Notes from Santiago

Jul 8, 2015   //   by admin   //   Claire's Blog  //  2 Comments

Well here we are 10 days into our visit to Santiago, and in some ways it feels like we’ve only just arrived, and in others like we’ve been here at least a month! Here’s an update on what we’ve been doing:

We arrived safe and sound in Santiago around 9am on Saturday the 13th after our plane from Bariloche to Buenos Aires, a very quick visit to the most INCREDIBLE bookshop ever, and a 12hr overnight coach! David and Becky were there to meet us, and take the most horrendous photos to prove that we made it!

We spent the day with the Bennetts in La Banda, (the town where they live) relaxing after our trip. We’ve kindly been given the loan of an apartment in the centre of Santiago which belongs to Mariel’s parents, and so got ourselves moved in. We also got to play Santa, delivering the various requests and surprises that had fillled our suitcases on the way here – lots of space to bring things home now! In the evening we went to church to show Clara the youth programme (which started at 8.30!), and to go to our own young adults programme (this started at 11pm!). Claire was happy to see lots of familiar faces again.

We spent the week to-ing and fro-ing between Santiago and La Banda: attending Daniel and Beckys music concert, working in Mariel’s family’s pasta business (in the shop with David selling bread and pasta, and learning to make empanadas), showing Clara the area (including the children’s school named for Claire’s great great grandfather Alfred Furniss), and meeting friends for coffee. We also ended up speaking a LOT of English as everywhere we went people wanted to meet with us and practice!

Thursday was a busy day as we attended the Alfredo Furniss Kindergarten’s ‘Acto’ or celebration assembly (of which the country has many, as often as once a month!) of Flag Day. This was in a huge basketball arena, and featured a talk, performance, marching of the flags, and, of course, Claire’s favourite – the singing of the 4min+ long National Anthem! After, David took us to visit Claire’s great great grandparents grave -they were pioneer missionaries in Argentina, and the first in SdE.

On Saturday we visited friends of Claire’s Great Uncle and Grandpa, ‘Chango’ (a nickname which literally translates as mate or pal!) and Elsa Mulki, and their son Edgardo. They invited us for lunch in their Arab restaurant, and it was lovely to hear Chango talk of all the happy times he had spent with Claire’s Grandpa and Rodney as a teenager. We then went with Edgardo to visit the Hora Feliz (happy hour – but a children’s Bible class rather than the grown-up version!) in two areas outside the capital that The Esperanza Trust has links with – Zanjon and Canal San Martin. In each, the children sang, heard a Bible story and had something to eat. It was a really fun experience.

Sunday involved a lot of church! We went to both the 9am communion service and 11am family service in Calle Salta (the first evangelical church in SdE, started in 1907 by Alfred Furniss), where we made lots of new friends, and met lots of people who were expecting us. The afternoon was spent with Mariel’s family celebrating Fathers Day with a traditional Argentine asado (LOTS of meat), and then going to church in La Banda. We finished off our very long week celebrating Mariel’s Mum’s birthday, eating cake at midnight!

2 Comments

  • Dear Claire & Clara,

    It was very interesting reading the first Blog of your current visit to Santiago del Estero and I am very pleased to see that you are well received and are making good friends with lots of people of all ages wherever you go!! Before long people will be recognising you on the streets and stopping to have a chat with you. Keep the good work you are doing of befriending and helping people where the need arises. May God bless you both as you seek to serve Him in that very needed area of Argentina. Love from your Great Uncle Rodney!

  • Dear Claire & Clara,

    My previous contribution to your Blog had a comment posted at the end of it saying, “Your comment is awaiting moderation” which I really don’t understand what it means!!!! Maybe it was because I did not include a website address but who knows!!

    I truly value the work you are currently doing in the various places you visit and I’m sure the people are grateful for your time given to them. It was good to see the many photos on Facebook about the time you spent at Brea Pozo and you can be sure that not only the Staff there but the children also will remember with much joy the two weeks you devoted to that school. May your good work continue during the remainder of the time you are in Santiago del Estero. Gt Uncle Rodney with love

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