Monday, June 27, 2011

I am now a movie director!

haha, well not quite... but I am producing a 3- 4 minute promo video for St George's College. I had the whole day today and the whole day tomorrow to film the school grounds, students, headmaster, classrooms, buildings, sport, music across Kinder, Prep & College. I was running like a monkey in every direction. It was really good but really crazy! I have soooooo much footage and I know I only need snippets from what I took. I still have more footage to get tomorrow... but while I'm waiting for it to download into my computer (which is sooo slow), I thought I would blog update.

So it is only 1 week till we fly to the USA on Gospel tour! and then 1 month and Chris' mum and dad (Ger & Geoff) arrive! This year is flying- it has never ever been a dull moment! It's great. We are already thinking to January at booking accommodation in Byron Bay... I think about the beach in Australia sooo much!! I miss the sea so much. I just want to smell the salty air and run into the water and get all sandy. I miss it a lot. It will be so great to take the month off in Australia seeing everyone and being by the sea and driving a car!
I miss driving- I took for granted being able to jump in my car and go wherever I want whenever I want. I love sitting in the front seat next to Chris, talking about our day or the future or memories or going somewhere..anywhere!!
This is a bit of a 'I miss this and that' blog...

Okay, change of tone- I have invited all the girls I met at the church on Saturday to come over to my little cosey apartment Wednesday night. Socialising with girls will be excellent! There is a real buzz and keeness in this new friendship. I like it. Feels real good to be making new friends in a new place.

Off to do more work on this video.

All my love,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

its nearly 2am

Again. another really really awesome Quilmes adventure with new friends. I will write more tomorrow.

But here is me now, at 2am in the morning on Sunday after a night of being at a church, meeting lots of new people. It was so interesting and cool!!
I sang 'Mighty To Save' (Hillsong song) in Castallano tonight! beautiful.
totally refreshing

Love God and love this new adventure we are on.


Friday, June 24, 2011

And this is an 'empanada'

Empanadas- Food of Argentina
So I thought I would start my blog by showing you what a standard good ol' empanada looks like. This food is found at every event, fiesta, meal... it is the equivalent of the Australian meat pie really...
They are like a mini pastie.. filled with lots of different flavours.
I am partial to the 'carne picante' (spicy meat) and the 'queso y cebolla' (cheese & onion) and the 'verdura' are also super yummy (vegetable-usually spinach and cheese).

I just found this picture and it is exactly what they look like! they are 'muy rico' (very tasty)!

Well, it has been a mighty big week! humungus mungus actually. But totally fulfilling and successful! Less than two weeks and Chris and I are off to the USA on the St George's College Gospel Choir Tour. Boston, New York and Washington DC is where we are headed- performing in different venues, universities and churches. It will be a lot of fun! There are two other teachers and 45 students from ES1-Poli 3 (Yr 7-12).

This week however was so mighty because we put on a production in the theatre called 'The Big Sing.' It was a Vocal Showcase of choirs and vocal soloists. I had prepared Gospel Choir, Senior Vocal Ensemble, Prep Choir (primary) and the St Georgian Community Choir (Parent/Staff Choir) to sing on the evening. There were also student soloists and invited past students and from the St George's North campus.
It was an hour and a half concert and it was a huge success!! It was the first time in 30 years that a production like this has happened- so I was told.
Gospel Choir at the 'Big Sing'
Parents were beaming as their children sang and the talent and quality of singing was fantastic!! The kids shone! And I had the best seat in the whole house- standing right in front of each choir conducting them and singing all the words and pulling faces at the little ones so they wouldn't forget to smile as they sung!
I can't forget the little 9 year old boy who was looking at me and concentrating so hard when he was singing that I poked my tongue out at him while conducting to make him smile, and to my surprise his eyes went big and then he poked his tongue out back at me.. the cheeky monkey... you see the audience can't see me because my back is to them while conducting, so I pull all sorts of crazy faces... but they can definitely see the faces of the students... cracked me up and surprised me straight back! haha

Overall such a joy! I'm so proud of all of them. They were incredible and it was a very magical and special moment to pull it altogether with the Creative Arts team here at school! Massive effort but an even bigger reward!

Now it's the weekend and the sun is shining after a week of rain! Time to dabble in a bit more sleep and some relaxation and prep for all that is ahead!

ooo, we are thinking of road tripping in a hire car that has a double bed in the back for a week after the USA also! Time to discover the country we have landed in! I will keep you updated on what we decided.
Holidays... they are fast approaching woooohooo

amor y besos,

Monday, June 20, 2011

part..okay so I can't write for 7 days straight..

Well I didn't exactly follow my 7 day blogging plan... but I do intend to keep up a much more consistent blog!

Latest news. We have new friends in Quilmes. A young couple who is linked with other really beautiful people. Aye (pronounced 'ar-sh-eh') is a dancer who loves singing and camping and is so lovely! and Lucas is a brilliant drummer in a band called 'The Dagg' (check out on facebook). He is full of personality and loves music and futbal and music philosophy.

We spontaneously went to see his band play last night at 11:30pm at the bar called the 'essenhaus' which was on the other side of the Quilmes Train tracks. So we had some local mexican food (the only mexican restaurant in Quilmes- it was nice and cosy atmosphere) and then walked ourselves to our favourite ice creamery 'Via Cosenza'- and because I RAVE about the ice cream to everyone and we go on their quite a bit and rave about it to the owners- they gifted us with a free ice cream!! score! haha
We then got a remis (a private taxi- they don't have taxi's in Quilmes, they are called remis') and headed over to this bar.

It was a dark small venue and it was packed! we found stools near the bar and then Aye met us and we went and sat with her, watching Lucas' funk, rock, jazz fusion band pump out their own tunes- full of Lucas' crazy fun personality and some very accurate, tight musicians playing together. Pablo, Ary and Lucas have known each other since they were two- their music reflects this- was cool too see/hear!
We also met some other of their Music friends. They were so lovely and our spanglish spanish was getting a good work out!
And onward the night went with a walk over to the Irish pub 'Yappies' where I got to speak with Aye over a drink (aqua con gas was my only option- mineral water) and I'm gonna go to her dance class with her. She is so passionate about this dance class- it sounds great!!
We then went 'walking' around Quilmes- by this time it was about 4am and their were lots of young couples and groups of people out and about walking from one pub/club venue to the next.
And we brought them back to our place- the 6 of us together came back here for Chocolates Calientes (hot chocolates). We also gave them a taste of vegemite on toast and they dug it!! Argentinean's have a palate for vegemite- who would have known? I'm gonna have to bring a couple of jars back over here now at the end of the year...
or maybe Chris and I could start our Argentinean version of the stuff and make lots of money?

There is also a lack of 'dips' here in Argentina. All they have is cream cheese.. 4 flavours of course.. original cream cheese, cream cheese and ham, cream cheese roquefort, cream cheese and herbs.... they suck.. not a fan.. the plain one is alright. haha...
but no hummus, no pesto, no sundried tomato or spinach dip.. no gaucamole... not like our supermarket shelves in Australia...
So.. Chris and I think we should make our Argentinean chain called 'Chris n Mika's Dip Co.' hahahaha..
what do you think?
On our 10th floor Balcony- Vista de Quilmes

Wow this blog is going in many different places....

We also made meat pies today. MEAT PIES!
Why is it that you come to a new country with a new culture and you try and bring out your own cultural habits and we praise ourselves for it... what is that?!
Well I love Argentina!
It is so nice to be making new friends. So nice to be feeling more like we have a home here. So cool to have spoken spanish (with many errors) all night long. And so nice to sleep in till 2pm today! hah

This is me checking out- will probably write again in a week.
Chris is off to play indoor futbal with Lucas at 10pm tonight in Quilmes.

Ciao para ahora chicos
Besos y abrazos,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Part 3 - A story of true Argentine football passion: Palermo's retirement.

Well, on Sunday night, Martin Palermo, scorer of 238 goals for Boca Juniors, finally retired after a highly celebrated career. He retired in front of his fans at La Bombanera and I stayed up to watch the celebrations on TV.

He had a good game, should have scored once or twice, but Boca eventually finished with a pleasing 1-1 draw with rivals Banfield. Palermo wore his number 9 jersey, complete with Gold lettering of his name and number on his back and his team mates did everything they could to lay on one final goal for him, but it just didn't happen.

At the end of the game, the scenes were incredible. There were videos on the big screen with tributes from his family, ex-coaches and friends, he received a hand made 'Super-Palermo' cape from his local charity, he gave speeches, he cried, the crowd cried and chanted so loud and after all of that two fork-lifts removed one of the goals and they were presented to him with a gold plaque with 'Martin Palermo - No.9' etched into the crossbar. Maradona was there too and he was loving it.

Today at school, I bumped into Hernan (my friend who runs the sound at La Bombanera) and I asked him how the game was on Sunday night between Boca and Banfield. He just beamed and (totally speechless) he removed a plastic wrapped item from his bag. Sure was the microphone that Palermo held the whole time during the celebrations. Hernan swore he would never use it again for anyone and was so proud of it! It was absolutely awesome. I held Palermo's (plastic wrapped) microphone proudly and gave Hernan a big Argentinean hug/kiss and the experience was complete.

Here is a clip to help explain things a little more (the harmonica solo is the Argentinean national anthem...great vibe on the harp):

Chris :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Part 2-Sunday is soup day

Chris and I have found a way to access the Australian Masterchef series for 2011. It is some tricky way of writing it on, We can't watch it via the masterchef website because our computers are detected as being in Argentina (which they are..) so we have found a back ally version that is awesome! We are now up to episode 28... we have had no advertising to bother us and it is a great way to blob out and not think of anything, and still be in touch with something from home. it's good.

My Sunday's are great! I have got a little routine sort of worked out. Here is how it goes. I sleep in till about 9-10am. Chris leaves for football at St George's with the Odd Socks (a team made up of teachers, staff and locals- who come together every sunday morning wearing odd paired up soccer socks to verse another local team). Chris has usually come back with some sort of ding or injury. Today was all good thank goodness. A bit of a hit to his thigh.. but he is okay. His ankle has taken a beating this year though.. some deep bruising or scar tissue or something has been giving him some problems. He has been strapping it up..
okay, back to my Sunday. So I get up and have the place to myself. I tidy up a bit, light up some incense, put on some music to suit my mood and veg on facebook over a cup of tea and some medialunas (mini croissants). I put a load of washing on, open up windows and let them freshness of a clean space and some solo time fill me up. I then put on jeans and a jumper and my thongs (just for other internationals..these are flip flops I'm talking about okay). grab my 'green bags' (so I don't have to use plastic bags at the shops) and go to get the necessary weekly groceries like milk and cereal and bread and fruit...aaannndd.. Ingredients for Mikaela's creative new soup!

I get back, unload the shopping- which all up has cost me about $20AUD for 4 bags full of fruit and veg + all the milk, breads, canned produce, yougurts, nuts, ham, cheese etc... which would in Australia come to approx. $50AUD. I love our local stores!
I hang out the washing and then get onto some serious soup making time.
My Minestrone

Last time it was chicken noodle soup, today was minestrone soup! and it actually worked! I kinda went on the fly and thought about what would work.. and it did! Filled with awesome vegies and beans and tomatoey goodness! Very healthy and delicious!! haha... it will give us dinner for the next couple of nights.. okay, I am aware this isn't a food blog- so I am shutting up now.
Today was also full of watching Master chef on the sofa with Chris and cracking open our last packet of double coat chocolate tim tams... Mum brought over 3 of these packets (our favorite) from Australia.. and now the last one is just about all gone... Peggy came down for this ceremony and we now have 3 left... probably to be eaten after the soup!

So not all my Argentine experiences are about food... I can admit that I haven't done any serious exercise for the last 2 months... Chris and I can feel how unfit we are and hate it. We are starting back up again hitting the spin class (it's gonna kill me) tomorrow evening. May was absolutely spastic in terms of work load and everything else that went around it and April was a wipe out, I was so sick- I actually took sick days off school because my head was so stuffed with snot and throat was dying. Have I told you that I went to the throat specialist and they put a camera down my throat and I got to see my vocal chords!! Well they are in good health which is good to know- I thought with all this overload on singing and shouting and speaking all the time they were going to kark it.. but they are fine! hoorah!

Back into exercise and healthy soup and all things fine! We are in the process of thinking of what to do after our USA Gospel Tour with the school. That's right- in 3 weeks, Chris and I head off with 2 other cool teachers and 46 students to Boston, New York and Washington! yippeeee!! 10 days of singing, musicals, theatre, Central Park, Boston breakfasts (Simon says they are outrageously good- I can't wait), American Pizza (oh mama!), and the mighty M&M shop, which my sister has made me promise I must go to for her in New York. And the best part- it will be stinking hot summer!!! woooo!! Can't wait for the heat and out of this crispy cold!

I thought I would finish part 2 with some pictures of our little home. We have been nesting and just love this space. It get's pretty trashed during the week with work close over any sort of chair we can find, mid-week washing in the middle of the lounge room, socks popping up all over the floor, books, papers, marking and dust. Saturday morning has become a bit of a spring clean day and we just have been loving enjoying this clean space over the weekend.
I have decided that we are going to repaint our bedroom. It is green. I feel like I am in a formula 1 hotel when I walk into it. It is green. Did I mention that it is green. and not a light gentle pastel green. no, green.
Living room
Well, not much mentioned about adventures in May... Really just a whole lot of talking about myself sorry- but what else are blogs for.

love love chicos

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Part 1- Time to wipe the dust off the blog

This is the Part 1 of my 7 day (mas o menos) clean the dust off this blog! Thanks to a gorgeous email from my sister Zo, she made me realise that I'm getting lazy (or just hectic busy) and not sharing what the heck is going on over here! haha

So here we go- a 7 day trial to download to the world what has been going on in the past month!
Some key words I would use to express our Argy adventures would be:
Parents, Chris, love, joy, blessings, food, waterfalls, butterflys, God, music, sofa bed, stress, sickness, musical, teaching, teaching, reports, teaching, choir, singing, savings, working, winter, new shoes, relaxing, leg wax, spanish, sleep, lack of exercise, sleep, cable TV, masterchef Australia, youtube, food..

okay I'm repeating things now.. haha and there was no order to that list, just words that plopped into my head from thinking about May.

Mother and Father come to visit their daughter who packed up her life with her amazing/gorgeous/incredible husband to start a new life of love, language and learning in a far far away country called Argentina. And the result- I think mum and dad are at peace now knowing their little one is doing okay and is safe and living life fully.

It was so so great to have mum and dad be here!! They spent a month with us and I can't believe how fast it went! They stayed in Palermo Soho (Buenos Aires Capital) for 3 nights and then headed to Iguazu with Chris and I for 3 nights (it was the absolute best!!) and then stayed with us a week and got to see our School Musical Production- Oliver. They slept in our bedroom and we got the sofa bed- which is new cause we bought it new two months ago and its great!! if ever you stay on our sofa bed, know that you will sleep good! cause Chris and I slept great!! very happy with our buy.
Mum and dad then set off on the 'buque bus' which is the super fast and decked out ferry over to Colonia, Uruguay. The they came back and stayed with us for a few more days and flew to Chile- Easter Island- for a week and then back with us for a few more nights before heading home to Aus. I think they loved Argentina- the best for us was just being with them, showing them our favourite places to eat in Quilmes- where my favourite ice shop (heladeria) is! by the way it is called 'Via Cosenza' and has the best damn icecream in the world!! oh man... my year 7 students even know that its my favourite ice cream! haha

Get this- I gave some boys in my year 7 music class (12 year olds) a random quiz while the rest of the class were finishing their work and asked questions like- how many beats is a crotchet plus two semibreves? etc... and I asked- what is my favourite food in Argentina? and they wrote "Helados chocolate" (chocolate icecream) baaahahahaaa... even my kiddies know I am in love with the chocolate icecream here.... how sad am I?!! just food crazy.. hahaha

Right now, I am lying on my chocolate looking couch, listening to Bon Iver's album, incense wafting whirling around me in the afternoon sunshine. I took a photo cause I just feel so full and happy and relaxed and peaceful, which has been a bit of a rarity over the past month with everything that has been going on. First time I feel like I have just stopped. So I'm gonna mark the moment with a blog update and a photo and a cup of tea.

okay, so this is Part 1- to be continued- so many photos and adventures to share!

All my love and God bless,