Saturday, June 12, 2010


I've posted a lot about Argentina and general experiences here.  But really, the beautiful thing about Buenos Aires are the Bible Studies.

For example, we went on a study yesterday.  He sells jewelry on the street.  What a sincere, humble man!  He appreciates so much learning from the Bible.  Whenever we go to see him, he takes time out of his selling to speak with us.  When we consider a subject, his face takes on this look of deep thought.  Sometimes he will have questions written on a piece of paper to ask us. 

He insists we open and close with a prayer.  He asks us to pray for him to help him understand and make changes in his life.  And he always wants to give us a donation or one of the items he sells.  We repeatedly tell him we don't need it (Jesus said "you received free, give free") but he so very much wants to give.  He told us yesterday that he was sorry he could only give us 10 pesos, but to please forgive him and he would give us more next time. Then he gave me one of the rings he sells. When I tried to stop him he said that he appreciates so much our 'showing him the way' and that we are 'his saviors.' (Of course we said that Jesus is the savior.)  It makes you want to cry!

There are many such humble people here.  It's beautiful.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Mendoza lies at that perfect longitude between mountains and wine.  I mean, check out these mountains!

And the wine, of course...

Marcos and Orlando picked me up at the bus station in Mendoza.  Immediately one can notice the difference between Mendoza and Buenos Aires.  If Buenos Aires is New York, Mendoza is like... eh... I don't know, but a place much smaller and quieter than New York.  San Rafael was definitely more 'tranquilo', but Mendoza was not far behind, considering the side of the city.

It is also much cleaner than Buenos Aires.  And all the streets are lined with 'acequias' which are basically channels for water to irrigate the many trees in the city.  The trees give the city a very natural feel.

We toured the Family Zuccardi winery.  It was pretty slick.  The tour ends with a tasting of 3 of their wines: rose, red and sweet white.  Then we did this awesome wine tasting meal consisting of 8 courses.  I'll see if i can remember them.  The pictures are in the gallery.

1.  Polenta crisps with pizza flavor.  The wine here was a campagne.
2.  Some sort of cocktail with lemon.
3.  'Passion for Olives' - basically an olive cake topped with olive ice cream and an olive cracker.
4.  Mimosa!  Its half orange juice and half champagne.  But this one came in an orange!
5.  Sweetbreads with a sweet pepper sauce.  The wine here was a nice rose.
6.  Pork, potatoes, bacon, and wine-marinated pears.  This came with a Malbec-like wine that was unusually crisp for a red.
7.  Malbec ice cream with cake.  This was accompanied by a very light, sweet dessert wine.
8.  Lemon sorbet with chocolate and sprinkles of something like that popping candy.  There was another sweet dessert wine here called Malamado.  Yea, fun name!
9.  A 'sponge' soaked in orange juice and topped with a twisted ribbon of chocolate.  Quite nice.
10.  Expresso, of course.

Ok, so thats 10, but maybe some of the drinks courses didn't actually count as courses.

After the courses, we stopped to preach to some English speakers working in the winery.  One was from the States and the other was from Australia.  Nice guys.

The Puga family was so hospitable to us.  They constantly had us over for lunch and dinner.  And they took us out to eat too.  Thanks, guys!

One of the foods we had at their house was like a combination between pizza and a sandwich.  Picture these layers starting from the bottom:  toasted bread, beef, cheese, mayo, ham, AND THEN A PIZZA ON TOP.  I am not making this up.

We went bowling at one of those places where the pins are set up by an actual person.  Awesome!  Check out his feet:

On Sunday Marcos took me on a few of his Spanish studies.  I got to read some scriptures!  Woot!

The bus ride home was, bar none, the best bus ride I have ever had.  It was a first class seat on the top of a double-decker bus.  The big leather seat completely flattens to a bed, complete with a pillow, blanket and curtain.  First they give you candy and soda.  Then appetizers, then dinner with your choice of wine.  It was the first time I've had steak on a bus.  Then champagne.  All of this was during the playing of 2 movies.  Then bed time until arriving at Buenos Aires in the morning.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

San Rafael

On Friday, May 21st I got on a bus to San Rafael. It was the start of a week-long trip to the province of Mendoza. What a good time!

Fernan picked me up at the bus station on Saturday morning.  I stayed at his house for a few days, and his family was absolutely lovely.  Here they are:

Fernan is fluent in Spanish, English, and Argentine Sign Language.  So Saturday he took me on an English study with a couple from South Africa.  They were so sincere and humble.  We spent about 3 hours talking and addressing their thoughtful questions.  

Sunday I had the privilege of giving a talk in the Sign Language group.  Fernan was kind enough to translate from my English.  As I was giving the talk I thought it was somewhat funny that all the time and effort I've spent working on speaking techniques such as tone, pausing, etc, were basically useless in this setting.

Here is the Sign Language group:


Monday and Tuesday we did some preaching to English speakers in the area.  We met some very friendly guys from the United States.  Fernan, make sure you plant and water that interest!

We also visited the Bianchi winery.  At this particular one they make sparkling wine.  They give you a glass to taste at the end of the tour.  I had 3.


During my stay Fernan came up with a new nickname for me: Ironheart.  I don't know about you, but I like it!

After San Rafael, it was off to Mendoza city!  Stay tuned...

Money Doesn't Motivate People

I know this is divergent from my usual posts, but this is something I learned some time ago.  This video articulates it well.