Old Blog Posts

Romanians Bearing Gifts, & El Kwik-E-Mart

Posted by on Dec 3, 2010 in Old Blog Posts | 1 comment

So last week my first visitor of this “Tour of Duty” in Argentina came to visit me. Along with his pleasant person, my dear friend Max, also brought along with him a large cache of goods for me. I had asked that he bring me my SLR Camera, (Not Pictured) along with a bottle of Scotch from the duty free and my favorite pair of boots.

To my surprise, he showed up with far more than I asked for. Turns out that when packing he decided he needed more stuff in his bags so that he would not have things bouncing around in their during the flight and during the excellent handling that airport staff are always known for, so he thought to bring a few more things for me. As you can see in this picture, it lead to quite a large amount of goods being brought for little ol’ me.

I will be posting some separate posts about our adventures over his 12 day stay here in BA, over the next week. Stay turned for interesting stories and pictures from La Boca, Colonia, Uruguay, and more…

Large Johnny Walker (Red), 15 year Glenlivet, 7 boxes of gum (63 packs in all), 6 jars of peanut butter, 30 bags of trail mix, one large jar of mixed nuts, about 5 pounds of chocolate covered almonds, and 9 cans of peaches (I dont know where the idea for this came from). Not Shown: One box of frosted miniwheats, one SLR Camera, 3 Lenses, and other assorted accessories, One pair of very LARGE Boots, and 3 rolls of toilet paper (I guess his mom thought I didn’t have any here…

This is the little shelf by the door I call El Kwik-E-Mart . Gum, Trail Mix,
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or Water  anyone? Thank you, come again!

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Dominick Learning Spanish Part I – How My Study Time Quadrupled In One Night

Posted by on Nov 17, 2010 in Old Blog Posts | 5 comments

Hello everybody,

So this is the first, in what I hope will be an interesting series here on my blog. While not my main reason for being here, one of my many objectives is to learn Spanish. As any of you who have learned another language know, this is a long and arduous journey. Full of many ups and downs, skirmishes and battles, victories and defeats. But above all else, deeply satisfying, and humorous to look back on. Therefore i hope you enjoy this series…

I dedicate this particular chapter to Amanda Wozny. For all of those times you told me how it takes you 3 hours to study your Watchtower, and then I made fun of you…and tried to get you do to it faster so you could come to soccer…

Part I – How My Study Time Quadrupled In One Night

So a few days ago I decided that despite believing that I was trying hard to learn Spanish while living here, I wasnt making enough progress. So I decided to up my game one step at a time and see how it goes.

When i first came here, I was so overloaded with things, that to save space i left out whatever I thought I would be able to get here. In my mind it all seemed so right…” Its an English hall, they will have all of the books in English there for me. So I dont need to bring my “Follower” book, I will just get one there”. Now this completely ignores everything I had previously experienced here with regard to procuring literature. So needless to say, for the last 2 months, I have been using someone else’s English book, while they used their Spanish one. (Thanks Abby)

Since I was so sick and tired of waiting for new books to get shipped to us (From Brazil), I decided to go and get a book in Spanish, and that from now on, I was going to study for the Congregation Bible Study in Spanish. I figured this would give me the chance to learn some new words, and force me to spend time each day studying.

So tonight was my first night of studying in Spanish. And to be honest I really thought it was going to go a lot faster than it did. I seem to remember that when I had a Spanish Watchtower back home that i understood a lot of it. And so it goes, that I do understand a good deal of written Spanish. But that doesnt mean that I understand all of it.

My first delay came almost right away, when after about 10 min of frustratingly trying to find the LL section in the only Spanish dictionary I have in my apartment, I became so upset that I threw the stupid book across the room, and resolved to try this another night. Only once it hit the floor and closed, did i notice that this “Stupid” dictionary that was lacking a whole letter, was a English to Portuguese dictionary (Left over from my trip to Brazil).

After resigning to myself that “at least no one saw that” I got my computer and started using an online dictionary (funny how wrong that thought was, it took almost no time at all for me to start writing this post). Now here comes the part that was quite humbling. I managed to get through only 6 paragraphs,  in about 2 hours and 15 min! So now feeling a lot less sure of myself, but strangely enough, feeling more confidant that I can learn this language, I decided that it was best to call it a night.

It is amazing how when you have to study in another language, it makes you understand the material so much better. Because it forces you to focus harder, and take your time covering the material. Now I am not saying that from now on all I am going to do is study in Spanish, but I think I learned my lesson. And have gained a valuable determination to redouble my efforts to learn this language.

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Proof That Our English Group Works

Posted by on Nov 9, 2010 in Old Blog Posts | 6 comments

It seems like the last few posts I have done, have been lacking in Spiritual content. As that is the main reason I am here, I figured that it was about time to have a nice spiritual update from Argentina.

This last weekend we had our Circuit assembly here in Buenos Aires Circuit 1A. Here is the breakdown…

Pioneer Meeting = Lots of Funny Spanish Words & Cake!

So this friday began the weekend, with the meeting for regular pioneers. A great experience as always to get this special meeting with the Circuit and District overseer. We had exactly 100 pioneers at the meeting. Here are a few pictures and videos to show you what the hall was like.

Translation: Stay off the Lord’s Grass!
Reality: Not so much grass…
Why dont we get Cake at our pioneer meetings in IL 15?

My notes from the Pioneer meeting. For those of you who speak Spanish you will find this funny….
Once i lost a speaker, I would start working on this list…

I Will Never Think Its A Hassle To Go To Romoville again…
Saturday & Sunday both started at 5:50 AM for me. 5:50 AM! You might be wondering (If your not wondering about the stupid happenings of my life, then perhaps you are on the wrong blog!) why I got up so early just to get to something that starts at 9:30. Well the answer lies in just what it takes to get to the assembly here. 

“El Jefe” brother Daniel giving a talk, along with Seba & Lionel doing a demo. 
The assembly hall is far outside of the city here, in a place called Cañuelas which is in the province about 1 and a half hours bus ride from Downtown. For most of us in the city here, public transportation is the only way we have of getting around, since we don’t have cars (An American from the Suburbs without a car…I know right). Normally this is not a problem with all of the countless buses and the subway. However since the assembly hall is in the middle of nowhere, (Think DeKalb but by bus from the city) there is no public transportation to get there. The solution to this is that the various congregations charter buses for use by the brothers to get there. Our bus left at 7:00 am about 15 blocks from my house. The bus is unforgiving about leaving without people (The one instance in this country where being on time matters). Therefore, to be on time, I needed to leave my place at 6:40, add to that getting dressed, and making pasta salad for 15 people (We all pack things to share with everyone in the group) you arrive at me waking up at 5:50 just to get there by 8:45. 

Daniel Giving His Talk – This was one of only a few talks, where I understood almost everything he said. Thank you Daniel.

Best lines that came to mind:

1. Bigger people need…smaller amounts of juice?
2. It take a real woman to take down a whole liter of Orange Juice by herself.
3. This

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size is the biggest I could afford 🙁

The Assembly itself as is always the case was a delight. Even though my Spanish skills still leave something to be desired, it is always nice to be a such a large gathering of Brother and Sisters. Once again, the brothers for some reasons had enough faith in me, to make me an Acomodador (Attendant) along with the rest of the brothers from the group. Our job was basically to watch the two doors of the offices of the Superintendente (Circuit Overseer) and el presidente de la asamblea (Assembly Overseer) who happens to be our own brother Daniel (aka El Jefe “The Chief”). We joked all assembly that our only job was to take a bullet for Daniel should someone try to assassinate him…we never could think of any reason why someone would want to kill him though…

Go Ben Go!

But without a doubt, the highlight of the assembly came on Saturday, when our newest brother Bernard (Ben) got baptized. A native African, he is the first bible study to get baptized in the English group. Almost 6 years (I think) of being a group and now we have our first real success from the field. He even got a special nod during the “Needs of the Circuit” part when the circuit overseer speaking about the great growth in the foreign language fields,  mentioned him being the first African (and therefore Native English speaker) to get baptized, eliciting a loud applause from the entire 1,100 in attendance. After we congratulated him, the way Jehovah’s Organization does, we patted him on the back, said “Great Job” and then sent him off to work watching the doors for us while we all ate lunch. Once you dipped, its straight to work! Just the way it should be.

In between diving in front of gunman’s bullets for Daniel, and trying to figure out what was being said on stage, we all enjoyed our time together. Lunch outside tailgating with a few of the people who have cars, and then sleeping on the bus ride home. As always a day in Jehovah’s house is better than 1000 spent elsewhere. I hope you enjoyed hearing about our good times here. 
Tailgating for lunch at the assembly
Why can’t we do this in the States again?
Gilda, Abby, & Suzanne – Que Linda! 
I think this guy had it figured all out…He was the only one with the guts to do what we all wanted to do
Bret & Ryan jiving about life…
1. Thats some good Mate!
2. Taking a hit off the Mate during lunch.
3. Nothing like passing “The Herbs” around at the assembly
1. Its just so hard sometimes
2. At least he was awake during his part on stage earlier.
Me and Jess
Ryan & Jess
I swear she is a happy person despite what this picture seems to convey. 

My turn with “The Herbs”
*Mate: the green stuff in the cup is called Yerba or Herbs hence the joke…

Interesting facts about the Assembly:

Apparently Argentina is ahead of the IL when it comes to getting spiritual programs. This weekend was the brand new Assembly, “No Part Of The World”. This is the first staging of it in the whole country, and among the first in the world, as this is the assembly for the 2010-2011 service year (If i am correct the one back home should be sometime around March or April).

What am I doing here?

This was only Half of the circuit, part A. The rest of the circuit, part B is made up of around 7 Quechua language (The indigenous language of the Mayan peoples from Peru, Bolivia, etc…) congregations.

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Dead Presidents

Posted by on Nov 5, 2010 in Old Blog Posts | 1 comment

Have you ever wondered what its like living in a nation’s capital when a national icon dies? Well I found out last week when the former president of Argentina, and current First Gentleman (husband of current President Cristina Kirchner) Nestor Kirchner, died suddenly of a heart attack at age 60.

It is simply amazing how fast people will change their opinions of a man, after he dies. While not being George Bush, this man had plenty of people who did not like him. And his current wife, in her role as president has an even larger set of detractors than he did. However these two are kind of viewed as a package deal. He was her main adviser, and they were planning to switch back and forth as president each election. With him slated to run again next year.

Either way those plans now are not possible. In the week since he died, the country has pulled together to mourn him. Within hours, the Peronista machine (Followers of Peron…Evita’s Husband) has already placed posters glorifying the dead president all of the city. Political graffiti baring his name appeared almost instantly across the entire city. As you can see from these pictures and the video, people gathered in large numbers for the chance to see the president laying in state at the Casa Rosada the presidential palace in the heart of the city, despite the rain and cold weather.

Its a shame that i didn’t take out my camera when i first walked through this plaza early in the morning when it was filled. I managed to take a few shots later after i had finished with service. Enjoy the pics, and watch the videos.

A woman crying her eyes out as she watched the video monitors set up in the plaza showing the people as they walked by the casket, and the president and her family.

This is the kind of graffiti that showed up over night across the entire city

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Me As a Dirty Hippie…

Posted by on Oct 27, 2010 in Old Blog Posts | 1 comment

So who thinks I look like i belong on that 70s show with this look?

So anyone who knows me (I hope most of you reading this know who i am) knows that me and my hair form a partnership in all that i do in life. It has always been my feeling, that i needed to have as much hair as i could now, since we all can see what happens to DalSanto men and their hair (The Uncle Tim branch of the family excluded). 

When was the last time you realized that you needed a hair cut? Well after you look at these pictures you will realize that I should have realized that I needed one a while ago. And to an extent you are right. However in my defense, I can say that this is not how it looked everyday.  In these pictures, you see me after a hot, humid day, and after having washed up for the night, the hair got a little bit feathered in the process. Also in all honestly i have been trying to get over to my barber here for a few weeks but have been unable to do so. And finally, you have to remember one thing about me, that sometimes i can just be downright lazy. I know something i am working on, and that needs to be corrected.

Anyways I hope you enjoy these pics…as much as everyone else here did.

I have been told i have beautiful nostrils…As you can see clearly hear.

  1. The face of someone who has just lost a part of his soul..
  2. Does anyone else think i look like a giraffe when i get my hair cut short?
  3. Or going back even farther, Does Beeker from the Muppets come to mind when you see this?
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What Dreams "Of Adventures" May Come…

Posted by on Oct 27, 2010 in Old Blog Posts | 1 comment

(And yes I know that I just made up a word…Shakespeare did it all the time…)
Quick Note: This post is a bit on the deeper/meditative/hippie thinking about my feelings side. Be prepared…
I recently have been doing research into ways to start making a living off of my traveling (I say traveling, but I really don’t leave BA all THAT much). While my day job as Webmaster, Environmental Expert, Author, Content Manager, Marketing Director, Sales Associate, etc… at QFilter.com is getting me by just fine, I like to plan for the worst. And the worst case for me would be having to find another job. So that being said, i am trying to find a way to do something I really enjoy like writing (In case you didn’t notice) and find a way to support myself doing it. Not that I am really the type who believes in all of that “Do what makes you happy” for work thing, (I personally believe that work should be the means to the end, I work to live, not the other way around), but in this case it fits my needs just fine.
My on going research has lead me so far to several interesting organizations of facts, feelings, and convictions in my mind, that while perhaps always having been present somewhere inside of me, now have found a proper place, put in proper order, and made to be readily understood by all (including me).
So be ready to begin reading about my new found Epiphanies as i have them during this search, and new facet of my identity.
OK so I was starting to sound like quite the hippie there for a min, so lets get back to reality for a while shall we…
So as i was saying, I have been doing a lot of investigating work lately about travel writing, and photography. Along the way i found this amazing site http://matadornetwork.com that has dozens of different bloggers and travel writers from all over that contribute to it. This article in particular i found to be simply amazing.
It is an interview with this woman who has spent years sailing up and down the west coast of America (North and South are really just one big continent you know) alone in her boat. Stopping here and there, and doing it all alone. I for one could go on for hours about how fascinating i found this woman’s adventures to be. What it must be like to have to spend almost all you day just gathering the needed supplies for life, to experience life on the open sea…all alone, and to see and experience such a wide panorama of this amazing part of our Earth and its people, as she has.
WARNING: MASSIVE Hippie Content to follow, me talking about my feelings and deep thoughts etc. Read on only if you dare…
However as i began to think about her life, and as i read the stories of others, it also began to remind me of the the profound pity i also have for these people. They spend their lives trying to get away from all that is bad in this world, and to live as harmoniously as they can with the planet. Seeking to escape from evils of our so called “modern, civilized” society of greed, oppression and hate. And they do achieve this in a limited sense, and experience a better life, one that is in certain ways closer to how we were meant to live. And at first glance their life seems to be among the best you can have.
However as people who have come to know the true God Jehovah, we know there is more to life than this. Even if we were to spend our lives now, enjoying all the wonders of the mesmerizing blue Pearl named Earth, we would be missing out on the key to mankind’s happiness, which is our service to God.
Though these people see first hand what the human existence could be at its best, they also come face to face with cold reality oh mankind at its worst. That our world is being destroyed by the very people who’s lives depend upon it. For every environmental success story (such as the the creation of national parks), there are the Golf oil spill type events that occur everyday that destroy even more. These people see first hand the utter poverty, and oppression that often hides beneath the surface even in our so called developed home countries. While they live “The Life”, most of the planet toils in sorrow just to get by, and sadly many do not even achieve that much. And they learn the fateful, sad but true eventuality, that “nothing lasts forever”. No matter how much we enjoy this life, it will come to an end. No matter how much love, passion, or determination we have had within us, and no matter what sights we have seen, sounds we have heard, smells and tastes we have taken in, and friends and companions we have made, in the end it all fades away and we take nothing with us when we go.
After that long depressing discussion of the true reality of our existence, It may seem impossible for us to enjoy these things. However we all know what lies ahead for us. We know our moral duty is to help others, to come to know and believe as we do the truth about our loving God. We cannot simply remove ourselves from this wicked world and wait it out. No we must go back into it, and try to help save as many as we can. Just like a fireman who runs not away from the burning building, but towards it, because he knows that people still can be saved. Without such knowledge that one day we will have forever to enjoy these things, seeing these sights to me seems to be depressing, instead of encouraging.
However because of the faith we have, we can see these sights, experience these wonders of creation, and be happy. Not because we have succeeded in escaping this world, only to die surrounded by paradise, but to know that one day we will enjoy these things as they were meant to be, by Humans, with forever to enjoy them.
So while it is temping to envy those such as this woman, who are able to live a life that seems more natural, that satisfies the wanderlust that is present in all of us, we know that for the time being, we have a duty to help others learn about Jehovah as we ourselves have. 
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