What have I been doing in this my third week in Santiago del Estero?? 

Feb 28, 2015   //   by admin   //   Rodney's Blog  //  2 Comments

Well, quite a simple answer!  Some days I’ve been kept pretty busy and on others not so much but equally enjoyable as I meet with many friends that I have in this part of the world.

Last Sunday I was taken to the rural village of Arraga for the evening service and as we travelled I spent a lot of time during that 40 minute journey in prayer as our driver was going at full speed, some 110 kilometres per hour in a rather oldish noisy banger.  Not only that, but I was in the front passenger seat and the windscreen on my side was totally cracked!!!  So I put my glasses on just in case the screen would cave in under the speed at which we were going.  We arrived and later got back again to the provincial capital safely but on its outskirts the car ran out of fuel and so Edgardo and I had to walk the last mile or two to our final destination.  What an exciting life I lead!!!

This past Friday morning I was sitting on a bench in the Plaza Libertad around 8.0 a.m. just watching the world go by when a lady approached me saying “Hola Don Roney, me conoces?”  I looked at her and said that her face was familiar but could not place her.  She told me her name which did not help so I asked her from where she came and on telling me I then realised who she was!  She sat down by my side to tell me that she had lost her cleaning job because of having been accused of stealing items from the property where she worked.  She told me, may God immediately blind me as I swear that I never took one item from that home, Later she said, God can punish me with total paralysis and again swore about her innocency.  She was crying as she continued her story and no matter how much I tried to calm her it just did no seem to work.  This went on for some 10 minutes so I then put my hand on her shoulder and several times told her that if she had a clear conscience of being totally innocent then she should not fear because though it was painful to be accused in such a way and to lose her job she should make every effort to put it behind her, trusting in God to give her peace in her heart.  This calmed her down and after a few more words of comfort from my part she gave me a kiss and went on her way, telling me how nice it was to meet me again.  After that episode, I thought I’d better move on before someone else approached me as I did not consider myself to be a “confessional box!”

The other important observation which I noted whilst sitting there, as I did last year, was the obesity of many people in this part of the world.  Not only was it increasing in numbers but also in sizes!!  We know there are many, both young and old, suffering from hunger but on the other hand, many have extremely bad eating habits.  Unless some form of action about improving diets is brought about lives are going to be taken at ever younger ages plus hospitals will not be able to cope with those needing medical attention.

I have had two very interesting discussions with people this past week about needs and am trying to follow these up before heading for home again.

A practice that I will certainly have to curb especially with home travel in mind is the usual greeting common among men kissing each other when they meet.  It is so common that you almost feel it is something that should be practised everywhere!!  Just imagine me turning up at my local church in Richmond and greeting men not only with a hand-shake but also with a kiss! They will think I’ve gone bonkers!!!

With still plenty of invites out for meals I have tried to keep to a fruit diet for lunch-times but not always successful however, today among the variety of fruits to eat I ate 3 tunas.  Not fish but the fruit, tuna, of the cactus plant which is a very healthy fruit, even better than the kiwi and is about twice the size of a kiwi.

Here is the weather report! Last Wednesday we had one of the worst storms I have ever experienced.  During the morning it was sunny and very hot but by 2.00 p.m. a massive wind turned up like a cyclone or tornado and the whole sky turned to a dirty brown colour.  This went on for about an hour and then the rains came and certainly did not take their time to fall.  It absolutely pelted down leaving lots flooded roads and some areas of the province had large heavy hailstones as well.  In the province of Cordoba there were enormous floods and 7 people lost their lives.  So when storms come here they can sometimes give you the creeps!!!

Finally, I leave a few photos taken during this week for interest especially ones like the ants nest found in large numbers in Zanjon as well as the tarantula spider which I managed to photograph in the dark by guess work holding the camera quite high up as I did not want to scare it away before I got its photo!!  It was then killed by beating it hard with a broom!!

2 Comments

  • Great to read your latest blog and to see the photos…….I quickly passed on the tarantula one!!! It is wonderful to hear how God has been using you during this time, even early in the morning as you comforted that lady who was so obviously distressed. May God bless you in this finAl week of your stay and may you know His presence and safe keeping as you return home again at the end of the week. Love and prayers.

  • A great blog post Rodney. I laughed at the idea of you setting up a confessional box in the square. I think you should try to introduce ‘kissing’ to our christian brothers when you are back in Richmond. It would certainly be a talking point xx

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