in a soft impressionistic style. The whole family pitched in to help and had the peluquería ready to open in a very short time. It's so cute and next time we go I'll try and get a photo it.

We go every 5 weeks or so, because Flor is my hairdresser. You ladies know how hard it is to find a good hairdresser when you move, so you can bet I'm thankful to find such a great one so soon!

Graciela brought her book (we're reading a condensed version of Oliver Twist) but we never even opened our books ☺ We spent two hours just jabbering away! I feel pretty good at how much better I'm doing with Graciela. Being used to her speech patterns, I can follow her Spanish pretty well. And because we're good friends, I'm not so self-conscious about talking.

I know I shouldn't be self-conscious with anyone but -- reality check! -- I am. You can tell me to not worry until you're blue in the face and while I'll agree in theory, the fact is I find it very hard to talk to people I don't know in English, much less Spanish!

Last night we had our co-workers over for a pancake dinner. Dear friends in Michigan gave us real maple syrup to bring with us, and you can bet I'm careful with that syrup 'cause it has to last for three years. But this was for a special occasion; tomorrow is A's birthday! I made bacon, sausage (homemade from a friend's recipe), pancakes and fried apples. Muy rico!

It was the first time they'd been over since we unpacked our books last week so A spent a happy half hour looking through and picking out a few books to borrow. For Americans so used to well-stocked public libraries, regular and used bookstores, and garage sales, you have NO IDEA what a treat it is for missionaries to get a source of "new" books. I wish you could have seen the blissful look on A's face as she contemplated the many happy hours of reading ahead ☺

For A's birthday they're attending the start of the World Rally Championship, a really big deal here. The race begins tomorrow and concludes on Sunday. One news article I read had this to say: "One of the WRC's most spectacular and demanding events, Rally Argentina is based from the town of Villa Carlos Paz, 35km south of Cordoba and right in the heart of the stunning Cordobese Sierras."

We didn't know what was going on the other night, just wondered about all the noise. Found out the next day that the man who's won the Rally for the past four years gave a demonstration in his new car. Sébastien Loeb of France drives for Team Citroën and there was quite a crowd down on the costanera to see the show.

I'm not sure how many international teams are here, but we'll probably walk down ourselves and check out what's happening sometime over the weekend. The race takes place all over the Punilla Valley, but the teams are headquartered just blocks away.

Oh, my Spanish tutor told me about another wedding custom here. This is because of the economy and just the difficulty of being able to afford a wedding. More and more wedding invitations include a card for the reception that tells you what it will cost to attend. Yep, you pay for the dinner yourself. Wonder if this idea will catch on in the U.S. the way things are going?

Finally, my sweet hubby has spent the day painting the kitchen. With vaulted ceilings and furniture and appliances to work around, it was quite the job. It looks fantastic!


tina in thailand said...

Oh my goodness, there were so many thing I identify with in this post!
Isn't it wonderful when you realize you have been holding a real conversation with one of your national friends, and have not used English?! That still astounds me sometimes.
Yes, books are precious!! There are a couple of bookstores that carry English books, but they are either not the kind we read, or you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me expensive.
mmm, I can almost taste the maple syrup. Things that like from home are so wonderful!!
You are doing great with your language and getting used to the culture of Argentina. Be encouraged in the Lord today, He not only want to use you, He is using you, right now, even at this stage.

skoots1mom said...

so...what color is it?

I've never read Oliver Twist...I saw the movie as a kid, though.

skoots1mom said...

white in the kitchen is always pretty...easy to decorate with also. I'm eager to redo our kitchen and den walls; we're WAY overdue for a makeover...been looking at this wallpaper in the kitchen for 17 years now. I don't have a clue what I want, guess I need to start checking out some colors. we're going to be getting new den furniture soon, so this will be a good time to change it all up!

rita said...

When I read the word 'friend' I was encouraged. You are so fitting in and building relationships! Tell us more about her.
A lot going on in CP!

Lhoyt said...

That Ivan is a wonder! Carpentry, mechanics, painting, and so many other things.
Speaking of speech patterns, do you mean you are picking up 'cordobés'?
When you say bare bones, I assume it is like the house we lived in in Rosario, where the bill of sale stipulated "todo lo clavado y plantado", and we got a hole where the exhaust fan was when we looked at the house, and all the flowers in the small flower garden were missing. A big shock for us Americans.

Keep it up! I don't believe you are shy at all, and if that is the case, it doesn't show. You'll reap sometime if you don't grow faint.


Debbie said...

Sounds like you had fun with our friend. That makes me very happy!