Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brief recap of trip to Rio Cuarto

I'm currently in that happy state of tiredness after returning from a good but exhausting trip. This may not be the most coherent post but I wanted to share a few things. Noticia para la familia: vamos a poner fotos en flickr este noche (esperamos).

We arrived home around 11 o'clock last night. Returning home after a long weekend in Argentina is very much like returning home after a long weekend in the U.S. TRAFFIC IS INSANE. The 3-1/2 hour trip took an extra hour. We kept trying to leave Rio Cuarto earlier but there were just so many people to see...

Let me start at the beginning.

The purpose of our trip to Rio Cuarto was to attend the 100th anniversary celebration of the Grace Brethren Church in Argentina.

This is the mission Ivan's parents were with for well over 40 years so it was like Old Home Week for him. There were MANY old friends :-)

One of the most moving moments of the celebration came at the end when they "passed the baton" (I know I'm jumping around but bear with me). Eduardo Coria, one of the "senior" pastors from the Fellowship, spoke first; after which Eduardo Pizzi shared briefly. He's one of the current generation of pastors. Then Federico Gamba had a few words for the group. As a teenager, he's part of the next crop of leaders. And finally 10-year-old "Pablito" closed the session with prayer. How encouraging to see the generations standing together -- I thought the picture and comment on the screen so appropriate!

One of the most fun, and certainly emotional parts for my husband, was the video that chronicled the 100 year history. Some seriously OLD photos, including this one of an adolescent Ivan, his younger brother and his parents. Ignore the fact that this is a photo of a photo on a big screen taken from WAY back of the auditorium and just look at all that hair! :-)

A few photos specifically for my kids...

Tina, remember when we stayed with Edith and her daughter Laura in Rio Cuarto during our visit in 1997? You and Laura are the same age and despite the language difference, you had such a fun time! Here she is all grown up; she's in her last year of university too, studying to work with learning disabled children.

And Jon, here's one of Ana Julia, Marcelo and his wife Tatiana. Marcelo and Ana send their greetings! They have fond memories of your visit in 2001.

[I know this seems almost like a Project 365 post but sometimes a photo or nine is called for, to better "tell" the story.]

Let's go off point here for a moment...In my quest to bring you the most hideous examples of haute couture, I offer you what I'm calling "Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin". At least that's what I'd look like if I put it on :-)

We saw the dress after leaving our car in the parking garage a block over from our hotel. The whole area is a mixture of hotels, stores and restaurants. We stayed right in the center of downtown Rio Cuarto. Here's the view from our 6th floor room at night.

Monday morning we were up bright and early...much earlier than we needed to be...this city never sleeps but suddenly around 5 a.m. it got really noisy. Not sure what was up, unless maybe it was all the taxi drivers on the street right below us. But boy was it ever LOUD.

Anniversary festivities continued through the morning on Monday. Then we were invited to lunch by Becky Ducuron, a name the family will recognize. After following her up, down and around all the one-way streets downtown, we arrived at a rather unprepossessing house. Like the majority of homes it starts right at the edge of the sidewalk with little ornamentation or indication that anything like this could be beyond the large doors facing the street...

Isn't that gorgeous?! Just to the right is a small grassy area that's absolutely lush with vegetation. Then Julio showed us his studio upstairs. What a wonderful space! This photo is from the end near his desk.

But as an artist, the majority of space is taken up with art paraphernalia. Would love to own one of his pieces but definitely out of our price range :-) Though we did enjoy seeing his work throughout their lovely home. Julio told us that the house is 130 years old and while his family hasn't owned it the whole time, he is the 4th generation of Ducarons to live there.

Lunch was amazing. Don't know the names of things but hope to find out AND get the recipes! Becky made one main dish and Mildret (who sends special greetings to Rita) made another. Oh. My. Word. Muy deliciosa!

From there we drove a short distance to see other friends, Daniel & Dora. While we were there, several missionaries and a pastor from the states stopped by (Lynn, your former pastor from Georgia!). Obviously, the entire time in Rio Cuarto was spent visiting with friends but there were so many -- well over 1,000 I believe! -- it wasn't possible to spend much time during the celebrations talking to any one person. So the times in homes made for more in-depth conversations and catching up.

My mind and heart are so full I can't begin to share it all. But this was a brief glimpse into how our time went, and I'll have a few more photos and stories to share later in the week.


rita said...

This touches a very emotional chord. What a privilege to have been there!
I will soak in whatever else you write or post!
I already read Julio D's sites and wrote him.
Con ganas de más!

Mari said...

What a fun time! I can only imagine how much you enjoyed those old pictures.
I really think you should have purchased that dress - it's you!

skoots1mom said...

YOU DID HAVE A GREAT TIME...get some rest...eager to hear more :)

sara said...

sounds like the perfect time!!! I loved the pictures! the one from the hotel is beautiful.

get some rest so you can tell us everything!

2Thinks said...

This sounds really neat, what with all the old, familiar Eduardos and such. Very special. As for Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin dress- Fash adores it. She wants it for prom this year (not kidding).

I wish I had a studio, like Julio. I just had to say that. I love the sound of it. The studio of Julio, the Julio studio. See what I mean? It's pure poetry.

Great special times post!

susanna said...

What a fantastic trip! It does not get better than old friends, lovely cities, good food and Jesus. Not to mention high pumpkin fashion! So glad you had fun!

lhoytar@yahoo.com said...

What a wonderful time! I'm thrilled you got to be there. I would also have loved to get to know the three grandchildren of Charles Yoder. Was their last name Romanenghi, by any chance?