Monday, December 23, 2013

"Mi negra grandota"

BUENOS AIRES — Holaaaaaaaaa! Yep, I made it to Argentina. I don’t even know where to begin to start and what to tell you. 

I am currently sitting at the "ciber" emailing you, using a keyboard that is not like in the U.S. Needless to say, I cannot type very well. 

Argentina is great. SOOOOOOO different than Maryland to say the least. 

Holy smokes, it is hot here. I don’t know Celsius yet, so I am clueless as to how hot it is, but the other day I'm pretty sure it was more than 100 in Fahrenheit. Crazy right? So yes, I am always sweaty and am turning brown very quickly. My companion calls me "mi negra". If you couldn’t guess, it means, "my brown person" kind of.

My companion is the best in the world. Seriously, she is awesome. Her name is Hermana Calderón. She is from Córdoba, Argentina. She has 19 years and is a stellar missionary. She wants to learn English, and I need to learn Spanish more, so we are teaching each other. We decided that in the pensión (our apartment), we would speak English only, and outside only Spanish. So far so good.  She is a quick learner. 

Spanish here is different for sure. I can understand most of it, but I definitely have an accent. The people think it is funny because I sound like I am from México or Honduras. Someday, I will get it down. My companion is from Córdoba like I said, and apparently, they have a different accent so, apparently I am learning Córdobese.

Oh man, everything here is different and so I just find myself laughing and smiling a lot because I am sure I look and sound silly here. Oh well :) My companion pretty much thinks I am a giant, so she tells everyone I am a "grandota", it cracks me up. 

Funny news: I am the senior companion again. I am actually finishing up her training. SURPRISE :) Good thing she knows the area, though, because I am clueless. The streets all look the same. So, I am going to tell you some fun facts I learned about Argentina in the past 4 days. Ready?

  • Cockroaches can fly — and they like our apartment.
  • We have a bidet in our apartment (I don’t plan on using it anytime soon).
  • We eat lunch with members every day. We don’t eat dinner. Kind of interesting.
  • We have to be inside the pensión by 8 p.m. for safety (don’t worry, mom I am great)
  • I am glad I can’t drive here. Remember how we thought it was bad in London? Ha ... understatement. People can’t drive here. Well, there aren’t rules, so it’s kind of just whatever goes. Fun, right?
  • I miss air conditioning, but am very grateful for a fan :)
  • Dogs and cats galore! I can’t believe how many are just roaming the streets.
  • Mosquitoes love me, and I hate them. I know hate is strong, but it is valid. They are eating my legs and I don’t appreciate it.
I thought of a lot more fun facts to tell you yesterday, but of course, I cannot remember them now. Oops. 

My area is great. Lots of walking. It is called Banfield 1. We walk a lot and occasionally take the colectiva (bus) and tren (train). We are in a ward here, which is different because I am used to my little branch, but it is great. The members are very nice and I already love them. 

They were pretty excited to have a nurse come. My mission president is new and they haven’t had a nurse, so they don’t know how to train me. They pretty much gave me the books and said,  "good luck" haha oh dear. Gotta love it. Good thing I have an area doctor here, so that makes me feel a lot better. 

What else can I tell you? No idea. I don’t have very many spiritual experiences yet or teaching so I will tell you more about that next week.

Well, I can’t figure out how to get pictures to work here so I guess I can’t send them until I figure that out. I love you soooooo much! I hope you have a wonderful week and Merry Christmas!

Con amor,

Hermana Newman :)

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