We have lived in Argentina for just over 13 months now. We are still learning customs, how things work, and how to operate here. It doesn’t take long to realize that things are very different, not bad, just different. We see this in many different ways. We are in May, and for us it is autumn. Autumn in May sounds strange, but it is very beautiful. The leaves are turning yellow and falling from the trees. The weather is a little cooler (although, last week and this week it has been unseasonably hot), Autumn is my favorite time of year in the states and it is here too, just in a totally different part of the year! This is a very small example of how things are different.
Yesterday was Labor Day here. My family and I went out to go do a few things only to find everything was closed! Restaurants were closed, super markets were closed, bakeries and butcher shops were closed, we drove around and realized we were not going to be doing anything. This is an example of a large difference between Argentina and the States. In the states, businesses have “labor day sales” but here the city closes up! If you want milk, bread, fruits/vegetables, meat, etc. you must buy them on April 30, or you will be waiting until May o2 (labor day is always on May 01). Another great/yet not so great thing about holidays is that it is a time to have “asados” (think of a long grill out). It is great to walk outside and smell our neighbor’s parrillas (grills) cooking up meats, but it is not so great when you remember that all of the butcher shops are closed and you don’t have anything to grill! Some holidays are very big in the states and are not celebrated very much here while other holidays are celebrated widely here in Argentina that are not so much celebrated in the United States. This isn’t “bad”, it is just different, something we are learning.
Mosquitos. I don’t exactly know what happened. We battle with mosquitos here like many places around the world. But in the past week we have had more mosquitos than I have ever seen! It is not just me, it is a subject of conversation when talking to people, it is even a subject on the news! They are very bad right now. They swarm you as you walk outside. They were swarming everyone in the church during the service Sunday night. Apparently this is not normal. Mosquitos are normal but not this many! I have heard two reasons for this. A friend told me that the temperatures decreased in the south of Argentina to the point of freezing. Because of this, he said, the mosquitos all flew north and that is why we have so many. Although humorous, this does not seem plausible. Last Tuesday it rained for much of the day. It was more than just a “sprinkle”, it rained hard! Others have attributed our swarms of mosquitos to that storm. All I know is that they are out and hungry! The good news is, according to the radio, these mosquitos are a breed that does not carry any diseases. So that is good to know.
Autumn is beautiful, Labor Day is very much celebrated, and the mosquitos are out in unusually large numbers. In the midst of all this Faith Baptist Church is continuing! Discipleship with one man will start today. I will start discipleship with another man on Thursday. There is much to do and we are honored to be a part of it all!