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Archive for April, 2011

It’s a “Ruff” Day

Jack and Hef laid like this for hours this morning… Snoring… Like Chainsaws…

Hilarious.

Happy Saturday from gloomy, rainy Buenos Aires!

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Chris has been very fortunate that the last few years in Cedar Rapids, he has had a 5 minute commute to work. There was a giant smokestack about 100 feet from his office that we could just about see from our backyard. His commute here is a little bit different….

Unfortunately his 5 minutes turned into 1 hour 30 minutes (depending on traffic). The plant is located outside of Buenos Aires a ways, and there is a bit of navigating to get out of the city and onto the freeways that get him there. Hopefully he’ll get used to it as time goes on, but for now, its still a thorn in his side.

To pass the time a few weeks ago, he took some video and pictures of his commute, the plant, and his office. Below is a brief tour of what he sees every day.

First up, a view of the city on his way out of town.

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Next, this is a video from the “freeway” after he has made his way through the city.

Then, its the “city” where the plant is located.

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Next, are a few pictures of the view from plant.

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And finally, the pictures of his office. (Looks slightly like a jail cell, and is definitely missing a little personal touch!)

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Had to add this one too. This was a hole in the wall where there used to be a AC/Heater unit. It was taken out awhile ago, so its been a little chilly for Chris lately considering his office is partially below ground. They have ordered another one, but who knows how long that will actually take to get installed.

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Here is the view from his office. (Anyone thinking jail cell again?) He keeps the shades shut though because there is quite a bit of “traffic” on the road next to the window. (traffic = horses/donkey’s pulling carts, people from the nearby “town”, etc.)

View from Chris's Office

I have personally never been to the plant so I was glad he shared these with me so I can see what he sees every day. Not exactly pretty scenary. I think I’ll have to put a few photos in a frame or find something to liven up his jail cell for him!

I hope you all enjoyed the little tour! We miss you guys! And are so glad that we can have Skype dates now to keep in touch!

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Wow…. time has flown by since we arrived here! And I have really been slacking with the updates…

Internet

Everything is going pretty well here, especially since we FINALLY have regular internet. We’ve actually had it for a little over a week now, thankfully. We ended up switching companies and going with DSL instead. So far it has worked pretty darn well and is fast enough for Skype. 🙂 Finally connected to the world, and the Starbucks consumption can decrease.

Baby Doctor

Also, I found a doctor! A normal one, that I can actually understand! I mentioned that I had an appointment in my last post and thankfully that appointment went REALLY well. The lady is incredibly nice and was great about answering lots of questions. Ahhh… So glad I switched. She sent me on my way with “prescriptions” for a few vaccines (flu and tetanus), lab work, and an ultrasound. More to come on these this weekend. Long story short… everything looks great, baby is getting big, and mama is uncomfortable!

Customs

We are still waiting on our container that shipped 2 weeks before we left. 😦 It arrived in Argentina last week, however, it is currently stuck in customs. They told us 10 days ago that it would be 5-7 days before it would be released. Hmmm….. And now it will be a bit longer because the custom workers have a strike planned for today. I really hope we get it soon so we can get Baby Kempf’s room all set up!! Plus, I think Chris is sick of wearing the same 3 pairs of pants, since I didn’t pack very well for him and the rest of his pants somehow ended up in that crate. Oops. Sorry!

Visa

We are also still waiting on our official visa’s. The whole fingerprinting thing was submitted to the FBI so they could finish their background work. Once they send back their approval, it will take a few more weeks to finalize the process here. The main problem with this hold-up is that Chris isn’t allowed to drive the company car until he has his work visa (which is understandable), so he has been taking a taxi to work every day. At least he gets a little nap on the way home, but it is apparently incredibly boring and he is really looking forward to being able to drive himself.

Weather

Apparently, it is Fall here and Winter is right around the corner. Thats what they tell us anyways. I’ll believe it when I see it. It is still in the 70’s during the day and low 50’s at night. That apparently is getting relatively cold for them though because they have turned on the heat in our building. Grrr…. My extra little heater (little Miss Kempf) was doing a good job of keeping me warm already, and unfortunately, the heat in the main part of the apartment is set for the whole building, so we dont have an option of turning it down during the day. (It doesnt help that there is a 103-year old in our building, that I imagine likes it a bit toasty.)

Puppies

Lastly, the pups are doing great. I think they are pretty much adjusted to living here already thankfully. They have a pretty rough life!
This is how Hef spends 90% of his day….

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Belly Update: Week 30

Hello again,

As requested, here are the most recent belly pics! (with Hef looking on precariously in the background 🙂 )

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Week 31 is right around the corner now!

I finally have another doctor’s appointment scheduled for next Wednesday. I received her information as a referral from another expat from TX that had her baby here 2 months ago, so I’m hoping that this experience goes better than the first one! 🙂

On the same baby topic… I have a funny story for all of you. (Well, at least maybe you will find it funny. I wasnt sure if I should be offended or laugh!)

So, I have been taking Spanish classes now for 4 weeks, 4 days a week. The class has only 8 people but there are usually only about 5 or 6 of us that show up consistently. Last week our assignment was to write a few paragraphs about where we are from, what is the weather like there, are there any fun things to do, etc. It was finally my turn to present my assignment, so I got up and got through about 2 sentences when….. the teacher, sounding surprised, ASKED IF I WAS PREGNANT!!! Seriously, again? If I would have known how to say “Are you f-ing kidding me?” in Spanish, I’m pretty sure I would have! Its not like she just met me, I’ve seen here over a dozen times now! She was very excited and said congratulations and started to ask all sorts of questions (in Spanish of course). When I told her I was almost 8 months along she looked very confused…. really? I know that we Americans have a reputation for being a bit rotund, and I’m not exactly a bean pole, but STILL!!!

So hopefully that gave you all a chuckle for the day. 🙂

I’m off to go plan my post-baby workout routine. (and eat some chocolate) haha

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I am officially 30 weeks pregnant! 75% cooked! I am really excited to meet this little one, but am really glad we still have a few more weeks to get everything figured out and settled before she gets here! (I’ll get another belly pic posted soon.)

One of the first things that I knew I needed to do when I got here, was to find a doctor. Heaven forbid something would happen, I needed to know who and where I could go for medical assistance. Well, we have been here for a month and I am still officially looking…

Before I get into that, I’ll tell you the good news first. Months and months ago, while googling “having a baby in Argentina”, I ran across a website for an American doula/nurse in Buenos Aires. She was offering birth classes, doula services, and post-delivery support. She is a registered labor and delivery nurse from the states that moved to Buenos Aires because she married an Argentine. I have emailed back and forth with her for a few months and finally had the opportunity to meet her last weekend.

We met at a local tea shop and chatted for a few hours to get to know each other, find out more about her services, and learn a little more about Buenos Aires. I was instantly relieved when I met her. She is incredibly sweet, and personable and had a lot of really great information. I’m sure she will be invaluable during this whole baby process. 🙂

I purposely had set the time to meet with her, the weekend before my first official doctor’s appointment. I wanted to get her take on the differences in how things are handled here as well as a list of questions to ask the doctor the following day.

Below is a list of the main things we talked about: (Please note these are only personal opinions and everyone’s experience could be different.)

– First and foremost, she mentioned that the level of care was excellent especially in certain hospitals that she recommended.

– She had worked with a few other women at different hospitals and had positive things to say about their experiences.

– The doctors here are very concerned about weight. Weight is overall a very big issue in this culture. (Argentina has the second highest anorexia rate. Japan is number one.) The recommended weight gain during pregnancy is considerably lower than that in the states. (It depends on the doctor, but in the US it is on average 25-30 pounds, here is it around 15.) She mentioned that I should not be shocked or offended if a lot of emphasis is put on this during the appointments. She also mentioned that because women are generally smaller here, it can be a bigger problem for them to gain more weight and have bigger babies. Their bodies aren’t able to handle birth as easily when the baby is a lot bigger. (Again, note that this is a generalization and isn’t the case for everyone.)

– Any blood work or lab tests are done outside of the doctor’s office at a separate building. You have the tests, go back for the results, and then bring them back to your doctor. Definitely not as convenient for the patient.

– The c-section rate in Argentina is more than double that of the United States. I had seen articles online about this, and had even been told by my doctor in the US to be aware of this. I talked to the nurse about this as well, and she agreed. I’m not exactly sure of the full reason, but I believe quite a bit of it has to do with the weight issue and a vanity issue. Argentine’s are very concerned about appearance and I had read that some view the c-section as a way to prevent having wider hips. Hmmm…. Not sure how scientific that is. I also have heard that the c-section can be seen as a status thing. If you have money, you have a c-section, if you do not, you have a natural birth. Also, the c-section can be much more convenient. You can schedule your delivery so you and your doctor know when to be prepared. Regardless of all that I have heard and read, the clear point that the nurse discussed was to make sure that I was very clear with my doctor about my choice and make sure that they were okay with it. If I have to have a c-section for medical reasons, then so be it, but if the baby can be born safely, normally, then I’d prefer that.

– I’m sure this list of differences will grow, as I get further into this process…

Chris and I are also signed up to take birth classes from her in May. I was excited when I got the invite because there were two other couples also on the list. Since she gives the classes in English, I was extra excited that these couple may be going through the same thing that we are! Definitely a good way to meet some people that are in the same situation and the same place in life. Little did I know that was only the tip of the iceberg. The nurse also told me about a mom’s group, that is solely made up of women that have young kids or are pregnant and are primarily expats. Most of them are from the US or the UK. I wanted to give her a really big hug when she mentioned this group. She also told me about an expat group, BAIN, that is where most of these moms originally met. BAIN is similar to InterNations except that there are a handful of young families that are members, as well as quite a few retirees. (I’ll write more about BAIN in another post. I’ll also write more about the mom’s group soon as well.)

I went home after we finished our tea, and was so incredibly relieved. Even if I have an English-speaking doctor, it will be soooo comforting to have someone that I can call with any questions and that will be there when the baby is born to explain what is going on and hopefully, how to make things easier.

That was the good story…. Now for the story behind why I don’t officially have a doctor…..

When we got to Buenos Aires, I contacted our insurance company and received a few recommendations for doctors and hospitals in the area. I specifically requested English-speaking doctors, for obvious reasons. Someone joked with me before I left the states that all I really needed to know was “push” in Spanish…. Haha very funny.

When I first called the doctor’s office, I realized that even if the doctor spoke English, it didn’t mean his secretary did. We struggled for a few minutes with my limited Spanish, but ultimately understood that she was telling me to call the doctor’s direct line and I could speak to him in English. Phew! I called him and after a little more back and forth, we had an appointment scheduled. At one point in the conversation he asked me a question that I interpreted as “How long will you be here?”, so I answered, “18 months”. I’m sure he was a bit concerned, because he asked again but this time I realized he meant “How far along are you?”. Oops. 🙂

The day of the appointment, I left Spanish class a little early and took a cab to his office. Getting there was the easiest part of the experience.

I got up to his office, which was what looked like an old apartment. The living room was the waiting room, the his office and exam room were the bedrooms, and the entry to the kitchen area was where the secretary sat. I knew I was in the right office when there were about 5-6 other pregnant women also waiting. I “talked” to the secretary to let her know I was there, and understood from her Spanish that I should wait in the other room. So I waited… and waited… and waited. Most of the other women that were there when I arrived had been seen and were gone. I knew that sometimes there can be long waits at the doctor, so I just stuck it out a little longer. Then comes the interesting part….

A lady had come in while I was sitting there, and she looked incredibly pregnant and ridiculously uncomfortable. She kept breathing a bit heavier and was shifting around in her chair a lot. She was only there for about 10 minutes when the doctor saw her and then she left. What I didn’t realize, was that the doctor left with her…. And she was in active labor! I sat there for about 10 more minutes when one of the other girls in the waiting room (who knew I didn’t speak much Spanish, because she tried to talk to me and I asked if she spoke English) went to talk to the secretary. I knew that they were talking about me because they kept poking their heads around the corner and looking at me. Wow, awkward! The secretary ultimately called me over and tried to explain something in Spanish. She spoke incredibly fast and I didn’t catch much of what she was trying to tell me. Ultimately, she called the doctor on his cell phone and he explained that the lady was in labor and he needed to go to the hospital with her to get her settled in. He asked if I could come back to the office in 2 hours. Ugh….huge let down. I had already waited there for over an hour, but I was also not close to home and didn’t want to have to make another trip up to see him, so I agreed to come back.

I knew exactly what I could do during those 2 hours… visit Fibertel and figure out the internet mess. I had looked at the map that morning and found that the doctor’s office was only about 5 blocks away from the Fibertel office. Perfect. I could easily walk there, figure it out, and walk back in 2 hours. Oops…. I forgot. Nothing related to the internet issue can be easy…. I walked for about 5 blocks and wasn’t at the mall yet, so I double checked the map. Huh? How did I read the map so incredibly wrong. It was more like 15 blocks away and to add to the problem, I had started going the wrong direction from the doctors office. Grrr….. This was not turning out to be a very good day. It was around 2:30, and I hadn’t had lunch. It was hot outside, and I didn’t have a whole lot of small bills in my wallet. (I’ll explain why this is an issue shortly.)

The taxi takes me to the Fibertel office, but I see that there are about 20 people waiting in line so I decided to grab a snack at the Starbucks around the corner first. I wasn’t sure I could handle one more difficult thing without a little fuel. : / Starbucks, as usual, was delicious, and perked me up a little (even though it was only decaf).

I went back to Fibertel to find that the line had gone down by about half! Woohoo! Something might go right! I’ve previously written a little about this, so you may know that it was successful and we ultimately got an appointment for installation.

So, why, you ask, is not having small bills an issue? This is a multi-part answer. I needed small bills to take a cab back to the doctor’s office and then back home. I had about how much I needed to get to the doctor’s office, but then I wouldn’t have a single peso in my wallet. Hmm…. Mary, just go to an ATM! Duh!

Here is the long winded response to that. Well, there is a large problem with counterfeit money in Buenos Aires, in particular the 100 peso bill (equivalent to $25 USD). Most taxi’s will not accept the 100 peso bill or you may end up with other counterfeit money in return if they do accept it. The other part of the problem is that the ATM’s here only give out 100 peso bills. Another problem is that the ATM’s are less than reliable here as well. The max amount you can withdraw can change daily because you never know if the bank will have enough on hand. On this particular lovely day, the FOUR banks I visited did not have ANY money on hand.

I had started to walk in the direction of the doctor’s office and since it was a very busy part of town there were a considerable number of banks along the way. Every one I stopped at did not have money in the ATM. The last one told me that it would be 20 minutes. Hmmm… my appointment was in 10 minutes. So I decided to grab a taxi with the change that I did have, and would just have to figure out the taxi/money thing after my appointment.

When I got back to the doctor’s office, he got me in to see him right away. Phew! Or so I thought. The very first question he asked me when I got in his office was, “When was your last period?” Ummm… didn’t he realize I’m 29 weeks pregnant? That was like 7 months ago, and no I do not remember when it was. He pulled out this little wheel, so I figured he was trying to figure out my due date and how far along I was. Okay, I at least knew that!

I knew pretty quickly that we had a bit of a problem. Yes, there were English words coming out, but they did not make sense based on the questions that I asked or the information he was ultimately looking for. I sat in his office for about 10 minutes as we struggled through some medical questions, and then he started to fill out a prescription pad with all of the tests and labs he would like me to have before he sees me again. Fine. This was bloodwork type stuff, an ultrasound, and a few shots. What! Shots! The first one was a tetanus shot. Okay, I hadn’t had a tetanus shot in over 9 years, so I could understand that one, but was a little surprised that they hadn’t done that in the States before I left. I would definitely be asking the nurse about this one before I got it done. The second one was a name I didn’t recognize. When I asked what it was, he told me, “it make the baby healthy”. Hmmm…. Okay, but how so? “Well, it make the baby grow good blood.” Hmmm… maybe some kind of iron supplement? Still, totally confused, but was sure I wasn’t going to get a better explanation. To add to the confusion, he told me I would get this shot at the pharmacy. Okay, so I asked if I just had to buy the shot and he would give it to me? “No” Okay, so I asked if they gave me the shot at the pharmacy? “No”. Do I give it to myself? “Oh, no, no, at pharmacy”. Hmmm… Did I just ask that? Maybe if I just buy the shot the baby will grow good blood. I was almost in tears at this point…

Then he did a quick 5-minute check for blood pressure, measured the size of my belly, and checked the baby’s heartbeat. I was pretty sure my blood pressure would be through the roof considering the day I’d had, but it was normal. He told me it was 12/6. Hmmm… I assumed they just chopped off the 0 at the end and it was really 120/60. But again, another question for the nurse. I also asked him what the baby’s heartbeat was, and his answer was “strong”. Hmmm… well I guess that was a good answer, just not very technical.  Ultimately, he gave me the prescriptions for the labs and told me to come back and see him in 15 days. I tried to ask about where to go for the labs, but quickly realized I was getting nowhere. By this point in the appointment, I pretty much knew that I wouldn’t be going back to see him and that I would need to find another doctor. It was a huge disappointment!

I was just about ready to break down and sob as I left his office, but knew I still had to figure out how I was actually going to get home. I had 4 pesos in my wallet and needed about 25. I just started walking, in the direction of our apartment, and hoped I would run into a bank. Thankfully about 5 blocks later, I found one, and it had money! (Insert angel’s singing here!) I went to the café next door and bought a bottle of juice and some yogurt so that I could break the 100 peso bill. Phew! Then I found a taxi. I could have given that taxi driver a hug!

I got home and recapped the entire experience to Chris over the phone. The tears definitely let loose at this point! 10 weeks felt like a very short amount of time when I still didn’t have a doctor! That was an incredibly rough day for this pregnant lady!!!

The next day was a gazillion times better! More on that in the next post….

If you made it all the way through this story, congratulations! I just realized how long it is….it was a bit therapeutic to write. So thanks for reading…. 🙂

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In order to legally stay in Argentina for the next year and a half, Chris’s company is working on getting our visa applications completed and submitted. This can be a ridiculously long and difficult process apparently. Just think of the issues we had getting internet… I’ll be surprised if we have our visas before it is time to return home. haha

One of the steps of the visa process is that the US FBI requires that we have our fingerprints on file with our application. Sounds pretty harmless and easy, right? Haha, it was definitely an adventure and one of the craziest stories from BA so far!

Chris had gone to get his fingerprints done a few days before I did, so he at least warned me about the process. Without this warning, I might have had a slight panic attack…. Here goes…

So we live a few blocks away from the main police station in Buenos Aires, but since the plant is about an hour out of the city, they had us go the police station near them instead. They ordered a remise to pick me up and take me out there. (A remise is a hired taxi. It is a bit more trustworthy than a city taxi and this particular one was contracted with Chris’s company.) Chris had told me about his long drive to work and the “interesting” scenery along the way, so I was a bit intrigued to finally be able to see it for myself as well. I think that because he had warned me about some of the neighborhoods we would drive through, that I was not quite as shocked as I might have been. Also, I didn’t take any pictures because I purposely didn’t take my camera in case it was stolen at some point during this excursion… I’ll try to paint a mental picture for you of the towns that we drove through…

I went on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico when I was in 9th grade, and this was very similar to what we saw when we were down there. The area is very flat and is reminiscent of North Dakota farmland, except that the small towns are made up of concrete block shacks. Most of the “houses” did not have windows and were constructed with concrete blocks, sheets of metal scraps, and some cardboard. They were primarily just one block room, but some were adventurous and had two stories. They obviously didn’t have any kind of sanitation service as there were piles of garbage along the roads. There were also a fair number of stray dogs roaming the streets as we drove through. I’m not sure if they had running water or electricity, but would imagine most of them did not by the looks of the little town. Compared to some of the fancy buildings in our area, this was quite a shock to see the level of poverty. It was quite a wake-up call since we were only an hour away from downtown and some of the richest neighborhoods in the country.

Finally, we reached the police station. (Although, had the remise not stopped right in front of it, I wouldn’t have known it was a police station!) Chris had described it as a building that looked like it had been through a war, been burnt down, and rebuilt with the same stuff. I thought he was exaggerating… he wasn’t. This building would have been condemned a long time ago in the States.

I waited in the remise for Chris and his coworker to arrive so they could help with the fingerprints. As I waited, a “cop car” brought in a guy in handcuffs. I’m not even sure how to describe this adequately. The car pulled up to the station. It did not have a back window, but instead a tarp and duct tape. It also had “Policia” hand-painted on the side. It was probably an early 90’s/late 80’s model. It was in REALLY rough shape. Four people got out of the car; three police men (I assume), and one guy in handcuffs. The police men had guns in their belts and bulletproof vests, but weren’t wearing official uniforms. I was definitely sweating at this point…. They wanted me to go into the same building that they just went into!! I took a deep breath…

Chris and his coworker arrived a few minutes later and brought me inside. Inside wasn’t any more impressive than the outside. After talking to a policeman (this one was in an official uniform), they brought me through the building and upstairs to one of the offices. As we were walking from the main lobby to the staircase, I briefly glanced to my side as there were some dark rooms with bars on the doors. Ummm…. Yeah… these were the jail cells…. And there were people in them…. It was really dirty since there were no floors, just dirt. I only got a millisecond glance, but the mental picture is still there! After walking past the cells, my heart started racing a bit faster. We came to an open courtyard-type area. Back here they had their fleet of “squad cars”. My description of the first car I saw essentially covers the rest of the cars as well. On the side of the courtyard were some concrete steps that went to the second floor. Now remember, this building looks like it has been through a war…. The steps were a bit crumbly and did not have a railing. Thank goodness Chris had warned me about this and I wore tennis shoes. After holding my breath for a few steps, we were up to the second floor where the offices were. Man, I wish I had pictures…

When we got to the office, the policeman took a small paintbrush and dipped it in a bucket of what I believe was tar. He rolled it with a mini rubber paintroller on a block of wood to even it out a little. And then proceeded to roll it onto my fingers… Yep. Tar. Chris had warned me about this as well. The funniest part of this was that there was a ink stamp pad sitting on the table beside this tar contraption! Huh?

So as you can probably imagine, tar is very sticky and gloppy. Definitely not the easiest option for fingerprinting. The policeman had me “practice” my fingerprints on some scrap paper to get the extra goo off before putting my prints on the official FBI form. My fingers were still pretty darn sticky though even after those extra prints. So the funniest part about doing the “practice” fingerprints was that instead of putting the paper on the desk and having that be the hard surface I pressed against, he picked up the stamp pad and used that as the support behind the paper. Hahaha I wanted to laugh out loud, but wasn’t about to insult the policeman after walking past the cells downstairs!

Finally, he deems my fingers ready for the official prints. Unfortunately, the practice runs have caused my hands, his hands, and the stamp pad to have random blotches of tar on them so everything that touches them is also covered in black goo. This includes the official FBI paper. It was a mess. As he went to put my finger prints on the page, he kept saying something in Spanish. He spoke really quickly and I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying… After a few times, I figured out that he was telling me not to look. Huh? Don’t look? I’d seen the paperwork, and I’ve obviously seen my fingerprints. Not sure why I shouldn’t look, but I wasn’t going to argue. After a few moments, the fingerprints were officially on the paper. They were messy, goopy, and quite smudged. I really hope the FBI accepts them!

Now it was time to wash off the tar… The policeman led me back down the rickety stairs, to a water trough in the courtyard area of the building. At least they had running water… He had brought a jug of green stuff with him from the office upstairs. Chris had warned me about this as well. He proceeded to dump about a ½ cup of pure lye on my hands to wash off the tar. Now granted it was quite effective and the tar came off relatively easily. But it was pure lye! My hands were bubbly for a really long time. It would feel like I got it off, and then I would rub my hands together, and bubbles would appear again. Hopeless. I finally figured that they were good enough, so he handed me a towel to dry my hands off. The towel looked like it was used by a mechanic for over 1000 oil changes. It was filthy! And to top it off, he had put some of the lye on the towel to try to clean it off a little while I was cleaning my hands. Yep, I was all soapy again. Whatever…. I just let them stay that way until we got home and I could wash them normally. Not sure if any of you have washed your skin with pure lye before, but if you have, you would know that the stuff will seriously dry you out. My hands peeled for a week because they were sooo dry!

The grand finale of the experience just about did me in…. We went back up to the office where Chris and his coworker were waiting. The policeman had to sign the paperwork so that it was official. He also had to add the official stamp of the police station to prove it was done by an official officer. He gets out his stamp…. Opens the stamp pad… and stamps the paper. WHAT!! There was ink in the stamp pad! And he knows what its for and how to use it? And why didn’t I get to use it for my finger prints? Whoa I was very confused. Just wanted to laugh, but again, I wasn’t about to cause any trouble. 🙂

Thank goodness Chris came with me and told me about the whole experience beforehand. It definitely lessened the inevitable shock!

I know we still have a lot of time left in Buenos Aires, but I’m curious what kind of event could top that experience. I’ve never been through anything like it before. It felt like I was in a movie or something!

It made me sweat a little just to rewrite it all. Haha Don’t worry, my next post will be a little less shocking. 🙂

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Hopefully this is the final set of posts coming from coffee shop internet!! Last week, after not hearing from our neighbor, I took a trip up to the Fibertel office to talk to someone in person. After waiting in line for quite awhile, I was able to speak to a guy and give him the copy of the contract that they had requested earlier. The guy didn’t speak much English, but could understand it just fine, and the same goes for my Spanish. I’m sure it would have been a rather funny conversation to overhear since he spoke Spanish to me and I responded in English. Regardless, it worked and we officially got an appointment setup for the installation guys to come to our house. The appointment is set for tomorrow morning (Monday), so please everyone keep your fingers crossed that we don’t run into any more issues!

On to a more fun topic…. Our neighborhood. I’ve been meaning to share this with you guys for a few weeks now.

When we first looked at different neighborhoods and apartments before we moved, there were a few criteria that we had for the perfect spot. They were: parks for the dogs, restaurants/cafes/grocery stores within walking distance (since I don’t have a car), safe to walk around, and more of a family environment. There were a few different neighborhoods that were high on the list.

Puerto Madero: It is down by the river and is a much newer part of town. It is not very busy, and has gorgeous apartments and restaurants. It also has a large nature area that would be great for the dogs. The biggest downside to Puerto Madero is that there are no grocery stores within walking distance.

Recoleta: We looked at a few apartments in this neighborhood, and while it has some very beautiful spots, we just didn’t find something that felt like “home” here. Recoleta is a bit closer to downtown than some of the other options which put most of the apartments in busier areas.

Palermo: There are technically a handful of different Palermo neighborhoods (Soho, Chico, Hollywood, Viejo). When we visited in January, Palermo Chico was the neighborhood that we instantly both liked the most. There are a significant number of parks, a lot of restaurants and shops, and it felt a little more residential than the neighborhoods closer to downtown. We also learned that there are a significant number of schools in this neighborhood which would explain why it had a more “family feel”. When we first looked at apartments, there weren’t any available in this neighborhood that were furnished and had enough room for us. Sarah had emailed quite a few different apartment options to us while we were still in the States in hopes that we would be interested, and I instantly knew I would like the final one because of the neighborhood.

Below is a series of pictures from our neighborhood.

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– This is our apartment building from across the street.

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– Looking from our corner towards the museum in the background. I love the amount of green in our neighborhood, even though it is a pretty busy part of town.

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– More apartment buildings around the corner.

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– A view down the street. I love the trees with the purple flowers!

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– The street around the corner. There is an ice cream shop, a hairsalon, and an italian food market on the left and a little supermarket, a vet clinic, and an electricians shop on the right.

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– Further down on the same street. There is a paint store, and a cafe on the right. And across the intersection, the infamous Starbucks!

Coming up on the blog…. I have scheduled a post to go online tonight about my interesting experience at the police station…. and then tomorrow morning… a post about my first experience at the doctors office here.

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