Argentina Update

The first WWOOF farm has accepted! Just today they sent a confirmation e-mail. We’ll be arriving January 30th, and staying on this farm until Feb 25th.

You can check out their farm description here (Farm ARG151). They are an organic Lavender farm and ‘artesian perfumery’ who also grow fruits and vegetables. They will provide us shelter and daily food in return for five hours of work a day. Only five hours! Sounds like a deal.

The fellow we’ve been corresponding with seems very nice and offered to pick us up from Merlo, the nearest bus hub. The e-mails have all been in Spanish, so that’s been a sign to me that I’ll really need to work on the language before we arrive at the farm. Even so, communication will be difficult everywhere in Argentina, so I might as well jump right into it.

The location of the farm looks beautiful. It’s located southwest of the Cordoba Sierras, on The Puna plateau.

I’m excited to smell like lavender for nearly a month.

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The Article that didn’t make the Community Newsletter

The first impression the Food Co-op gives is a warm, inviting, wholesome and liberal place. It’s apparent that this is where locals come together over a common goal; to consume foods that are better for the body, earth and local community.

I got that magical feeling too whenever I visited the MFC. That is until I started working there.

My first impression of the Co-op was a refreshing contrast to my Christian and conservative childhood cultivation. The Co-op still does provide that contrast. But, with time and familiarity, anything can lose its charm.

With that loss of charm I’ve begun to find ties between the Co-op and the church it diverged with so much upon introduction.  Further consideration forced a startling, but exciting conclusion: the MFC and Church are unmistakably the same type of entity.

Similarities stem from the communities fostered by each entity. Both institutions are physical locations where people can come together over a shared set of values.

The church’s values are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, which are promoted and preached to improve day-to-day living. The Co-op’s values are based on the values of wholesome, organic, fairly traded foods and ethical business practices, which will improve and enrich day to day life.

The Church and the Co-op are two different institutions, but each congregate over a set of values that promise to help to improve their members’ livelihood.

The Co-op’s community is stronger than that of a regular grocery store because it is a place to socialize with others who hold the same values. (This is also one of the reasons why I think the Co-op has been successful in the poor economy; sales continue to grow each year of the recession). People walk into the Co-op to fill their cupboards with food that will help them live healthier lives, on terms that make them feel good about their choices.

Christians walk into a church to stock up on spiritual advice, to surround themselves with others who support their lifestyles, and to feel good about themselves. It’s really the same type of feeling, just different core values.

I even have found that at each community there are the same types of people. These include a core group of well off members, the occasional shoppers and worshipers, the passionately opinionated, families, youth groups, anyone looking for a positive environment.

With the territory of of an open community comes an open invitation, which draws the outcasts too. The odd ducks of society find their way into the Co-op, just as they do at a Church. One week we had a young couple make a day-home out of the Co-op’s deli. They stayed over eight hours a day, nursing away a cup of coffee and a newborn baby.

There’s the lonely elderly that come in for the basic need of human contact. The physically and mentally sick come in looking for a cure via organics or Jesus. The homeless seek these locations out for shelter.

Whatever your vice, it’s what makes you feel good that matters. But, it was good for me to realize that my institution may not be that special.

Deal Seal

The tickets to Argentina have been officially purchased.

Non-refundable, non-transferable. It’s going to happen. I’m flying to Argentina.

Well, Uraguay actually. As it turns out, tickets to Montevideo, Uraguay are much cheaper than flying into Buenos Aries, Argentina. The distance between the two cities in miles? Under 100 (or so says my finger-measure approximation on Google Maps).

Bonus life points for the trivia question I answered correctly the week after buying tickets: Montevideo is the capitol of WHAT country?

It’s also cheaper to fly out on a Friday that happens to be on the 13th. Figure and go.

And so, on Friday, January 13, 2012 Ben and I will fly out from Seattle to embark on a 114 day journey.

There’s a lot that still needs to happen in the meantime.

I need to invest in more gear. Water purifierLightweight base-layer. My dream sleeping bag. Just to mention a few.

All my money needs to be saved. All of it. Money will also be needed in May after the trip.

WWOOF farms need to be contacted and stays arranged. Destinations need to be planned. I also need to re-certify my WFR. Secure my summer job. Maybe go to the dentist as well. There’s nothing like clean teeth to tell the world I’m American.

And I should work on making Spanish sound less like gibberish.

All life bonus points received from nailing a pub trivia question have been cancelled due to my choice of country. Argentina’s rate of English to Spanish speakers is as low as my Spanish per English vocabulary. The odds are stacked against me.

A whole ‘nother entry will be written about this language battle.

Oh yeah, one more very important thing that needs to happen before January;

I need to tell my parents. 

 

 

A new portrait session

The best thing about taking pictures of Kelsie Brown was the freedom to go beyond the typical High School Portrait style. That’s the great thing about taking photos for an album release, and an ‘Indie’ album at that. There’s greater freedom to mess up, look at odd lighting, feature strange angles and indulge in every imperfection possible.

Here are some of the results

Kelsie’s new album is called “Dissociation” and can be found here.

See the full collection of photos here. Please ask permission before using these.