Friday, October 31, 2014


People keep telling me that Halloween isn't a big deal here, but I keep finding lots of store windows  with very strange costumes. The man above is advertising for a fish market on the corner (not a Halloween costume).

The toys and costumes are not.... well lets say they are not licensed products by Disney.

You can tell what the characters are but they all look like they are from the 50's.

Sorry for the window glare.

We did find 6 plastic buckets on our grocery store shelf (below). The children don't wear costumes to school and they don't go trick or treating.  We asked the people at our office if we should plan on any candy to hand out and they looked at us like we were crazy. Halloween is just starting to be introduced down here. Some feel it is not for christians to participate in.

We had an orange and Alan cut out a pumpkin face.   Happy Halloween from the Rosario!

Monday, October 27, 2014


The water in our apartment (department) is heated by "califacion".  There are no water heaters here. It roosts on the wall in our kitchen above the sink. When we turn the knob with a "C" (C stands for Caliente, not cold) it fires up and heats the water as it passes by.  It actually works pretty well.

Gas Flame below

Below is what happens when you turn on the hot water. It fires up all the burners and makes a crazy noise when you shut it off! It heats up the kitchen on a cold day and on a hot day, you just don't stay in the kitchen very long!

The pictures below are of vents that are all over our apartment.  They vent straight outside (I can see daylight through them) so we don't get asphyxiated I guess! It also lets in all the cold/heat and humidity and outside street noise. 
(FYI those vents are as clean as we could get them after a good scrubbing)

            Kitchen vent                                                                    Living area vent

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rosario Laundordario

We have a cleaners on our corner where we live, what a blessing! We take our dirty laundry in and pick it up the next day all folded and put in a bag.

If we washed our clothes in our apartment they would be hanging all over the place to dry (wait, they would never dry in this humidity)! They even do delivery on the this bike (below). I thought it was just a decoration in the store and then I saw a kid out on the street with laundry in the plastic covered basket!! Awesome!!!!

The attendant didn't want her picture taken so she is hiding in the left of the picture(below). It is hot in there now, I don't know what she will do to keep cool in the summer! It costs $3.50 to get a full laundry basket washed/dried/folded/bed sheets etc., it is so worth it!

Love their big iron below! We have seen other laundordario's and this is the biggest and cleanest one we've seen.  We are so lucky and blessed to have it so close!!  They haven't quite got Alan's white shirts mastered yet, the collars are always a mess. Yes, I am counting my blessings today and this is one of them!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Elevator Lift

In our apartment building we have a very small elevator. I don't like it.

You open the wood door and then you find an accordion sliding-type door to open.

You step inside and pull the wood door shut and then slide the accordion door closed and push the 5th floor button (our floor). I think they put the mirror in the elevator so you aren't so claustrophobic! 2 people fit in the elevator, 3 is too many!

One of the reasons I don't like it is because when it stops on your floor, you catch air! It just jerks you to a stop. Plus I have nightmares about the power going out and being stuck in it! One thing I have found out on this mission is that I am claustrophobic! So, we take the circular staircase down 5 flights of stairs and up 5 flights of stairs several times each day.

Usually we are hauling water and food up the stairs. People are telling us that when it gets hot we will use the elevator because the stairs have no windows (air). I will need to do a lot of praying that I can handle the lift of doom then!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sacrament Meeting in Echesortu.

We had an interesting Sunday several weeks ago.  Alan figured it was time to start visiting other wards and stakes in our mission to get to know the local leaders better.  We prayed Sunday morning, quickly and blindly chose a ward to attend from the meeting-house locator, grabbed a taxi and off we went.  Turns out we ended up at a Stake Center, Rosario Oeste Stake.  The Echesortu Ward was having Ward Conference.  President Zacarias had us sit on the stand and told us we had 2 min to bare our testimony's (Alan would translate mine, of course I had no idea of what was going on). Well, the meeting ran long and they had 1 min for Alan's testimony.

 After the meeting, President Zacarias, the Stake President,  pulled us into his office and told us that they recently inherited 3 branches about 50-70 miles away that are struggling with activity and severe un-employment.  He said on his last visit, he felt inspired to promise that he would send help although he had no idea how or what.  He said we were the answer to his prayers.  Although we only had a few minutes with the Stake Presidency, we quickly explained that the new Self-Reliance initiative is coming to his stake in December. (waiting for the Spanish translations, printing, and shipping) He said, “We can’t wait til December!  They can’t wait!" Long story short, we met with one of the branches this last Sunday with the Stake President and his first councilor! President Zacarias has a heightened sense  of urgency on the matter of self-reliance and called Hermano Gavioli to be the Stake Self Reliance leader. He is being trained at our center this week.

We learned after the meeting that Alan's original mission president, President Righi, was coincidentally in the congregation. It had been 42 years since they had seen each other without any contact. He turns 90 later this year. He didn't remember Alan, they only met once on Alan's last day in Argentina for his exit interview (Pres. Righi had just arrived as the new Mission Pres.).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


This is our Farmacia which is about 2 blocks from us. You can tell it is a Farmacia because it has a green cross on top of the roof or by the door and they usually are glowing when they are open. Ours is called the Marketing Farm. (??) I guess that means a Farm-acia that does some marketing
¿Quien sabe?

More garbage dumpsters.

You can't miss this Farmacia, it's bright orange and on a corner!

We put these pharmacists to the test trying to find equivalents for our American drugs. Alan had three of them going at once and we went back 3 days in a row to get it all done. BTW: the meds were less than 1/3 the price. Bonus!

Alan on the right doing a drug deal. They were able to match everything we needed.

If you want to weigh yourself, you go to a Farmacia. 

This is the best Farmacia name we've seen. 
Lots of historic buildings all around Rosario, like this one.
Did I say there are lots of Farmacias, almost one on every block.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dumpster Diving

Dumpster exploring is very popular down here. There is a dumpster located on every street.  This father and son team is the best we've seen so far trying to find something in the trash. We've seen motor cycles pulling a cart and bikes pulling a cart, but I love the horse! The above picture is of the dumpster on our street. Below is an open container that is used around a construction site and people just filled it up! The first time we saw this, I said, "hurry let's snap a photo."  But sadly, this is not a rare occurrence.  We see dumpster diving several times a day.  It's common.

This picture below is a family - father, mother and son all on bikes, my heart aches for them. Maybe (I like to think) this is a hobby to find good bargains! We take our garbage to a dumpster on our street every morning like the dumpster below. I'm a little nervous about what the smell will be like in the humid summer!!

On our street we have a recycling bin too and we've seen people with carts pulling card board out of dumpsters and stacking them neatly in their cart.

As we walk the streets of Rosario we will sometimes see bags on the ground next to a dumpster. My first thought was that the people were too lazy to lift the lid of the dumpster. But we have discovered that the person was leaving it for others who are in need. Maybe there was leftover food or something of value in the bag that someone else could use.  We have seen toys, games and clothing at the foot of a dumpster too. Sometimes we will see a plastic bag hung on a rail on a building with bread in it, this is also for someone in need. People won't smile at you or say hello on the streets (for fear of being robbed), but they are a careing and loving people.