Visiting Ushuaia

It was the 11th of December that I boarded the bus heading to Rio Gallegos, the last city on mainland Argentina. My bus trip was about to take 16 hours before I got there, so there was plenty of time to think.

The entire trip to Ushuaia was something almost instantaneous. Although I had been trying to get down here for the last three months, it was only after a chat on the 10th with my YWAM base director, Jorge Rios, that this trip came about. So everything happened extra quickly, and by the end of the day I had purchased my tickets needed to get me to Ushuaia.

Ushuaia over the Beagle Chanel

Ushuaia as seen from the plane while coming in to land.

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Flash Visit to Buenos Aires

For two days I visited Buenos Aires. The reason? To retrieve my permanent residency that I have been waiting almost 6 months for. The result? They told me it was not ready yet and I needed to come back in another two months. So after travelling the 18 hours to get to Buenos Aires, I spent a night there and returned the next day.

Bus travel

After the jump there are some photos from my visit…

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Swine Flu in Argentina

It seems that the whole world is buzzing with the phrase, “Swine Flu,” and for good reason. A rather potent flu virus that emerged out of Mexico seems to be reaching to every corner of the world. Here in Argentina the first cases arrived in Buenos Aires and since then they have been unstoppable. In my town of Puerto Madryn it arrived through a doctor who had returned from a journey to Mexico.

Puerto Madryn city

The main street of Puerto Madryn.

Each town and city has a similar story. One person came back and did not know they had it, and before it could be contained, more people had contracted it. Until it was too prolific to be controlled. As this flu continues to sweep through most (if not all) the towns in Argentina, some cities are realising that they need to take drastic measures to try and contain it.

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Travels and More Travels

This year has been an unsettled year, with one journey following another. Since the beginning of this year the time I have spent in my home base between travels has been less than 8 weeks, and it does not look like slowing down for the rest of the year.

Mobile Hands in Buenos Aires
What have all of these travels been about? Each one seems to have a different reason and focus. Ushuaia was to renew my visa and get in touch with Rix, the man in charge of raising up the new YWAM base down there. Now in a few days I will be heading to Buenos Aires once again to help build some walls and fit some doors for the YWAM Counselling ministry in preparation for their soon-to-start school. This is a part of the (unofficial) Mobile Hands ministry.

Wedding in El Salvador
Upon returning from Buenos Aires I will have two weeks in the base before heading to Chile to take a flight through to El Salvador. Two very good friends that work in our YWAM base in Puerto Madryn are getting married; Paul is from Peru, and Maricruz is from El Salvador. It was one of my desires to be able to be present during their wedding, as Paul is probably my best friend on the base, and I am very excited to be able to be there, made possible only because I had accumulated sufficient air-points from my travels before reaching Argentina in 2004.

Miami, The States, and Computers
An unexpected bonus from this flight is a 3 day stopover in Miami. It has been almost two years now since I felt God ask me to give my laptop computer away. During these two years the work that I have been doing on computers has actually increased until during this year alone I have built over 8 websites for different YWAM bases and ministries here in Argentina. Working without a computer has been difficult, often involving using anything available at the time with a portable USB drive that has all of the programs I use installed on it, and paying for time on internet and computers where a local computer is not available. The prices of computers in the USA are much lower than South America, so my stopover will allow me to once again get another laptop.

Meeting Friends in Chile
Returning to Chile at the beginning of October after the wedding in El Salvador, I will be catching up with someone I met in China who happens to be flying in to Santiago on the same day, before heading back to Puerto Madryn for my longest stay this year. If no other travels arise during this time I am looking forward to enjoying almost two full months back in Puerto Madryn.

Land by the Beach (well, 5kms near)
This extended time will actually be very useful too. Some other amazing news is that I have just placed a deposit down on a 1 hectare (100m x 104m) block of land just outside the city of Puerto Madryn. This is something that seems almost too much to believe, and if you had asked me only one month ago if I thought it was possible that I would be the owner of some land here in Argentina I would have simply laughed and walked away. Of course, there are still ongoing monthly payments before I actually own the land outright, but there it is in my name. An amazing event that still has me reeling.

So the two months that I hope to spend back in Madryn will be helpful to begin the process of clearing, fencing, and starting to build on this new land. Naturally all of this takes money, and right now I have no idea where this will come from but the one thing that I do know is that what only a month ago seemed impossible is now a reality today. One of the most exciting things about this for me is that I have always wanted to be able to bring people that I have found on the streets home to offer them a place to stay while they need it. Having my own land and home will give me this opportunity, and I am very excited about it too.

Visiting Australia
Finally, for those of you living in Australia and nearby, I am heading back there early December and will be in that area of the world for three months, traveling a little to visit you guys.

And thus ends a year full of travels.
Regards, Rob.

Earlier Travels
PS: The travels during the early part of the year?

Well, there was 2 months in Peru with the project, “With Peru in the Heart” where we were working with different churches all over the two northern cities of Chiclayo and Trujillo.

Then 3 months were spent in Bariloche helping to translate for their first Discipleship Training School and build and improve the house where they were living. During this time was also one week in Buenos Aires building mezzanine floors for the YWAM Counselling ministry.

Then the two weeks down in Ushuaia.