2nd Day – Buenos Aires

ba hotel breakfastWe awakened on day two to a nice breakfast in our hotel. The meal was set in the dance studio downstairs; the artwork added to the ambiance of the whole place.  We hated to say goodbye to this beautiful place and to the staff. Soon Eduardo and Martin arrived at the hotel to take us out for the day.  Eduardo is a Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor and the cousin of Gaby Viggiani, my assistant.  Martin is a member of Eduardo’s church who had the day off and wanted to spend it with us.  Though they live a hour from the city center, they came into town and gave us the day to show us around.  They were great tour guides.

Our first stop was in the leather district.  Most of the shops were closed but we managed to find a few that were not. Leather goods are extremely inexpensive in Argentina, and the craftsmanship is excellent.  We weren’t exciting about shopping, but Sandy managed to find a nice leather coat.

eduardo martin rosedel

Martin and Eduardo at Rosedel

Much of the rest of our time we spent exploring Bosques de Palermo.  This is a large green space close to the center of town.  It hosts everything from museums to the zoo and the botanical gardens.  It is teeming with life–people running or biking for exercise, riding paddle boats, or simply taking a stroll. We especially enjoyed our visit to Rosedel, Argentina’s national rose garden. There were varieties from all over the world, and the whole spectrum of colors were represented–such a beautiful place and so very well kept.

It would be easy to spend the whole day in the park, and enjoy each of the different venues. Soon Eduardo and Martin were hungry.  Eduardo suggested taking us for Argentinian BBQ! It is called “asado.” In short, it is a feast with all kinds of meat cooked on the grill and served with salad, dessert, drinks… You get the idea. Sirloin steak. Strip steak. Skirt steaks. Pork. Chicken. Sweet breads—yes, we actually gave that a try! In Miami, if you come to visit, we want to take you to the beach. In Argentina, they will invite you for barbecue!

mealYou have to love people who want to spend the day sharing their lives with each other over such a meal as this!  When we sat down, Eduardo asked that we wait until we start eating.  He wanted to share about his church, his ministry, and some missions work his church has gotten involved in.  This took an hour.  Eduardo is a trained veterinarian who spent most of his life working with large animals.  God called him into ministry later in life.  He has been pastoring his current church for only a few years. In the last year, his church has begun serving a very poor and isolated community in the northern part of Argentina, in the small town of Chumbicha.  They discovered that the people living there had never heard the gospel before.  It seemed the community was influenced by a form of animism that has led the people astray and brought many ills on the people and the community.  When the church first began visiting these people, they were surprised at how quickly the people responded to the message of the gospel and the love of Christ.  Eduardo shared that doing this ministry has been transformative for him and his church.  After an hour talking, Eduardo said:

Let’s eat!

AsadoI was relieved since my stomach had been growling in the presence of some many delicious smells!  Plates were filled with salads, pasta, bread. Wine was served. Yes, plates of meat. We ate until we were pretty stuffed and Eduardo said,

That was a good start. Let’s talk and then we can go back for more.

We spent three hours together. He was sharing his life with us and inviting us to do the same with him. I won’t tell you how many trips we made for food! But, this is what ancient meals were like. They were not simply refueling opportunities. This is where life took place. Where community was built. In Spanish, the word friend is:

Compañero = con (with) pan (bread)

Yes, friends are those who share table fellowship and break bread together.  Having Martin with us was an immense help.  He added color to the conversation, shared about his family and the city, and provided translation for Eduardo when help was needed.  Of course, we enjoyed this special time with these men, and we were grateful that they invited us into their lives.  We also marveled to hear what God is doing in other places in the world, and how the gospel is growing. Before we finished lunch, we had a rich time of prayer.  Eduardo asked that we pray for them, their families, and their church and also for the community of Chumbicha!

Following lunch, Martin drove us past the regional airport and to the port where our ship was docked.  We left wishing for more time to see this beautiful city.  I certainly hope we will be able to return!

Meeting the ship in Buenos Aires

Meeting the ship in Buenos Aires

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on February 8, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Let’s return!

    Reply

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