Well it had to happen; we transitioned last week from our vacation mode to the full blown reality of living and raising kids in a foreign country.  We kicked off the week with the first day of school at Lincoln. Both girls did great and said they liked it very much.  Lyndsey had what we call an Argentine day on Tuesday.  We bought her on the eve of the first day of school the only lock we could find, and it had a key, so we had to hunt around town to find a more traditional one the next day.  In short, the janitor had to destroy both locks so she could get her locker open.  I felt so bad for her as this is not your ideal 2nd day at a new school. Not really Lyndsey’s fault as things do not always work like they are suppose to here and so we all have our Argentine days.  Everyone was very helpful and in true Parker style we made our typical grand entrance and now everyone including the janitor knows who we are.

Argentine days however are much easier because we are so blessed with an amazing support system, without them I would have abandoned ship two weeks ago.  Just when I think the communication gap is too much and I cannot take it anymore, God puts someone in my life to remind me we are here for a reason.  This week Elizabeth entered my life, my Spanish teacher/therapist.  Per my itinerary from Doug’s office, I was to tutor with her from 8:30 to 10:30 on Thursday and in the midst of all this I was to have three service people descending on our home to resolve some repair issues.  Funny how I still think charades will get my through the day.  While repeating again for the 10th time “no entiendo”,  Elizabeth came in and took over.  You do not know how humbling it is to have zero control on what is happening in your life and home, imagine if I did not have Elizabeth and Mercedes whom I can trust immensely.  In addition to an unexpected therapy session, I had a huge lesson on working with Argentine service people, current events, and a little history of why Argentines are the way they are.  Elizabeth is taking me on a field trip this week to help me get my very complicated parking pass so I can park in front of the quaint shops in San Isidro, Love her!

Once Lyndsey got over the locker hurdle, she really seemed to enjoy school her first week of school.  Middle schooler’s have lots of freedom on their campus area and as usual Lyndsey seems to have lots of friends.  There is a neighborhood gang that rides the hood every night and she is right in the thick of it.  Lauryn tags along but it’s a little uneasy about the freedom she has in the neighborhood.  This community is gated with no less than four guards on duty at one time.  No one can enter the neighborhood without permission from a homeowner.  The guards know all the families and they are walking through the neighborhood as well.  This takes a lot of getting use to, but it is life in the big Latin American city.  Parents assure me that I need to let my kids go and let them enjoy running from house to house.  Lyndsey is so embarrassed because she has to call in every 30 minutes, but she knows this is how I roll.  They have never been allowed this independence and Lyndsey is truly enjoying this fringe benefit.

Lauryn likes school very much and always comes out in a good mood, her teacher is so amazing, and Lauryn has picked up right where she left off with the same math curriculum in Colorado.  This absolutely made her week! Lauryn is always talking with friends and really just seems happy.  She is enjoying the family time and less stress.  However next week activities start and we will pick up the pace a little but not like Colorado.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when Lyndsey said she signed up for soccer.  All those years of driving to Toledo for games and tournaments all over the state only to have Lyndsey say when we moved to Colorado, “I think I will take a break from soccer”.  She has been playing with some of her neighbors and with friends at school and evidentially has a desire to dust of her soccer cleats.  I love to see gods good work, the reason we did all that traveling is now very clear.  Unlike the pressure cooker competitive soccer days in Ohio, this will no doubt provide her with development in a little more relaxed environment, we will see.  I am so excited she is playing it is great exercise and maybe she will want to continue in Colorado.  Lyndsey also has to participate in band; oh she does not like this.  She will be picking an instrument soon.  But as promised she will also be taking guitar lessons outside of the school and has many activities at church with her youth group.

We are looking outside of the school for soccer for Lauryn, she will do a little at the school, but we want to see what more competitive options are available.  Most of the clubs are all Spanish speaking, so we will see how this goes.  This may be something we have to do next school year as Lauryn’s language develops.   These are very competitive leagues and not being able to understand the coach, could be an issue.  Lauryn is going to join the choir, and she starts tennis as well as Awana at church in a few weeks.  She is truly excited she will be doing some intense bible study. What a good kid!

Next week we are visiting the Skating rink and I anticipate this will make us all very homesick, but we will see what we can do to get them on the ice at least once a week.  I have to attend an evaluation next week for my spot in the tennis league and I need to get in a little/lot of practice.  I have had much fun running around with Mercedes this week to rustic furniture stores and beautiful fabric stores in downtown BA.  I am excited about the furniture as we are finding some beautiful inexpensive rustic items we can use someday when we finally finish our basement.

So the hardest thing so far about this experience is: missing my family and friends so bad I could cry; missing my household items so bad I can have an absolute nervous breakdown at any minute; and feeling like the biggest idiot on the planet for not knowing the language. Why do we not more aggressively teach foreign languages in the American schools from an early age?  All the Europeans speak Spanish, English, as well as the language of their country.  They always ask if I speak Spanish and when they ask me where I am from, I proudly say “The United States of America”; born and raised in the fabulous state of Ohio in the heart of farm country,  just south of the headquarters to the American auto industry and just west of the American entertainers Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the American Football Hall of Fame ; I am proud to be an American, and yes, we may not know five languages but we are amongst the hardest working ingenious entrepreneurs on the planet!  We are blessed to be members of a democratic society where our people determine the policies not our government. Our country is comprised of immigrants who came in search of freedom and the promise land.  Our dedicated troops continue to fight fearlessly for this freedom and I tell my kids everyday to thank god they are Americans!  I may not say all that, but I politely get my point across.

Argentine Spanish is hard and I am in the overwhelming stage feeling like I need to learn this by next Tuesday while most people learn a new language over years.  My newest realization in my language quest is that Argentines’ really do not pronounce their consonants’, and we strongly pronounce our consonants’.  So I realize I have work to do.  Doug is doing well, he is indeed a leader.  He can manage this entire experience with grace and somehow he knows less Spanish than me, but always seems to communicate just fine.  People just want to do things for him.  I would also say Lyndsey has the same qualities, she makes friends easy and once she has determined, I cannot avoid this situation, she makes it work.  Lauryn and I however if we let ourselves will just shutdown.   But Lauryn like her mom wants to do well and knows we should enjoy this discovery time in our life.

So this week will bring new challenges for sure, as we get more settled we hope to do more skyping.

Love you all,

Mesa Argentina