Human Rights Project
Sent 18th February
ARGENTINA - Part 4a
Yes - I'm still here in Cordoba !!!
Firstly, Ted would like to thank you all for the sympathy and concern he received from you. But... let me tell you - he has spent the whole time in bed. Seriously hasn't moved. And... he's managed to make a friend. A rabbit at that (Hanna's) - but hey they've hit it off and share the same room.
So I don't know what the go with that is people. Concentrate!!! Me me me... I'm the one having a traumatic month.OK - maybe not soooo traumatic this week.
It hasn't stopped raining since I arrived. Crazy !!!! They have a pool and I've got to use it once. As I'm having a lot of trouble trying to send an email (I keep losing it all when I press send- ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.) - you will now receive it in instalments or I will either cry or throw the damn iPad through the window. Although they have bars on EVERY window and it will just bounce back and probably hit me in the face.
By the way.... For those that had trouble receiving the last emails and only got the first half of my near death experiences. Let me assure you I am fine. The other half of the email was... That I am sun baking , I will NOT climb again and my next trip is to Hawaii !!!
Stay tuned More to follow....
Growing Marg and lazy Ted. Xxx
So let me continue... Part 4b
Not much has happened this week. I CONTINUE TO WORK. I really do. Work work work. It's only 3 hrs in the morning lol..., then home for lunch and a siesta, 😴 then slums for 4hrs. Lucky I get a siesta. This week I went out to feed the homeless at 10pm. Actually I just conducted the interviews. Amazing, one man had studied law, had an executive job in government and had been married with 5 children (one a cop) before he retired, fell into a deep depression, left his wife and ended up on the street. Some of the stories are quite interesting.
Spent Saturday morning collecting food for the children. Of course I collected the most. They love me!!
Now - for those that were concerned and caring enough to worry about my fingers...I spent 7hrs in hospital on Monday seeing 3 specialists and finally I got the 'blood is flowing to ends, you get to keep the finger but - you may not have feeling in the ends for another year. The skin is all coming off but that is good' he says. Hmmmmmm. Good??? It hurts like all hell. I now have baby new skin (all good as long as no one touches it 😬) and... NO FINGERPRINTS !!! Ha ha ha It occurred to me this is my chance - I can go out and commit a crime. They will never find me. Hee hee hee no gloves required.
I went straight out and celebrated with my first beer in Argentina.
LUV you xxx. (Yes another weak moment)
Part 4c THE TOURIST continues...
Here I am again !!!!
Just when you thought I was gone.
Now - no doubt you've always known I was a hard worker and from my emails and photos you can see that has been confirmed. It has !!!
But... I am also a great tourist. I spent the weekends discovering art and culture. That's me - very cultured. Basically I spent my time eating and drinking and oh yeah art...
Of course Friday was valentines day - so for all you romantics... HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY !! I treated myself to a pedicure (of course I can't have a manicure yet - lol...) and a glass of wine. Yes only one. My first glass in Cordoba. I'm making a come back.
Spent Saturday as a tourist with Vivi, visiting art museums, parks, palaces, art markets and finally dinner. More FOOD. Food food food. That is seriously all people do here. Eat and sleep. Could get way to used to that. Sunday was raining AGAIN - so another lazy day. Only one dry day in 2 weeks. What's the go with that ???!!!!
I even bought a new bikini. Once, got to wear it once. Maybe I can return it when I get back.
As for the funnnnnnnny people out there commenting on my fashion style (the gloves) - you're not funnnnnnny.
Everyone is used to my gloves now. You will see from the photos below, as it's the right hand that is the worse, YES there are times I wear only one glove. So no more Michael Jackson jokes. I AM VERY COOL !!!!!!
So that's it for the week. Enjoy the photos.Try and pretend that you are missing me. JUST TRY !!!
Till next week.Signing off.
PS: No Ted is NOT getting married. My God and especially to a rabbit.
Sent 1st March
ARGENTINA - the Finale...
Of all the places I've travelled around the world who would have thought ARGENTINA would be the one that nearly killed me.
Firstly, yes there was the frostbite .... Nearly came back with missing body parts. Not really the way I intended to lose weight !
Then a stomach bug entered my life over a week ago... AND refuses to leave !!! Again not quite the way I intended to lose weight !!! Of course I think I MUST be looking Hot (as nothing stays in and I've dropped 2 sizes). BUT NO - 😟 I realise I'm looking gaunt and dehydrated as everyone stares and asks 'are you OK? You're very pale' not funny - HOT was the look I was after. Ahhhhh I'm at deaths door. Do you even care???? hmmmm
To top it off - they have had the worst february weather on record. It has seriously rained every day. OK I lie - there have been 3 sunny days in the month. 3 !!! . They say March will be sunny now - that's because I'm leaaaaaaaving. Of course it will be.
Then of course there's the DANGER of going to work or just WALKING down the street. Heck lucky I missed December when the police went on strike. They looted the town and did a home invasion up the street. And that was only in 2 days. The police got the pay rise. Ha ha ha Elena says casually 'it's Ok we're armed here I have a 45 but the situation is not good. My hand trembles when I fire it' Pistol what???!!!😬 Lol.. Every kid I meet shows me a scar of a bullet (last one got shot in the chest) what??!! A stray bullet he says. What??!!! I'm going to have to wear body armour !! Raf says he can talk to 'his people' and I can cross into Brazil. Just don't go to Paraguay he says. I don't see how Paraguay could be any worse than Argentina. Mind you Raf left Brazil because it was too dangerous. Ha ha ha the family here says Brazil is a hundred times better than Argentina. Ahhhhhh. Where the hell am I ???? Why didn't someone warn me?? !!! Right well I've packed my bags and I'm ready to make a run for it. Any border will do right now!!! Actually everyone says Uruguay is the place to go. Sooooo.... I want to know why Alex left. I always thought he was a little suspicious - hmmmmmm. Yeah yeah so you all think Alex is nice. He's fooled you!!! Everyone blames me for the disasters that occur around the world. Yeah yeah my fault because I was in America for Sept 11. Well let me remind you... Alex was there too. It's all coming together now.
Back to my escape... I'm so desperate that I bought another airline ticket. I changed my flight to the day before for free but they said they only had one flight leaving at 7pm. Noooooooooo and the way their delays go on and on and on... Nooooooo that could mean I never leave. So went home, searched the internet and found a flight leaving at 12md (only other flight out). I bought it!!! And you don't think I'm desperate to escape. Mind you that only gets me to Mendoza - but now we're talking the Hyatt. Hmmmm. A real bed, a bath, a nice glass of Malbec and real food. I better not forget to pick up my suitcase that's waiting for me there and then... H O M E!!!!!!
So... This email was started a few days ago. I should have crossed over into Brazil that night. I NEARLY MADE IT !!!! BUT NO...
I should have changed my flight and left a week earlier. Damn it !!! With only one day to go I get robbed in broad daylight whilst walking with Victoria and Marcia to a community meeting. Poor Victoria (who has had nightmares since) stood there in shock whilst I gave chase (no no before you start screaming what??!! I'm not totally insane. I did arm myself . Lol.. Marcia started screaming and calling the police 🚔 who in turned screamed at her that if I died it was her fault. I had to laugh 😀. After 4hrs at the police station Marcia's boyfriend came to pick us up and was so horrified at my experience in Argentina that he said there was no way I could leave Cordoba without a good traditional Argentine meal and took us out to dinner. Even said I only looked 30. Yes - 30 !!!! OK - so he probably thought I was traumatised and was trying to make me feel better. But still - 30 !!!! No he had not been drinking !!!
Excellent finish. We laughed and laughed. Bloody Argentina !!!
So I arrived here with a gold ring and a gold chain and I leave with a ring cut in half and a chain ripped in half. OMFG!!! 😧
FINALLY...AUSTRALIA here I come.
Another memorable adventure. It is after all - the mishaps that makes the story and memories. I met some great people and had some great times.
BUT... I am happy to be going home.
It really is time to say Thank You (for keeping me amused with all your emails - although you weren't funnnnny! NO you weren't !! And don't forget I know where you live) Especially you Kim!!
And.. Finally Good Bye... Ted and I are escaping !!
Next time you hear from us we will be lying on a beach at home having a glass of champagne.
Till we meet again.
Marg & Ted signing off from Argentina.
Dates : 2nd February - 3rd March 2014
Flollowing are emails sent from Cordoba at the time.
Email sent 2nd February 2014
ARGENTINA - Part 3 PROJECTS ABROAD BEGINS - Cordoba
Hi - here I am in Cordoba. No - I haven't disappeared. NOT yet!!!
Now what could possibly go wrong? Mendoza to Cordoba is only a 1hr flight. Airplane️ Well - 1hr and 5min to be precise!
I left the Hyatt Hotel at exactly 1.30pm last Saturday and had my boarding pass in my hot little hands by 2pm for my 3.50pm flight. (You know I don't like to be late)
And so it began... Waiting waiting waiting....Flight delayed. 1hr 2hrs 3hrs... Before they finally said in SPANISH - you can get on this flight to Buenos Aires or try again on Monday. What???!!! Mind you - we were literally at the boarding gate about to board.
Now - picture this. There are about 30 of us and it just happens that I'm the only one that speaks spanish. There was this Canadian lady (about 65yrs old) with her husband, whom I asked if she was British because she had a British accent. She replied 'I hate being told I have a British accent - I have lived in Canada for 50yrs' oops sorry - definitely British !!! I'm telling you this because you have to now picture that she was loud, very loud and screamed to everyone (from America, Canada and God knows where) - FOLLOW HER, DONT LOSE HER. THERE SHE IS. I'm not kidding. They followed me through the airport like something out of a movie. OVER HERE EVERYONE. HERE SHE IS. WHAT DID THEY SAY??? WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?? It didn't matter that I told her a thousand times it would be OK we would arrive in Cordoba eventually and the bags would be there and the connecting flight would not leave without us - ahhhhhhh. I had to laugh. Of course I kept walking and pretended not to know them. We finally got on a flight to Cordoba from Buenos Aires. The worst non stop turbulence of my life. No kidding. I thought - OK so this is how it ends.
YES the woman was sitting behind me. We finally landed in Cordoba at midnight. Nearly 12hrs !!!!!! I could have driven there faster !!! NEVER fly Aerolineas Argentina - NEVER !!!
Of course Projects Abroad staff had given up on me ever arriving and there was no one at the airport except very irate Americans swearing at everyone.
But.. I made friends with them because they had a phone and I didn't. After much ringing around - I was picked up at 1am and taken to the host family. The LUQUE family. Pepe and Elena - great couple, very very funny. I arrived in 48*C !!!!
Of course I couldn't use my hands and decided the hospital would be a waste of time but maybe I could teach English. As it turns out the schools are on holidays of course, but they offered me a Human Rights project and I thought - why not. So - I'm now working at 'Paulo Freire' (a social and educational centre for males from 14 to 7yrs who have committed a non violent crime). There was a German guy volunteer that was supposed to work with me - but no one can speak Spanish enough to communicate (why did they pick Argentina???). Anyhow, it's just me now and I'm loving it. This week I've been helping clean up the centre and doing the rounds interviewing the families to see if we can enrol them in school, get them employment or see whether they need to attend the centre for the year. Mind you (we're talking the slums) - first house we visited didn't have a door because the police had kicked it in chasing him (and he's still on the run) lol... Spoke with the grandmother and of course I asked for photos (you know I need photos of everything). Next - the guy (they are all around 17yrs old) he was home but had been shot the day before walking home and was recovering (only a leg wound). Hey he was still alive!! The third kid (he's in the photo) wasn't allowed to see his child he had at 14 (we will enrol him in school) Everyone is actually really nice and friendly.
They are a little concerned that I will get mugged or shot and keep telling me not to wear my chain or carry a bag or blink. Please.....
I also work on Wed and Thurs afternoons from 3pm to 9pm at a slum called Blast Pascel. (They are going to have to pay me overtime at this rate. Don't they know I'm on holidays??). Last week a couple of volunteers got robbed at gun point. I'm not kidding. You actually have to cross over a railway track (watch for the train). Talk about the other side of the tracks. Anyhow, the community meeting is Wednesday nights and I have to laugh - there is a group that are taking everyone's house (they basically move in when you leave for more than one night and won't give your house back to you). That's not why I was laughing. This lady was very passionately explaining that if they tried to take her house she would shoot them and then shoot herself. I explained there was no need for that - just shoot them and job done, no need to shoot yourself too. I like her.
OK seriously - from bloody Cabramatta to the slums of Argentina to fix crime. We are now conducting interviews for an alarm project for the neighbourhood. Quite good actually. Everyone (well 19 so far) have personal alarm buttons and if there is a crime or they are in danger, they press the button and a huge alarm in the town centre goes off and neighbours come out to bash the baddies. I'm not kidding. Another woman got robbed Wednesday night when we were there and they chased the guys and nearly killed them. DON'T WORRY - I'M FINE. I'm going to Pepe's Mums house (she's 90) soon and going to borrow her gun. She shot an intruder and Pepe had to go clean up the blood. 😧 The way he tells the story - I can't stop laughing. I would definitely have been safer in the hospital after all. Ha ha ha. We do free legal aid on Thursday nights (OK that is a little boring - mainly paper work for the elderly) no exciting criminal cases. Probably a good thing.
Right - so here we are - the weekend again and finally the sun has come out in full force. YES - perfect for a day by the pool. Everyone is having a siesta, so I thought I should let you know I'm alive. I arrived in 48C but it's rained every day since - ahhhhhg. So much so that Thursday night I walked home in water up to my thighs. No joke. 😧 My poor boots are dead again!! Mind you I borrowed a half broken umbrella (I don't know why I bothered). I looked like a complete idiot wading through river like streets, drenched and carrying an umbrella (oh well at least my head was dry). But finally I can report I have a tan again. Happy days... I don't know if you can tell from the photo but my hand is white. I took the glove off to swim lol.. Oh yeah - and all I do is eat eat eat eat eat. No really - eat eat eat eat. OMG !!!
These are the other volunteers at the house. Hana from Germany (next to me), Louisa from Denmark (towel on head), then Katie from USA (a vegetarian - eats only carrots. She did not eat the rice in front of her because it was made with chicken stock) oh well more for me, and finally Vivi from Switzerland (very nice). They are all 19 except for Hana who is 20. God help me. I'm living with 2 Ally's and 2 Olivia's. Ahhhhh. Ha ha ha. They all carry 'pepper spray'. OMG they will end up hurting each other. They are actually petrified. Two other volunteers got mugged here on the corner (mind you there is a security guard on the next corner - although he was asleep the other morning when I walked past lol...).
I was back at hospital yesterday checking on fingers and I'm happy to report they are still attached and looking much much better. All nails still intact. I have a specialist appointment tues but I'm not sure I need him. Mind you I wear a woollen black glove everywhere (heck I look like Michael Jackson) lol.. But it has helped the fingers heal. Elena won't let me do anything and asks if I want her to cut my meat. Hmmmm OK no thanks. I may look a little retarded but I'm learning to use my hands no probs. in another week I reckon I will be back to full use - that's my diagnosis. I may still not feel the ends of them but I have nearly full movement.
Maybe I should wait another week to borrow the gun... I might end up shooting myself at this rate. Lol...
Well that's it for this week. I'm alive in Cordoba working in the slums and have NOT been shot.
I am being fed enough for 5 people and the sun is shining. Happy days.
Hope all is well back home.
Don't worry you will see me soon - only 3 more weeks.
I know I know it seems like a long time. No it does!!!!
Till then, be good...Ted & Marg
In Cordoba - signing off... 🌎
PS: Ted has not moved from bed since we arrived. He is not taking a chance in the slums. If they try and hurt him I WILL have to kill someone!!