Evangelical Covenant Church




Christmas 2007
We celebrated Christmas 2007 with Nils and Natalia as they left snowy Chicago and arrived in 90 degree Buenos Aires!  Mark´s sister Marcia, husband Dan and sons Nate and Zac West made it here for Alice´s birthday on 12/29 and stayed for two wonderful weeks.  Our time flew by as we toured Argentina and ate their world famous steak, steak and more steak!


Buenos Aires ZooNils
Downtown Zoo in Buenos Aires
Always the clown Nils pictured with cousins Nate and Zac and his sisters.



estancia El Ombuwe love argentina

We love Argentina !!

Wests and Westlinds at the Estancia El Ombú










Aboo visiting Fremont, California in 1996




Aboo…. the final chapter




Who would have thought that his humble beginnings in a Bogota´ barrio would result in world travel?


Our dog Aboo even accompanied us to churches in the US to give the “full” Colombian cuisine experience by walking under the dinner tables!



Aboo´s passport is stamped with Bogotá, Colombia; California; Cartagena, Colombia; Chicago….and the latter entry is where he was laid to rest December 2007 at the tender age of 98 (in dog years of course). Aboo wasn´t just a cute, Salsa loving dog, he was the kind of dog you wanted to take home with you. We will miss this Colombian mutt who was action-packed and feisty to the very end.



Aboo must have sensed his impending demise and began corresponding with the Tango dancing, wild boar and puma hunting “Gaucho” for the proverbial “passing of the baton”. Gaucho, our Argentine Dogo, has big paws to fill.



"God gives the best to those who leave the choice with Him"



In February 1977 these wise words were embossed on our wedding invitations and 30 years later we continue to celebrate God´s love and direction in our lives. We decided it merited taking a separate picture of the offspring to see what we have wrought on the world.






This year we also celebrate 20 years of service as missionaries with the Covenant Church.





What with Nils finishing 2 ½ years of college and Natalia destined there in the fall, after graduation from high school this June, this has been a year of milestones.






Our youngest, Nicole will be 15 this year and is travelling to Uruguay for a basketball tournament this semester.

Christmas 2006


Mark and Alice Westlind Family Missionaries to Buenos Aires, Argentina.




Christmas was wonderful this year because we could all be together as a family once again. Nils even brought along two college buddies, Peter and Joey from Chicago which gave us a chance to see even more of this beautiful country of Argentina. During the Christmas break, it is an “all out” vacation time for Argentines. This is due to the fact that all of the children have their summer vacation at this time. Even our churches have a more minimal schedule, which allows for much travel. Last year we were unable to travel much due to having no vehicle. This year, thanks to many of you, we had an old * Ford Falcon station wagon which got us around quite well. (see our Ministry page for a peek)

Mark with Nils, Joel and Peter



Here are some local hoods:

Mark with Nils, Joel and Peter. We are in the Parque de San Martin in downtown Buenos Aires.


This is just a 25 minute train ride from our house.


The train terminal is just out of sight in the background to the right of the flag.



We all enjoy the fact that everyone makes housecalls in Argentina!


We all enjoy the fact that everyone makes housecalls in Argentina!


Our medical doctors, veterinarians, and yes, even the hairstylist/barber!


All of our guests wanted to take advantage of this service. Here, Peter is getting the finishing touches to his new coiffre!






We travelled to the coast to Mar del Plata and visited Pinamar.


Here we are having a “Kodak moment” in front of a period lookout point in Pinamar.

Of all the places we visited, Pinamar definitely had the best surfing. I think this was particularly fun for Nils since he has now surfed in the Caribbean, off the coast of California, and now in the South Atalntic.


Villa Gessel had one of the best go-kart tracks we have ever raced on. I don’t remember being allowed to go this FAST on any tracks in the states!



Puerto Madero


Puerto Madero is part of the old port of Buenos Aires.

It has been renovated with restaurants and is a picturesque wharf area.

Puerto Madero


We were also able to go to an Estancia (a gaucho ranch).



For an incredibly reasonable fee, you get to stay for the entire day, ride horses 2 to 3 times for an 1 ½ each time, play soccer, volleyball, swim in two different pools, be served drinks, two snacks, and an all you can eat dinner of Argentine (gaucho) fare!

The old ranch we went to was a gift from the government to a military officer during the 1800’s. Due to smaller treasuries in those days, this was a common way to repay patriots.

The ranch even displayed in their billards and game room, a trove of period weapons found on the property.


BBQ Argentine Style



Grandma "nanny"



Meanwhile, back in Chicago, our kids’ grandma "nanny" celebrated her 81st b-day recently.

Nils did the honors by imitating Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) of Pirates of the Caribbean fame for most of the evening.

Nanny kept looking at him and saying, “there’s something definitely wrong with that boy!”

Everyone kept telling her that she was 80 and she said, "I think I’m 81."

We later realized that she was right!