During my mission trip to Argentina with First Baptist Church of Jacksonville (which took place June 21-29), I learned many things. Such as…:
- The words “sleep” and “airplane” should never be used in the same sentence. I stayed up all eight hours of the flight from Miami to Buenos Aires, watching The Office, listening to music, and at one point even subjecting myself to the torture known as When in Rome (But thankfully, I turned it off after ten excruciating minutes, because I felt like I was watching “The Hills: Italy Edition”).
- Buenos Aires looks like a small country town in Kansas. That is, until you find yourself sharing a room with five guys who don’t speak English. Then you’ll know you’re not in Kansas anymore Todo. (Sorry, had to do it.) It was quite awkward. because any time they laughed, my church roommates and I would think they were laughing at us.
- Dogs walk around in Argentina like they own the place. Lots and lots of them. It’s like “Hotel for Dogs”, only without the hotel. And they’re nice too!
- “What are we eating?” is a question better left unasked in Argentina. The first meal prompted many guesses at what we were partaking of, from breaded steak to turkey to chicken to goat. Not much changed throughout the week, as we went to a buffet place where the shrimp stared at us like tentacled zombies and we ate subs with meat tougher than Mike Tyson. However. there was one relieving trip to a Burger King in a mall, where I had a small heart attack upon seeing “$28” on the menu board. Then I remembered it was in pesos. Silly me.
- Cordoba, Argentina had the craziest traffic I’ve ever seen. I don’t remember seeing one traffic light in the whole city! I think their driving manual reads something like this: “Stay somewhat close to the road, and limit casualties to one a year.”
- You’ll never fully appreciate hot showers until you go almost a whole week without one (and the one you do get feels hotter than Satan’s saliva… hey, that could be a metal band!).
- When riding a bus for seven and eight hours at a time throughout a week, you will learn many interesting things about the people next to you. For instance, i discovered that one person in close proximity to me took fencing, another had epilepsy, and the guy in the seat directly next to me needed WAY stronger ADHD medication (Mouthwash wouldn’t have hurt either).
But the most important lesson I took out of this trip made the mystery meat and cold showers all worth it. I learned on this trip that God can work wonders for his glory no matter what the native language is. Jesus Christ is greater than any language barrier, food allergy, anything. And seeing people come to faith in Him made all the week’s struggles well worth it; I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
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