Tuesday, October 2, 2012

F.A.Qs (Forthwith Acquired Quirks), part 1!

It occurred to me that not everyone might know what I'm doing in Argentina ("Wait, you're in Argentina?", yes, I am currently in Argentina, so I decided to take a moment or two to answer some of your Fractured Academic Quakes. I also decided that if you have an (appropriate) question that you would like me to answer (because I am sure there is a lot that I forgot to answer), send it to makesrogers@gmail.com and I'll answer it in Fraternal Amateur Quotations, part, 2 ( the part 1 makes a little more sense now, right?).

1. Kevin, what does the name of your blog mean?

The name of my blog translates more or less to "Peso for Your Thoughts." I could have used "Centavo para Tus Pensamientos" because it's more like the English idiom "penny for your thoughts," but I picked Peso because let's be honest, who doesn't love a good alliteration?
2. Where are you?

Right now, I am living in Oberá, a city of about 80,000 people in the middle of the province of Misiones, Argentina. Oberá is about 12-14 hours north of Buenos Aires by bus and is about an hour or two drive west of Brazil and east of Paraguay. I live by myself in a one room apartment (plus bathroom) on the third floor of an apartment building about 3 blocks from downtown Oberá. You can check out pictures of my apartment and my adventures in Oberá so far on my Facebook.

2. Why are you in Argentina?

I am in Argentina because I am part of a program called Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM), a one year service opportunity offered to young adults ages 19-29 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the ELCA Global Missions (GM). YAGM has nine placement countries around the world (including the Mexico, Argentina/Uruguay, the United Kingdom, Hungary, South Africa, Madagascar, Jerusalem, and Malaysia) with around 60 young adults currently serving at these sites. I applied to Argentina because I really like Latin American culture (could also be read as "soccer") and trying to speak what Spanish I know.

3. Sweet, can I apply to YAGM?

If you are between 19 and 29 years old, I would definitely recommend applying to the 2013-2014 YAGM program. At the very least, you should check out their Awesome Website to see what they're all about! But, even if you aren't 19-29, the ELCA still offers amazing service opportunities for you, too (ranging from 2 months to 4 years)! Check out their Awesome Website, too!

4. What are you doing in Argentina?

Bear stuff, next question.

5. No, seriously, what are you doing?

A lot of my time so far has been devoted to translation of documents for the church that I work with in Oberá (including a Bible school material called "My Bible Fun Pad" and a document called "Homosexuality and the Bible"), but I also have participated in Bible studies, prayer groups, communion and confirmation classes, tagged along to pastoral visits with Mariela (one of the pastors in Oberá and an awesome lady), attended Bible and Sunday School workshops, worked with Bible school groups, and gave a presentation about my life, the ELCA, and YAGM to my congregation.

6. Homosexuality and the Bible? How is that going?

Pretty well, I guess, it does get kind of awkward sometimes. For example, this one day, Malena (my site coordinator) and I were sitting in the Office working on different projects. I came to a part in the text where the author of "Homosexuality and the Bible" used the phrase "attempted gang rape" (in reference to the Sodom and Gomorrah story in Genesis 19). Seeing how "attempted gang rape" is not a Spanish phrase that I use on a daily basis (or ever, really), I looked up and without even giving context for the questions, I asked Malena how to say it in Castellano. She looked at me weird and I realized that I didn't tell her why I was asking her to translate that for me, so I quickly added something about it being in the text I was translating and proceeded to show the text to her. Lesson learned, always include context, especially if you are talking about "attempted gang rape."

7. So, how do you say "attempted gang rape" in Spanish?

Intento de violación en grupo.

8. Wait, I though they spoke Spanish in Argentina, what is Castellano?

Spanish is spoken in Argentina, although the dialect that they use is called Castellano. The main differences between this and the Mexican dialect and other Spanish dialects (according to me, anyway) is the use of the voseo and pronunciation of certain letters (ll and z for example). In Castellano, instead of saying "tú quieres" (you want), you would instead use the voseo and say "vos querés." It means the same thing, just a different way of saying it. The voseo is really only different in the present tense. In other tenses, Mexican and Castellano conjugations are the same (tú/vos quisiste, you wanted). The dialects also vary a little bit in word choice. For example, Argentina use "acá" to mean "here" instead of "aquí" and "choclo" for canned corn instead of "maíz."

9. Kevin, I miss you.

That's not really a question, but I miss you too, blog reader.

10. How is the food in Argentina?

I really like the here, although it is more European in form and flavor (pasta, potatoes, etc.) than you would think. They don't really have tacos or tamales (what could be considered Mexican food) or even what I would consider to be spicy food. They do have really good empanadas, though, and I really like asados and the ice cream. Asados are kind of like Argentine barbeques, meaning a lot of good meat (beef, chicken, pork) and the ice cream is a lot like gelatto. It has a lot more cream than ice cream in the United States and is addicting (thanks a lot, Jonathan Hamner). One food that I could eat every day without fail is chipas, a delicious bread roll thing made out of yuca flour and cheese. Hands down, my favorite chipas come for a gas station called Esso.

11. How is the weather?

The weather has been pretty good so far. When I first arrived here in Argentina, it was cold because it was winter here, but then when I arrived in Oberá, it was a lot warmer. Spring started around September 21 and so far, there has been a lot of rain, but there's been  lot of sunshine, too. The rain has made it difficult to hand wash and clothesline dry my clothes, but I've managed so far.

12. If you could fight one person from history, who would it be? Why?

That's a great question. I would have to say that I would either fight Abraham Lincoln, because he was a renowned fighter and had a pretty wicked reach, or Teddy Roosevelt, because he was a martial arts master, was known to kick butt on a daily basis, and bare knuckle boxed bears (I may have made that last one up, but let's be honest, it probably happened).

My (Auto?) Bio: A Little About Me!

Name: Kevin Rogers
Hometown: Rochelle, IL, USA
Current City: Oberá, Misiones, Argentina
Current Address: Santa Fe 396, Esq. L. N. Alem, Oberá, Misiones, Argentina C.P 3360
Parents: Al and Sharon Rogers
Siblings: Matt and Emily
Pets: Tigger, Peekaboo, Doby, Cali, and of course, Maddie
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Psychology (Augustana College, Rock Island, IL)
Current Position: Volunteer (YAGM: Young Adults in Global Mission)
Home Congregation: Light of Christ Lutheran Church (Alognquin, IL)
Current Congregation: Olaus Petri (Oberá, Misiones) and Dios Es Amor (San Martin,       Misiones)
Ideal Vacation: Long Beach Island, NJ, with family and friends.
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Peanut Butter Cup Perfection (Cold Stone) Dulce de Leche (Duomo)
Favorite Radio Station: KLOVE

This Is Where it Starts!

So apparently I am really bad at blogs (which, I'm pretty sure is possible). I have had a blog for about a month, and I haven't uploaded anything until today. Some of you might be saying, "well, you've been really busy," "you haven't had a lot of internet access," or "you really just hate all of us." To be honest, I have been busy but I've also had a decent amount of free time, I have free internet access at the office where I work, and I don't hate all of you (just kidding, I think). But I do want to say from the bottom of my heart to all my family, friends, sponsors, and people who generally like me that I am sorry for not doing a better job of letting everyone know what I have been up to here in Argentina. I am going to try to do better in the future at uploading things for you to enjoy. But for now, welcome to my blog, thanks for reading, and have a great Autumn!