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The Argentina Adventure: May 1-15
 
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May 15: Laura leaves the house for Argentina today at about 3:00 PM. Muy bien! She has much to do before leaving and she is tired from all the late nights at work. Unfortunately, the airplane may not offer many opportunities for good sleep, but she can recuperate here tomorrow.

The Weather Here: This is the first rainy day since I've been here. The weather has been very warm and even hot at times. It's unseasonable. I needed my jacket for only two or three days. Yesterday I was very hot. Today it's cooler and that's a plus for me.

Language Mistake: When Eduardo asked me where I was going, I said "to the restaurant of the bathroom"
The Reason: One name used for the bathroom is "sanitario" and the place to which I was going is called "sanatario"

Learning: I met with a lady who will talk with me and help me learn more. Marcelo will still teach me, but I want more experience, especially in this first month. Once I can converse more quickly (and therefore widen the scope of people with whom I can converse) then I will not need the same focused attention. The meeting went very well, and I learned much. She said that my pronunciation was good (as others have told me) so the solo practicing and corrections from Laura have been very helpful.

The common eating spoons here are larger than those in the U.S.
It's very common for foods to contain chopped hard boiled eggs. I've had them in garbanzos (chickpeas), cold dishes with vegetables (like corn), casseroles and more. Me gusta! (I like them.)

I studied while eating lunch, then bought some dulce de leche (SanCor) on the recommendation of Dr. Victor and Señora May Canalis. I look forward to trying it. I will do so when Laura is here.

I called Laura while she was packing. She was very busy, but now she should be in Dulles (In Virginia, near Washington, D.C.). They should be boarding now for the flight to Buenos Aires. I must go to sleep NOW because I must be ready to leave at 4:45 AM. It will be easier because I look forward to seeing her tomorrow. I will study tomorrow while riding, and will likely bother Coqi with questions. I cannot write any more because I am asleep... :-)

Now I'm not sleeping. Laura's flight to the Dulles airport (in Virginia, near DC) had trouble and she missed her flight to Buenos Aires. The next flight is 24 hours later (Friday night). She was stuck at the airport with a small crowd of people that were not happy, and no hotels were available. She talked to a few people and then to the shuttle driver who was refusing all people with airline vouchers because there was no room. Laura did not let the issue die easily, and some way (she's not totally sure) her reservation was completed, whereas, those of the other people were not. Many people were still waiting at the shuttle stop when Laura was taken to the very posh hotel and a king sized bed. I can rest more easily now. Tomorrow, I must be sure that Coki can be our taxi on Saturday morning when Laura will arrive.

Technical Language Note: I find it interesting that the first person plural present indicative (presente de indicativo) for -ar and -ir verbs is identical to the first person plural preterit (pretérito), but that's not the case for -er verbs. For example, hablamos (hablar) is the proper conjugation for both forms. But tememos (temer) is different from temimos. I'm guessing that if one must distinguish between the two, one would use a progressive tense, like "estuvimos hablar" which is past tense whereas "estamos hablar" is present (both are first person plural).

May 14: I went to the early service today. It was fine, but was not a breakthrough in understanding. For breakfast, I bought some freshly made pastries stuffed with veggies. The price was 2,40 Pesos. I gave the attendant 10,40. He handed back 6 Pesos. I looked at the bills, then looked at him, and then, with no apology, he immediately pulled out two more Pesos and handed them to me. I have a distinct feeling that he knew he short changed me. Others told me "yea, that's not uncommon. You must be careful." I must say though, that it is the first time anything like that has happened here. It made me wonder how many times foreigners in the States have that happen to them.

I bought the newspaper and went to the coffee shop again. I do love that coffee. There was a different attendant there and she was very helpful, like the one to whom I usually talk. Later, I met Ana and May's sister and she introduced me to Señora Morales who teaches English and Spanish. This is another person to whom I can talk and from whom I can learn.

I wrote an email in Spanish, a time consuming task, but one that is very benefical. Then the evening meeting took the rest of the day. I must go to bed now.

Abuela Elena giving Galo and Candi a treat Abuela Elena gives Galo and Candi treats from time to time. At this point, they are very attentive. :-)

May 13: Meaningless Chatter: I tried to go to the morning meeting, but didn't. I was late anyway, then I rushed out the door, forgetting my belt. Unfortunately, the back door (the door for which I have a key) had a key in the lock from the inside, preventing my key from being inserted. I worked (from outside) to push the key back in ...work work work... no go. Galo, one of the cute Dalmatians, wanted to greet me (yes, I just left minutes before, but Galo doesn't care about that :-)). Work, work, look for a wire, work work.. Abuela (grandmother) Elena to the rescue! I grabbed my belt, just about the time the meeting was ending. :-)

Sign showing a store's hours Cultural Note: This is a typical sign showing store hours. Two aspects are different from that of the US
1. The hours are usually in what we call military time, and the local people refer to time using both methods (for example, one might refer to 3:00 PM or to 15:00).
2. The times for Monday - Friday (lunes a viernes) always have two entries because almost all stores close for a few hours in the early afternoon. This store is a bit unusual because it closes at 3:00 PM and opens again at 8:00 PM. Most close around noon and reopen at about 4:00 PM.

I talked in the coffee shop all morning to the attendant who explained much (yet again). Two coffees, a Havanna (a treat), and two desserts later, I found my way to the bank, trying to find the exchange rate. I talked a lot at the bank, learned a few new terms, and learned the the ATM (cash dispenser) was being serviced. I returned later and withdrew 100 pesos from our bank account. The bank representative had told me that the machine would tell me the exchange rate, but it didn't, so I don't know how much it costs to do that. I will log on to the web later and try to see the transaction.

Laura has been VERY busy at home, preparing the home and her work for her absence. Most nights she worked until 8:00 or 9:00. Only one day recently did she leave at an early 6:30 PM. But that will soon change, because I get to have her with me. :-)

The afternoon meeting was great! I understood at least 70% and maybe more. Of course, then I hear people talking at normal speed and it's still WAY to fast for me. :-) The meeting in the evening was more difficult. I'm back to 50% understanding. At least the overall trend is going up.

Marta fixed a veggie coffee for me this evening. Now I must go to bed to see if I can actually go to the morning meeting tomorrow.

Eli, Pablo, Elena, Marta after the meeting Eli, Pablo, Abuela Elena and Marta after the evening meeting. The speaker is pictured below.
The speaker for the Week of Prayer The speaker for the Week of Prayer

May 12: Of course, today involved more practice, but being tired has reduced the effectiveness of this day. Sleep, it seems, is of premier importance in this endeavor. I will guard my sleep time carefully from now on.

This morning, I finalized plans with Coki to pick up Laura on this Friday. Yipeee!

Very large tree
...what a great tree with the large branches forking so close to the ground.
Great Multi-forking Tree
On the campus of Universidad Adventista del Plata this very cool tree with a huge base.
Tree/Shrub Enclosure
Check out this tree / shrub in which they've carved a great enclosure. It's just too cool.

I breezed into and out of the coffee shop and picked up a few new words while in there. :-) I then wandered around the campus of Universidad Adventista del Plata, asking many people about the pharmacy in which Eli, Pablo's girlfriend, works. (Eli exchanges money for me from dollars to Pesos.) Finally a girl knew Eli and Pablo well and was able to tell me where the pharmacy was. The talking experience was great. One of the people that I asked knew English well. She learned it in two months at Shenendoah (spelling?) Valley Academy. It gave me hope for my two month stay here. I've been here for about 11 of the 60 days now so I have hope that I will reach my goal of understanding full-speed speech.

The afternoon meeting did not go as well as previous meetings because I was very tired. I understood about 30%, which was somewhat disappointing.

I understood about 50% of the evening meeting, which is much better than the previous meeting. The nap was likely the reason.

I can't WAIT for Laura to arrive. :-)

Personal Note: In short: Laura and I now own the domain name www.markrice.com.
More Details (Attention: this may be boring to you): When I reserved the domain name www.mrice.com, I also wanted www.markrice.com. But it was owned by a "Mark Rice" in Florida (in the U.S.) who had a simple web site. I have watched this domain for about four years and have seen it expire a couple times. Each time I thought that I might be able to reserve it. But each time the owner renewed it. During my preparations for the trip to Argentina, I noticed that markrice.com was in a "redemption period" (that's past expiring, and is closer to being available than was the case before). So I registered with www.SnapNames.com, a web site that watches a domain name and registers a name for you on the moment that the name is released (I believe it can do that in less than a second). Today, that happened. So we now own www.markrice.com.

May 11: Yesterday and today I learned much about past tense, and today I began using it with other people. While I still require much "processing" time to speak, knowing the basics of one form of past tense (pretérito) has greatly expanded what I can say.

Coffee Shop This coffee shop (also pictured elsewhere) is a place where people can use computers with a high speed connection to the internet. There are many places here that have this kind of service. Note: The common lunch food available includes things not as readily available in the US I love the freshly baked goods which are often filled with... yummy things. :-)

At about 9:30 AM, I went for coffee at the same coffee shop to which I usually go, but this time I brought some things to study. The attendant talked with me for a long time and helped me with some questions. I was in this shop until the afternoon. After that, I passed by a new restaurant and thought about going in. Because I'm self-conscious, I hesitated. As soon as I detected my self-consciousness, I knew I had to go in, and of course, it was very easy. The gentleman was very helpful, knew no English and would explain things to me. That's exactly the kind of experience I want here, so it was a great lunch.

There was only one meeting for the Week of Prayer, which surprised me. I thought there would be at least two on a Sunday. For each day in the coming week, there will be two meetings. YIPEEE! I understand this guy much better than most because he speaks slowly. (He's from San Pablo, Brazil and his name is Ronaldo de Oliveira.) Tonight, I understood about 70% of what he said. I was very excited. Tomorrow, I continue my Spanish lessons.

May 10: I went to a Sabbath School where I knew no one. When I first sat down, the teacher asked a question of me, and I paused (not knowing it was directed at me), then my facial expression communicated surprise, at which the entire class laughed. Once I talked, they understood. hahahaha. I understood about 35% of Sabbath School (there was a lot of noise) and about 50% of Church which was very rewarding. The slowness of the speaker helped me very much. I met Lewis and Mario at church

This is the meeting place for week of prayer. The meeting place for week of prayer
Pablo and his singing group Pablo and his group sang for church and they were excellent. I'm impressed with the tight harmony.
Edwardo and Martin Eduardo and Martin on this fine Sabbath day.

Marta fixed a fantastic lunch for us including a special rice and cheese loaf with tomatoes, olives and carrots with a very good sauce (maybe olive oil and vinegar and other spices.. I'm not sure). Then she had a dish with a crust stuffed with prepared greens. Then a chocolate and apple desert. ¡Soy muy satisfecho!

Language Mistake: The Sabbath School teacher, with the entire class listening, told me the verse in the Bible to find, to which I replied "You have no Bible here."
The Reason: "You have" and "I have" are different conjugations of the same word (tener). "Tiene" is you have and "tengo" is I have.

Cultural Note: There are many differences in the Spanish used here. One example is the word for "here." In this location, it is is "acá" whereas in other Spanish speaking countries it is "aquí" (pronounce the "a" similarly to the a in hawk followed by the word key).

I was able to talk to Laura for a while today. It was great to hear your voice mi Mulu. I can't wait to see you.

At this point, my biggest problem in Spanish is past tense, so I will work very hard on that. I had an exciting Saturday night of studying verbs. But seriously, I almost completely memorized a past tense conjugation (pretérito) for about 20 of the most important verbs, so my brain is tired, but I feel good. Now to sleep and let it "sink in."

May 9:

The book that I'm reading (Los ratones del desierto) is from Spain and it uses many constructs that are not used here. I understand vosotros, but some imperative forms and many words are unfamiliar to me. I will read The Bible Story in Spanish and to compare.

Galo and Marta Galo (one of their very cute Dalmatians) loves to sit on a chair, behind someone. Here, Marta permits it for a while. I had to take the picture.

My Spanish lesson went well again. I can tell that I'm improving as can Marcelo (my teacher). We talked first about woodworking, then about Argentine customs concerning Matte. It was interesting and I learned much about both the language and the culture.

Galo and Candi glad to see me Galo and Candi greet me very excitedly at the closest gate. Each time I would call Galo's name, he would jump like this. They are so cute.

After lunch I went into a grocery store and asked about an office supply store. In finding out about their products and explaining what I needed, I was able to talk a fair amount. Once at an office supply store, I was able to talk a little bit there. To my knowledge, I didn't insult anyone, so it was a good conversation. hahahahaha.

Zeroim Bakery This is Zeroim, the small bakery that I frequent. Yummy food and a patient attendant.

There is a small bakery that I frequent (pictured) and some other customers came in. I ask them to go first because I want to be able to talk to the attendant. In this case, three people stayed and talked for quite a while (15 minutes or more). I talked with them for almost the entire time. It was great. The attendant talked to me after they left, so it was a very productive visit (as measured by the amount of talking that I can do).

Tonight was the first meeting for the Week of Prayer. The speaker is from Brazil and he is talking in Spanish. The good part is that he speaks more slowly than others so I am closer to understanding. I learned some from him tonight. I plan to go to all the meetings.

May 8: I arose early but instead of finding an early breakfast, I connected to the web while others were not using the phone. I updated this web site and took care of email, then Marta kindly offered coffee to me. I enjoyed coffee and sweet tomato based jam on crackers. It was a very good start to the day. My Spanish teacher was to arrive at 9 AM so I stayed at the house and studied some notes about Spanish. I had a good learning session with my teacher for almost two hours then left for lunch. On my way I met a friend from yesterday who helped me with Spanish. We talked for a little while beside the street.

The food is very inexpensive here. Surprisingly so. The napkins in many restaurants are generally not very good. They are very similar to thin, soft wax paper. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, it's difficult to clean anything. To find people who are willing to talk, one should find stores and restaurants that are not busy. The associated attendants have more time to talk and are less pressured.

I ate at the cafeteria again and read a child's Spanish book called "Los ratones del desierto." Lunch was good as usual. I brought my camera with me (as I usually do) but when I tried to take a picture to post here, I noticed that I forgot the memory card (the digital version of film). So the pictures will be taken later today. When I returned home, Marta spent more time with me discussing Spanish words and concepts. She then lent to me two volumes of The Bible Story in Spanish (Historias de la Biblia). That will be beneficial. I'll have to list my impression of them here, after I've read a little bit.

Coffee Shop On my way back from lunch, I stopped by this coffee house which I frequent. The attendant was very nice and talked to me for a while.

I ate supper at the cafeteria for the first time. It was as good and inexpensive like the lunches have been. So far, the restaurant associated with the Hotel de Central and the cafeteria are the best places for lunch and supper.

Language Mistake: I accidentally asked a gentleman to buy two books for me.
The Reason: The word for buy is comprar, the word for compare is comparar.

Martin talked with me in Spanish quite a bit on this night, and explained many things (e.g. the difference between the Spanish version of my and mine, you and yours). It was very helpful. Thanks man!

May 7: I started the day later than usual because of talking until late last night. My Spanish lesson was at 9:00 AM and lasted for a bit over two hours. I am beginning to see progress. My teacher (Marcelo) said that he already sees improvement even since the 5th of May. That's VERY COOL! :-) Now it's time for lunch.

I ate at the hospital restaurant again and as usual, it was good. I met Martin's friend again and he had two other friends with him. They invited me to eat with them. One of them (Ezekiel) spoke English well and they were all willing to help me learn Spanish. The corrections are very beneficial.

Trash basket on pole Dogs running loose are very common here. It appears to be a problem such that trash is often spread by them. I began to notice these trash baskets on poles, often with securable lids on them. I understood better when I saw a dog trotting down the road with a trash bag in his mouth. He laid down on a church lawn and proceeded to tear into it. See photo below of another dog.
Dog with trash bag
Here's an example of why the trash stands are needed.

When I returned to the house, I called Laura, left messages for Dad Mohr and Michael, talked to Sharon and Daniel then watched Jurassic Park in Spanish. I don't understand as much as I want, but more than I did before. (I had planed to watch The Mask but it was not in Spanish.)

I'm having trouble connecting to the web tonight so I will post this tomorrow morning.

May 6: I woke up early and went to the hospital cafeteria for breakfast. They only had cereal and a few side items, which was decent, but it was not great. I will look for other breakfast options. Then I walked around for a while, took a picture of the entrance to Entrance to Libertador San MartinLibertador San Martin (Puiggari) and found my way back to the stores to buy a certain news paper that my Spanish teacher recommended (Clarín). The gentleman at the news stand was very helpful and talked for a while. I love it when people take the time to talk. That news paper would not be distributed until the afternoon. I walked to a clothing store where I met a lady named Sylvia. She is a friend of the family with whom I'm staying. She owns the store and while she had no customers for which to care, she graciously and patiently talked with me. When a customer was taking her attention, she said "come back tomorrow at the same time for another lesson." So I will do that until she's tired of me. :-)

Argentine Peso Coin Here is the front and back of a Peso coin. I like the way it looks.

I went to a coffee shop and had an espresso. It was very strong and tasted very good. I found it odd that with the coffee, they served a small shot of carbonated water (in a separate glass <smile>). I saw that others had it with their different kinds of coffee, so it seems customary at least in this cafe. I must ask about it.

During lunch at the cafeteria, I met Richard again, a friend from Peru. He is yet another very patient conversationalist. He talked with me until I was finished with my lunch, and even after that. He told me much about his family in Peru. It sounds like a great place to visit. When lunch was finished, I bought a copy of the news paper called Clarín from the store that I had visited earlier. (I think Clarín is the word for the musical instrument that we call a bugle). I will read it, but now it's time for a siesta. I could become accustomed to this siesta thing. :-)

For supper, I stopped by a small store that sells pastries and sandwiches. I talked to two ladies that were extremely helpful. They talked to me for quite some time and helped me form my sentences correctly. It was great. One lady put some extra pastries in my bag as a welcome gift. It was very tasty too. Now I must find a motorcycle dealer and tell them that I'm new. hahahaha.

My Spanish lesson went well. We talked for quite a while about politics. The subject is, of necessity, conceptual, therefore the discussion was difficult, but good. I will read a kids book called "Los ratones del desierto" (The title does not use capital letters) and we will discuss that, and anything else, such as conversations throughout the day and things that I watch on TV. I will watch a movie in Spanish tomorrow.

Martin, Pablo and I talked until quite late. It was very good for me because we talked much in Spanish. I learned much more about the family and Argentina so it was well worth the time for me.

May 5: I'm having a very good day. They provided a good breakfast (yogurt, dried fruit and cereal), after which, I went to the town and explored. I visited several stores and talked to some people.

A small car (Renalt) This is a small car that is fairly common here. They look strange to me. I saw these in Germany too. It's made by Renault. I believe it's made in France.

I found two grocery stores and only bought a few things, but I spent much time because the differences were interesting. At first, I could not find the oatmeal, then found that it was only sold in large bins. There is a single room dedicated to large bins of things like beans and grains. Of course many brand names were different. It's interesting to read the labels in Spanish because the wording makes me smile. American products have similar wording, but in Spanish it's new to me. One bag of potato chips said "it has KRAC C C C" (which I understood to mean crispiness). There are many small differences between grocery stores in the US and here in Argentina. All differences are minor, but there are enough to make it interesting.

Then I went to a coffee shop and had an espresso (single shot in about 6 oz.). It's a very small latte with the same amount of espresso, therefore it's much stronger than that of the U.S. It was very good. It was similar in strength to the latte from The Stone Cup in Chattanooga (double shot in 12 oz.). I took it home, then went to lunch, forgetting to take it with me.

I ate lunch at the hospital cafeteria. It was fairly simple, but quite good. They have a lot of sweetened yogurt here and it's generally a thick liquid, which I tend to like. For this place, it's a bit expensive (a cup for about 1.35 AR - pesos). That's only about 48 cents US, but consider that the rest of my meal was only 2.25 AR, or about 81 cents US Hospital cafeteria

On my way back home, I saw Martin's friend whom we visited in the hospital. He and his two friends talked to me for a few minutes (talking to me is quite a favor because my Spanish is so poor). Then, when I was in the driveway, I talked to Ana (who lives across the street) for a few minutes. She helped me correct my grammar. Discussions like this are a huge help.

When I arrived back home, Pablo gave to me a treat that is similar to a moon pie, but instead of marshmallow, it had a sweet brown cream like filling. It was very good. It's called "sweet milk" (dolce de leche). I grabbed the espresso (coffee) that I had forgotten, warmed it, and had the two together. Ah, sometimes, life is just good.

Mark & Senora Marta These are the two ladies here. They have both been very patient with my ignorance and have helped me much. Mark & Senora Elena
Galo with his front half on the chair Candi outside Here are Galo and Candi, two very cute Dalmatians. Galo often sits this way, with his hind legs completely off the chair. It's very cute.

I had my first Spanish lesson today. We talked much, which is what I badly need. After that, I went to a local restaurant. I was surprised at how inexpensive it was. I'll have to list the cost for a future night. Laura, we will have to go there together. Now it's late and I must sleep. OK, I'll read a little first. :-)

May 4: Here is a bit more about this place. I am in Libertador San Martin (it's called Puiggari on maps that bother to show it <smile>. Puiggari is South and a little East of Santa Fe). The Universidad Adventista del Plata is only three blocks away. It is tranquil and very pretty. Today I shopped a little bit (by myself - I'm a big boy now :-)). The language barrier is not a huge problem when shopping because the language required is fairly simple. But when discussing general concepts at the house, it is very difficult. This location is safe, so I can exercise or walk around at any hour of the day (or night) and that is great. Tomorrow is the first "normal" day that I will have because I arrived just before the weekend. (Yes, I went to church, no I didn't understand :-) I'm hoping for a tiny bit of understanding during the next service.)

I hope to begin Spanish language lessons tomorrow. I don't know whether the plans for lessons were solidified, but I will be sure that they are if it's possible.

Martin walked around the campus with me and introduced me to a friend of his who is in the hospital. Martin, like others in the extended family, has been very patient with my learning and asking the same questions over and over.

Ana, a friend of the family, was here at the house and she was willing to help me reword sentences for quite some time. That was a big help. After that, Pablo brought an action movie home. We stayed up too late, but had fun.

I sure miss Laura and can't wait for her two week visit here beginning on May 15. 12 days until she arrives.

Language Mistake: When asked if I liked fish, I said "Yes, I enjoy sin. It's delicious." :-)
The Reason: Sin is pecado. Fish (as a food) is pescado

Note: Stores here often close for the afternoon, then open again in the evening.

May 3: Pablo knows of a teacher that will likely give me one on one lessons. I will buy as much time as he will allow.

Pablo singing We went to church and Pablo sang with Martin accompanying on the keyboard. I still didn't catch much of the message, but caught many phrases and words. Martin playing the keyboard

May 2: During the flight to Argentina, the Boeing 767 was not as comfortable as I had hoped. The seats would not seem to lean back any farther than on a domestic flight and the seat bottom was not as well padded as it should be. I slept very little. I met a man, Victor Campo (Victoriano Campo) who told me of his beliefs. It was interesting and entertaining. He was a US citizen living in Argentina with his Argentine wife. He loved reading and had about 20 books in a duffle back. His back was bad, and he was 82 years old. When we left the plane, I offered to put his belongings on my luggage cart (metal frame with wheels). He accepted, allowing him to walk easier. When we reached the Passport check line, he was required to go to a different line. So I lent him the luggage cart while we went through the passport line. His line was shorter, so he finished before me. ...and the man stole my luggage cart! I was stunned! That was a fine welcome.

Wing View Here's the obligatory photo from the plane. :-) There was a lot of water and I could see that the terrain was mostly flat in this area.

Coki was there to meet me and was very helpful in trying to track down information about Victor. But the phone number that Victor gave to me AND the phone number that he gave to United were both bogus. Once that was over, we started the long drive to Libertador San Martin. I'm sure glad Coki drove because I was VERY tired, and caught a few catnaps. However, as I type now, I'm still very tired and must go to bed. It's 11:30 PM Argentine time (2 hours ahead of Eastern Time).

This house is very nice, and the people in this house have been very kind and extremely patient with my lack of ability to speak their language. They spent about 20 minutes communicating one concept that would have only taken 1 minute if I had known Spanish. Of course, the point was to teach me about the language, and it was very helpful. The Canalis House in Libertador San Martin

I just hung up the phone with Laura. I sure miss her, and will be glad when she arrives.

May 1: Mark left for Argentina.

Seat HogMeaningless Chatter: While in the Nashville airport, a guy behind me is hogging all three seats that are facing the windows, but I'm still enjoying the view of this rainy day. I'm continually, and humorously reminded of his presence because he keeps talking to himself out loud. I wonder if he's enjoying the conversation. He just turned and asked me about the announcement for his flight to Chicago, so he must not be as "off" as it appeared. hahahaha. Hmmmm, I better be careful of my screen of incriminating and sensitive data... then later, I'll publish it to the web. hahahaha

During the flight from Nashville, I sat next to a person who's job is to prepare would-be missionaries. We talked about many aspects of religion and specific churches. It was interesting. Wherever you are James, I wish you well.

The Nashville flight was delayed, causing a hurry to the connection gate in Dulles. I grabbed enough time to call Laura and tell her how much I love her, but then had to rush to C19.

April 29: Mark creates the web page in preparation for updating from Argentina. I hope I can publish to the web site from down there.
April 28: I'm doing close-to-departure preparations now. We bought a new memory card for our camera in preparation for the trip. It's a 256 megabyte CompactFlash unit that will hold about 500 pictures. I'm gathering all the little items that we'll need, like electric converters, battery chargers, Spanish reference books, etc. Oh yea, I'm packing clothes too.
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