Monday, April 02, 2007

Mission Buds - Then & Then

I got a call last saturday night from one Brad Jones, an old friend from Mision Buenos Aires Norte. We were never comps, but became good friends nevertheless. He was a co-participant in what became a weekly Sunday night ritual. Once our day's work was done, we would return to our apartment in Castelar, and later that evening Elder Jones and Elder Stevens (his comp at that time), and sometimes Elder Thomas Saul Bigelow and his companion Elder Barney would also show up. We usually had refreshments - sodas, peanuts/chips, sometimes empanadas. We would usually then begin a cutthroat UNO session/marathon, following by shooting the breeze, trading mission stories, then getting some shut-eye. The next day being monday (our prep/sight-seeing day), we would usually split off to do whatever tasks needed doing to get ready for the workweek - food shopping, laundry, etc. It became a fun tradition. I made more friends during that time (my last 2-3 months) than any other.
I was told in a letter by Elder Jones that the tradition ended pretty quickly after I left to come home. I believe he stated it thus, "After you left we came over on one more Sunday night and then we never came again." It happens. Guys get transferred, go home, etc.
Here are a few pics from those couple of months.

Elders Jones, Stevens, and Brower (with his sippy cup). He loved that cup. Looks like that night we were dining on Chinese food from Ming's place.

Myself, Jones, and Stevens. Elder Jones and I, both being serious U2 fans, joked about starting a band when we got home. We were gonna call ourselves "The Relief Society." I suppose the spelling would've had to have been altered enough to avoid litigation.

Ming's Chinese Take-out. Shown are myself, Ming, and one of his sons. They were at this time contemplating a move to Canada. His sons had already chosen their English names: One was going to call himself "Jeff," the other - "Nick." My favorite dish was a chicken stir-fry with apple chunks.

This is the familia Lobos, one of the families which Elder Brower and I visited and taught. Notice the big dark eyes on every one of them. Their happiness and optimism often made me feel quite ashamed, and made me appreciate the things I had and where I came from.

This is Calle 9 de Julio. Yes, it is mentioned in that song 'Big Apple' from "Evita." It is purported to be the widest street in South America.

Again 9 de Julio. Not as dangerous as it appeared. This and the previous were taken by Elder Brower. He and I had done a pretty big sight seeing excursion a couple of Mondays before I came home. There were still somethings I hadn't seen, so we knocked them all out that day.

This is a picture of my last apartment. It is located in Castelar, a suburb of BA. I took this picture right at the traintracks of Castelar station. I had just said goodbye to Brower and Jones and the others who'd shown up to see me off. If you look up at the top right balcony you can see them.
Adios Fellers.

Two days later I was back in Texas.