This parrot is Madonna. She sits on the gate at the entrance to the zoo. She is quite friendly and loves to have her picture taken.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
On September 23, Sister Allred (Relief Society General Presidency) and Sister Dibbs (Young Women General Presidency & President Monson's daughter) came to Mendoza for a few days of training meetings. We hosted them while they were in our area. We brought them to a very famous Bodega in Tupangato called Salentein. The pictures above are from that winery. After we had lunch at the Altus winery were we had the most unique lunch experience. We were served 15 separate lunch items, which started with at least 7 hor'deurves.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This was our first birthday party in Mendoza and we learned a lot about the effort that goes into celebrations here. The mother (blonde) cooked for three days straight making all the food by hand. We have seen pictures of our housekeepers family birthdays and for a lady of little means they were quite elaborate. The 15th birthday is the special "coming of age" party here. It is common for a family to spend more on this party than on a wedding (Well, since they don't get married here, I guess you might miss the point on that one).
Friday, October 17, 2008
On a Friday night after 9:00 the city of Mendoza comes alive. We went to an outdoor artisan fair where there were booths, music, BBQ, and Sarina's tango instructor. He was performing with his partners. They were great! In one of the dances, the men came into the audience and chose young ladies to dance with them. Sarina was chosen by her instructor and danced the Argentine tango. She had a blast. Of course being on the ballroom dance team at BYU helps.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The climb up the hill to La Gloria is a nice hike. The monument is in the outskirts of the park San Martin which is about two miles from our home. San Martin is the man on the horse. He led his army over the Andes from Chile to liberate Argentina from Spain. He and a man named Sarmiento are national heros here in the country. You will find busts, statues, and memorials in every city in the country in memory of their work. Sarmiento is known for bringing literacy to the people, especially women. He has many universities named after him. His mother was an artist, and so the women in the country were allowed to start painting after his influence in the government.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
My first Argentine wedding. This couple and their three children needed to get married before they could be baptized. Their wedding was an experience that saddened me. We arrived at the registry, took a number, waited for our turn with the Registrar (judge?), then he said a few words and they were married. The suit Brother Calderon is wearing is from our missionary reserve closet, the sister missionaries did Sister Calderon's hair and makeup for their special day. The only other celebration was the rice throwing as they left the building. The next day was the special day of course, they were baptized. Sarina had taken pictures at the wedding and gave them a lovely album of all the pictures. They have never had a picture taken of their family.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Preparation for Zone Leader dinner at our home. Hermana Mallea is cooking up her famous tortillas. Now for you non-Argentines who still think that all of Latin America eats tortillas, beans and rice, you are way wrong. We don't have salsa, tortillas, Mexican anything in our stores. We crave Mexican food, and so we are cooking tacos for the Elders. After an entire day of cooking, we put on a fabulous dinner. They even got fresh salsa and guacamole. Lucky Elders.