Day One of Buenos Aires.  We walked to a nearby park with our Country Coordinators Ignacio and Krystle (3rd and 2nd from the right, respectively) to explore our new surroundings and bond over a game of Frisbee.

Day One of Buenos Aires. We walked to a nearby park with our Country Coordinators Ignacio and Krystle (3rd and 2nd from the right, respectively) to explore our new surroundings and bond over a game of Frisbee.

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Bienvenidos a Buenos Aires!

Well, orientation in Chicago has come and gone and the Argentina/Uruguay group of seven has now been in Buenos Aires for five days. Since arriving in Argentina we have had supper that lasted until 12:30 a.m. with Los Jovenes – the young people – at the Lutheran church in Buenos Aires and arrived to church 40 minutes late in San Martin (due to public transportation issues). After the church service, we were able to stay and share pizza with the congregation and play soccer with the kids. Thank goodness for their patience because both my Castellano (dialect of Spanish spoken here) and fútbol skills are currently lacking!

The YAGM group with two of Los Jovenes, Rubén and Ayelen, from the Lutheran church in Buenos Aires.  Note the winter coats and scarves.  It is, in fact, winter in the southern hemisphere and today when I was wearing two pairs of pants, four shirts, a sweatershirt, a scarf, and my winter coat was the first time I’ve felt warm since leaving Chicago!  Read: central heating is a gift!

The YAGM group with two of Los Jovenes, Rubén and Ayelen, from the Lutheran church in Buenos Aires. Note the winter coats and scarves. It is, in fact, winter in the southern hemisphere and today when I was wearing two pairs of pants, four shirts, a sweatershirt, a scarf, and my winter coat was the first time I’ve felt warm since leaving Chicago! Read: There’s nothing like fall to ease one into cold temperatures! Photo credit: Ayelen Karen Anahi Arauz

More photos to come!

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Fill my cup and let it overflow

Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed? According to dictionary.com, overwhelmed can mean “to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything”. I am less than one week from departing home and I feel completely overwhelmed with love and support. My tenure at the local gym is now complete (at least for a year) and I’ve spoken about my impending journey to my home congregation at Trinity Lutheran Church (shout out!) and both places have left me feeling wholly blessed. No handshake, hug, or kind word has been for not; indeed, I cherish all the of the encouragement that has been sent my way in the last week. To be sure, there is no better way to shake away my doubts and jitters and to send me off with confidence and Spirit! Thank you to you, just on the other side of this screen!

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“When one door closes another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we forget to look at the one that has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Fewer than two weeks, fewer than fourteen days, fewer than 336 hours lie between me and the closing of a door that has been the course of my life for the past 14+ years.  No longer will I live within ten minutes of my family, no more will I be surrounded by flat grasslands and hay bales, not for the next year will I hug any of the people that I know I love today.  It’s an intimidating proposition.  But with this door closing, another door opens.  A door to explore a new world with new ideas and new faces.  The opportunity to view my own ideas and beliefs in a different light and to see if, in a more open mindset, they really hold much water or if it even matters.  I will greatly miss you all in Bismarck (and elsewhere State-side), but there is once-in-a-lifetime door open and it’s time to explore!

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