Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Bubbles and needles.

You may recall at the start of the month our washing machine went out on stress leave and we resorted to a mixture of wearing our clothes while showering, hand washing and carrying a basket of dirty washing several blocks to wash at a friend’s place.  Thankfully we didn’t need to go to a stream with a rock.


Our good friend Rosario gave us a recommendation for a repair man and he explained that we didn’t break the machine, it just broke.  He was worried that the repair may not be worthwhile as the machine was old.  As it turned out, the repair was about a quarter the price of a new machine.  We opted for the repair and found true service.  The repair man drilled, improvised, reconfigured and in the end stood over our gas stove heating up metal to melt part of the plastic casing so that the new part would fit. 

When it came time to pay we tried to round the price up to allow for his extra time but he simply said that, that was the price.  It’s nice to see good old fashioned service.

In a couple of weeks we are heading up to Iguazo falls in the north of Argentina.  While it has been some years since a reported case of Yellow Fever in Argentina, it is still recommended that people have the Yellow Fever vaccine before heading to the falls.  We were going to have the vaccine done last time we were in BA but Depp and Talluah were so sick with the flu that we couldn’t.  We were worried that we had to travel four and half hours back to BA to have the vaccine but Rosario came to our rescue yet again telling us about the hospital in Pehuajó (100km west, population of 38000) that does the vaccine for free.


We caught the bus to Pehuajó, stopping at some little towns along the way, to be greeted by gale force winds.  We had dressed for spring but Pehuajó had a little bit of winter left over for us.  By the time we arrived at the hospital our hair looked like we had skydived into town.



The doctor who did the vaccine said that mum and dad should go first so that the kids would see that it was OK.  In theory this sounded like a good idea as the kids had no troubles with their vaccines in Australia less than a year ago.  Talluah and I had our injections and can honestly say that they were the least noticeable injections we have ever had.  However, Depp and Truce saw it differently.  The colour drained from Truce’s face until she matched the table top in pallor and she said she felt like she was going to faint, and Depp burst into tears and showed everyone his impersonation of a koala clinging to a tree, I was the tree.  After some fanning for Truce and coaxing for Depp we all left the hospital protected and ready to battle the gale back to the bus terminal.


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Happy Birthday Indiana.

Indiana celebrated her 14th birthday today.  It was a quiet affair of pizza and cake at home.  For those of you who follow us on Instagram you will already know that Indiana is quite the artist.  She never ceases to amaze us in the way she sees things differently.  I can't believe how quickly 14 years have gone, and I know all parents say that but it really does just feel like a minute ago she was running across the couch and diving into her soft toy box like a clown doing a high dive into a puddle... She was barely one year old.  Let's just say she is an absolutely gorgeous kid inside and out, her generosity and loving nature shines through and we are so proud to be her crew.



Yesterday was Teachers’ Day.  What's the best present you can give a teacher? A day off you say, well you'd be right.  But wait there's more not only did the teachers get to sleep in and avoid saying "1, 2, 3 eyes on me" but we also were given some lovely gifts.  


Saturday, 2 September 2017

You missed a bit.


We have acquired a self propelled lawn mower that starts first time, doesn’t use any fossil fuels nor disturb the neighbours.  One of our grade six students said that she had an extra rabbit and since rabbits are not permitted in our home state we thought this was a great chance to have one while living in Argentina.  As the adoptive family we have been allowed to name the rabbit...  
Introducing, Philadelphia Whiskers (A.K.A Philly).





While we are OS we’re renting our house out in Australia.  During the past seven months the oven and dishwasher in our house have died of old age and have needed to be replaced.  It seems that our washing machine here has followed suit, they do say it comes in threes.  This morning when our washing machine was unusually silent we knew something was amiss and we ended up having to wash our clothes by hand.  Unfortunately this machine requires a Torx screwdriver to undo the back, which my leatherman surprisingly does not have and they're a little tricky to find so I’m not sure how soon we'll be able to fix it.  Until then it's rocks and wash boards.  

Friday, 25 August 2017

I feel fantastic.

Every year the school adopts a ternero (calf) for the primary school to look after.  This little fellow arrived this week and runs the risk of being loved to death.


It's been a bit of a mini holiday for us this week.  Monday was a public holiday and Friday is a pupil free day.  We think this three on - three off lifestyle has a lot going for it.  


When the students are asked How are you in English, they reply with a stock standard, Fine and you? (with an upward intonation on you to show it’s a genuine question).  I’ve been teaching my class different responses from Very well thank you to Absolutely fantastic.  This week I wanted to teach On top of the world to my grade 3 class.  I drew a picture of the world.

What’s this?
            The moon.  Luna.
No.  It’s Earth, the world.
            It’s the moon.
No, it’s the world.  Here’s Australia and here’s South America.
            It’s the moon.  Es luna.  It’s a planet. 
Yes.  It’s our planet, Earth, the world.  (I drew a picture of a man on top of the world.)
            It’s dios.  Dios.  God.  It’s God.
No.  It’s just a man on top of the world.  He’s happy, he’s on top of the world.
            What country is he on?
It doesn’t matter which country.  The important thing is that he is happy and feels on top of the world.
            I don’t understand.
This is the world and this man is on top of it.
            Why?
Let’s just stick with “Fine, and you?”
           


Monday, 21 August 2017

Fiesta del Chorizo Seco





Comodoro Py is 45km north-east from us and every year holds the Dried Chorizo Festival.  It’s a mixture of traditional dance demonstrations, horse riding competitions, dried chorizo competition and market stalls.  We were lucky to be given a lift with Jamie and Lucy as there’s no public transport out to Comodoro Py.


The horse riding competition is a hundred metre track where riders weave in and out of markers twice then sprint to the finish line.  Penalties are given if you knock one of the barrels over.  The starting line is a furrow gouged in the ground and the more the horses compete the more excited the become and the harder it is to have both horses stand close to the starting line.  Through a series of heats, the race is eventually down to the final two.  One of the horses was having troubles lining up for the race and two handlers tried to corral it into position using their bodies.  Then they grabbed the horse’s ear to try and control it and finally they applied a twitch to the horse’s upper lip.  A twitch looks like a nut cracker.  This was uncomfortable for us to watch so we can't imagine how the horse felt.  Our friends told us that it’s more conducive to walk both horses around until they are in a similar position for starting the race.






The town centre was closed to traffic and a giant asado was set up to cook endless amounts of chorri pan, beef and pork.  There was one line to pay for the meal and a second line to pick up the food with tickets from the first line.  Talluah and I used our separate DNA to be in two places at once.  I lined up to pay and she lined up to collect the meal.  Once I paid I gave her the tickets for the food.  While she was waiting in line she explained to some people where you had to go to pay and how we were doing it.  They liked the idea and followed our method.




As we were leaving a procession of vintage tractors was preparing to join a parade from a farm shed by driving about 500 metres along a road that had cars parked bumper to bumper on either side.  The final tractor to leave was a combine harvester with a blade on the front that, to the untrained eye, looked too wide for the street.  However, the desire to join in the parade caused some spatial reasoning blindness.  At the very first car the tractor driver realised that he wasn’t going to fit.  I think the driver deduced that the fault wasn’t that his blade was too wide but the cars were parked to close.  A group of men tried to manhandle the cars out of the way.  One down, 264 more to go until the showgrounds.  We left before we saw what they planned to do with the truck parked on the street.