Monday, May 28, 2012

Another 25 de Mayo celebration

May 25th is Doug's birthday and we celebrated it in grand style this year.  First, our bishop and his wife, Jorge and Gladys Brandan, had breakfast delivered to our home that morning.

Then...we ended the day by celebrating with a few people and enjoyed empanadas and a beautiful, delicious cake.  Below are Camila, Delicia and Ezekiel Moreno (sister and brother), Mario Gomez, Doug, Nancy, Karlita and Walter Chaile (another sister and brother).

Today we had an asado/BBQ with Pablo and Edith Quiroga and family and friends.  Below are:  Pablo Quiroga, Ana Maria Lemos, Ramonita Rojas, Nancy, Bishop Brandan, Gladys Brandan, Mario Gomez, Matias and Edith and Malena Quiroga. 

Malena and Matias Quiroga with Doug.

Doug enjoying his birthday cake.  That's quite the candle, isn't it?!! 

Back row:  Ana Maria Lemos, Ramonita Rojas, Pablo Quiroga, Bishop Jorge and Gladys Brandan, and Edith Quiroga with Malena and Matias between Nancy and Doug. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

25 de Mayo Holiday

Friday was the 25th of May, a national holiday where they celebrate the revolution against Spain back in 1810 leading to their independence on July 9, 1816.  We thought it was nice to coordinate with America's Memorial Day weekend.  All the wards had activities where they eat locro, a ham and bean type soup, and enjoy their time together.  Then later in the day a humongous pot comes out filled with hot cocoa (very sweet, I might add) and they enjoy that treat with sweet rolls and bread.  The pictures below show how 2 wards enjoyed this special holiday.

Catamarca Ward had their activity a little ways outside of town at a camping location.  They also had empanadas along with locro and all the sisters were busy putting the meat in the little shells that were then fried.

Here Doug is being taught by Sister Margarita Ledesma how to wrap his empanada.  All the sisters are very proficient in closing the dough and it's very artistic.  They also thought we both needed to learn how to do it.
I think she's thinking...My goodness but she's not doing a very good job but at least she's trying...  Something like that.  Sister Ledesma is a sweetheart.
The sisters hard at work.  You can see Valerie Pavon in the back, Sister Zabala/Argentina with a young investigator, and Sylvia Villa in front.
A great group of men:  Carlos Valenda, Carlos Medina, and Hugo Pavon.
Of course, it's never complete without the missionaries:  Sister Steward/UT, Elders Kayser/CA, Hughes/UT, Kohler/UT, and Gilman/ID

Here's Ambato Ward's locro, which is just about all served up.  We thought it was delicious.  About 100 people from our ward came to enjoy the day.
Lucho Rasgido with his wife Carman.  Lucho made the pot of locro, starting at 5 a.m.  It's something he's done for years.  The ward members bring the ingredients to his home and he makes the meal.
Matias and Pablo Quiroga, Daniela Brandan, Edith Quiroga, Bishop Brandan, and Gladys Brandan all enjoying their locro.  Everyone brings their own dishes and utensils and glasses as the church doesn't have anything in the kitchen for such events.
Below are pictures of the ward members enjoying the day:

We saw many displays of the Argentine flag throughout the city but really liked what the little town of Valle Viejo had displayed down their main street.

McDonald's Lettuce Growers

This past week, on Thursday, we drove about 70 miles east of Catamarca, up in the mountains, to visit the Carlos Machado family.  Carlos grows lettuce seeds on his property that eventually are used for all the McDonald's in Argentina.  The planted seeds are grown for 30 days in this controlled environment that you see below.  From there the small plants are sold to farms in TĂșcuman, about 60 miles north of their land.  They're planted and once they're fully grown are transferred down to Buenos Aires for distribution.  What you see below are thousands of tiny plants that are in the growing process.  The grey area has seeds that have been planted for 2 days.  This is the last planting this season - it's nearly winter down here - until September.  Carlos said this is a tiny amount of plants compared to what they grow during the spring and summer months.

Carlos and his darling daughter, Antonella.

Isn't that a beautiful color of green?

Carlos, Laura, and little Antonella

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dinner with the Bambicha, Parmigiano, and Rojas families

On Sunday we ate with Claudio and Eli Parmigiano, Carlos and Viviana Bambicha, Eli's and Viviana's sister Mariana, their mother Sister Rojas, and all their children.

From left is Esperanza P., Mariana, Efrain and Alens and Carlos and Julieta and Viviana Bambicha, moi, Claudio and Eli and Victoria Parmigiano, and Sister Rojas. 

This one includes Doug but not Eli.  They're a wonderful family. 

This is an awful picture of Esperanza but I wanted to show the food.  We had milanesa and mashed potatoes.  Milanesa is flattened meat (beef, chicken, or pork - this one was beef) that has been breaded and fried.  The topping on the mashed potatoes was a homemade marinara sauce and all was very good.

Above is Victoria and to the right is Julieta.

Efrain and Alens.  Alens is getting ready to serve a full-time mission for our church so he gave the thumbs up, which is the typical pose for the young elders.  The bags you see there are mayonnaise (larger whitish bag) and mustard, which they also put on their potatoes.  Suitty is a local brand of a Cola drink.

Here's a random picture Doug took of a Coca-Cola sign.  It's older and he just liked it. 

Finally, the blog can't be complete without more pictures of a Catholic cathedral.  These are taken from the main cathedral in Catamarca.  This Friday is a big national holiday so they had the streamers (for lack of a better word) inside the cathedral to commemorate the upcoming holiday, which celebrates the beginning of their independence from Spain in 1810.  Blue and white are the colors of their flag and I have no idea what the yellow and white colors represent.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

More pictures of a Catholic cathedral

We visited another Catholic cathedral this past week and took many pictures of the ceiling.  Each section of the ceiling depicted something from the creation or other parts of the Bible.  Enjoy the pictures!!

Notice that it's depicting the southern hemisphere.

This picture was interesting to see as it's the same picture that was on our church's website in April.  It says:  I'll be with you until the end of time.