Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The weekend

For some reason I always think that something profound needs to happen for me to write a blog post.  So I wait, and I wait, and I wait.  Honestly, profound things aren't happening here everyday.  And while profound things often come with great joy, the small things often come with great joy as well.  Profound moments are momentary and usually scarce, so I might as well start sharing the abundance of joy I find in the everyday small moments.  Nothing grand happened this past weekend, it was rather ordinary, but a lot small things happened that made for a pretty wonderful few days.

It was a long weekend with Friday a holiday (Flag Day to be exact) so there was a lot of time for both relaxation and activity.  It was filled a night out dancing with good friends, watching of the World Cup, and lot's work on projects that I need to finish before I depart.  Watching the World Cup now means both supporting Argentina with the rest of the country and cheering on the US by myself.  My roommates take great pleasure in cheering on whatever team is against the US just to get me riled up and screaming at the TV. It also included a late night Bible study with a movie, pizza, strange youtube videos (look up Japanese commercials on youtube and you'll understand-or don't, they're rather scarring), and great community.

On Saturday, I also took a trip out to City Bell (the city of the comedor at which I volunteer) to watch the murga of the kids perform in the plaza.  The murga goes by the name "Rompiendo Palitos" and is made up of some of the older kids at the comedor.  It brings me great joy to see all they've accomplished since the group first started and to be able to support them as they take their talents outside the comedor walls.  Gosh, do I love those kids.  You can see a few weekend photos below...

 The government building decorated for Flag Day, or Dia de la Bandera

Watched a few games on the big screen in the plaza with picnic food and mate. This was Argentina vs. Iran.  I just love seeing the the big screen with the gigantic, beautiful cathedral shadowing behind.
 This picture does a poor job depicting how full the plaza was, but you get the idea...

Crowd dispersing happily after the game!

Mora cheering on Argentina in the bow I forced her to wear. 

 These are "lucky Argentina" bracelets that my dad sent me.  I made them with my roommates and with the kids at the comedor.  Everyone loved them and are now demanding more be sent.  This is my special shout-out to my awesome father to say THANK YOU!

Me watching the first US game with all my friends here who are also US fans.  
HINT: there are none...

Tell me this is not the cutest picture.  The poor child couldn't see anything the whole time he was waving the banner so he kept wandering further and further away from the group and would have to be  guided back. 

"Rompiendo Palitos" performing!

And to end, sometimes my computer like to make gifs with my pictures....

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The beauty of my home

I've realized recently that since settling in here in La Plata and making it my home, I've begun to take for granted the beauty that is all around me in this city as often happens when people get comfortable. So this past week I decided I was going to really notice what was all around me and it's amazing what I discovered.  I found gorgeous, old buildings that I pass everyday without even a glance, colorful flowers, and hidden, ornate details.  It's truly amazing the beauty that can be found when you take the time and attention to look for it.  

There are a so many beautiful old buildings in La Plata, with intricate details.  The thing is, they are often hidden behind layers of paint and grafitti.  There is A LOT of grafitti here in Argentina.  Almost every building you pass has been painted on, even the government buildings.  I've come to realize that no, the graffiti is not all that beautiful, but a lot of the beautiful street art that comes along with the graffiti makes up for it.  So after a few pictures of buildings, flora, etc, I've included the collection of photos I've snapped of the murals that cover the walls here. This is only a sample as there is so much more than what I've posted  throughout La Plata and Buenos Aires. I find it all incredibly beautiful. 

It's been over a year and a half since I've experienced the changing colors of fall, so this was a welcome sight!
My bus wait when traveling home from the comedor.  
Despite the cool weather, colorful flowers remain in bloom!

This Ohio girl will never get used to the seeing palm trees while bundled in a coat and scarf.  I thought palm trees signified that you were in a place that never got cold??  It's getting pretty chilly here...

These are two of my favorite old buildings that I pass when I walk.  One stands next to a large apartment being built and just doesn't seem to belong anymore, the other is covered in graffiti. When you look close the old details are incredible.

STREET MURALS... Unless marked otherwise, all photos were taken in my city of La Plata
Technically not on the street, this is on a church wall in Buenos Aires that children of the congregation painted.  I just can't get over the fact that they included Spongebob and Patrick in the Noah's ark story.

Buenos Aires

"Take care of our environment!"

Montevideo, Uruguay

I love this one and don't judge me for that.  Or you can, whatever.  I just love that she seems to have thrown off all limitations, expecations and quite obviously clothing.  She just looks so free and content. She found harmony or "armonia".

This is actually the art on the wall of the church.  You can't see it so well but it shows Jesus at a table with people of all types and from all places.  He sits with open arms, welcoming all.