Journey to Tigre

Trip Start Jul 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 19, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  , Central Argentina,
Friday, July 29, 2011

Wilfredo and I got back last night from a 2-day trip to Tigre, a sort of Argentine "Venice," where the streets are all waterways. It's out in the country, and we were in a small house of a friend of Wilfredo's on the El Dorado waterway (which is pretty far out there - when the "lancha colectivo," i.e. the boat-bus that comes by and picks-up/drops-off people like buses in the city do, came by to pick us up, it turned around and went back to the main dock about an hour away). I think we were in one of the most remote parts of the island/islands.

When we arrived, we found a dead mouse in the water bucket (see picture). This is the bucket ("el valde") that we would throw off the dock ("el muelle" in Spanish) to draw up water for washing the dishes, washing our hands, etc. Wilfredo freaked, and quickly went to the river to disinfect it with some Comet-type stuff. There was no running water in the house, and no heat. We brought several gallons of potable water with us in big bottles all the way from ISEDET so that we would have drinking water while we were there. But, every time we wanted to wash dishes or our hands, we had to go out and draw up water from the river.

Wilfredo made a fire and we had steaks the first night. Also, Wilfredo is a trained chef, so it was some of the best steak I've ever tasted : ) Out in the country with no noise, no plans, and good steak, along with the stars = paradise! It was fantastic. We put the coals from the fire in pans in the bedroom to heat the room during the night.

A local man named Orlando who cares for the 7 or 8 houses nearby Sergio's (Wilfredo's friend's) house, and for Sergio's house too, lives on the island, and we had to go and visit him when we first arrived to find some firewood and charcoal to cook with since everything was wet (it had recently rained when we arrived). When we approached his house, Wilfredo told me: "Oh, uh, Willy . . . by the way . . . Orlando has a few big dogs. But don't worry. They just bark. They won't do anything to you."

Oh boy. For those of you who know me well, you know I hate dogs when they aren't on a leash. I run down the road next to my house with a tee-ball bat to protect myself from the neighbors' dogs in the States. Big dogs + no leash = walking into a disaster for William.

When we got to the house, 8, yes 8, dogs that came up to my waist came out barking to meet us. A pit bull, a German shepherd, a doberman, a few other big dogs like that. Not poodles. PIT BULLS. They quickly circled us and barked at us the whole way to Orlando's house. But Wilfredo was right. They didn't do anything. If they had, there wouldn't have been anything left of the two of us.

Talked with Orlando for a bit, and he then gave us a bunch of charcoal and firewood. He seemed to be a fantastic guy. However, he spoke very quickly, and as an Argentine, so I barely understood a word that he said. He thought I was German when he first met me too (I'm tall and rather blonde - happens every day here). I thought that was funny. He also said, "¿Viste?" ("Did you see?") all the time, which confused me at first. Wilfredo later told me that Argentine's do that all the time. Doesn't really mean anything - just keeps conversation moving : )

"Dale" is another phrase that's used here all the time. It basically means, "Go ahead," from what I can tell. "Okay!" would be another good translation. I think it literally means "Give to [it]". Kinda confusing.

Thanks to Orlando, we had fire. Wilfredo and I had a fantastic time, despite the lack of heat and water. It was good to get out of the city, away from all the stress.

Good food, good time together, and stars made this a very healing time for me. Read through much of the Book of Jeremiah while I was there too - what a prophet! I am very encouraged by his life and ministry - has many good things to say to the present-day church and religious world.

We came back and I crashed around 1:30am. At a cafe now finishing breakfast (it's 1:30pm here), and I think I'll spend the rest of the day with a good book.

Good times : )
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