The Ponzi Scheme hits rural Argentina

This weekend was a killer.

Yesterday was the RBC meeting where the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegations were decided. I watched the CSPAN coverage. It was kind of entertaining. There were some funny moments. I thought the highlight was when Donna Brazile, who is so impressive, delivered in a manner only she can, “My mama always taught me to play by the rules and respect those rules. My mother also taught me…that when you decide to change the rules in the mid-game or endgame, that is referred to as cheating.” I also liked watching Robert Wexler, a congressman from Florida. He is the one man “Impeaching Bush and Cheney” show. He argued for Obama that the Florida delegation get seated, in proportion to the popular vote, but with each delegate worth 1/2 of a vote. He is a spitter. I respect him and I am thankful for his passion. But this is an instance of when you don’t want front row seats. I am not sure it would be pleasant to share with him a small space for an extended period of time. He is a yeller too.

It seemed like a reasonable solution and Hillary got some more delegates (so did Obama) but I have this nagging feeling that it wasn’t such a good idea to break the rules and make delegate allocation decisions in the Michigan case based on polling data!!?? I think it is a bit of a Pandora’s Box letting these delegations get seated at all. She demanded that the DNC make a ruling. She got one. She doesnt like it. Too bad. Its over and lets unite and beat McInsane. Please.

So back to the rest of the weekend – Callum’s Drama and Choir Club hosted a choral group from Monte Caseros, Corrientes. It is a rural town of 30,000 in the northeast part of Argentina. It is a river and agro town that borders both Uruguay and Brasil. We had 5 guests for the weekend from this group of talented and committed singers. The choir was really amazing for a kid’s choir. So disciplined and they sang really sophisticated pieces. In contrast, Julie’s kids all have a solid understanding of music but with a lot of personality. Its like the difference between Gregorian monks chanting cannon and a Off Broadway version of Rent.

We were housing 2 adorable brothers that were the same age as Cal and Owen and their tough broad of an abuela who was making sure they were clean and well-behaved. The remaining pair, a mother and teenage daughter, were equally adorable and lovely, but there was a catch. With the mom of this adorable teenager. Ever heard of Herbalife??

Don’t get me wrong, it was really nice experience for all of us. The kids had a great time. My guests were really sweet and no problem at all. I am a big fan of cultural and familial exchanges. What was memorable, in not necessarily a good way, was the hard sell I had to endure for most of the 36 hours I was hosting. It started early into their stay with random questions about my health, how much water I drank and what I ate for breakfast. It was a relentless line of questioning so I asked the obvious question “Are you a nutritionist”. No, but she was a firm believer (commissioned salesperson) for an all natural food supplement that gave her/me all the protein we needed to start the day. Fascinating I say, don’t tell me more. She offered to make me a special breakfast protein shake in the morning. I could not wait. Needless to say, I had a very sweet, lumpy milkshake of sorts the next morning. It was one of her own concoctions (half Pina Colada, half Cookies and Cream) I chased it down with my second cup of coffee. It was also suggested to me by my health guru that I discontinue the caffeine because it was a toxic poison. Its my toxic poison.

For the entirety of the weekend I continued to get free, unsolicited advice about the other supplements and diet adjustments I could incorporate in my life. Apparently, drinking lots of water will do wonders to activate my cell growth?? It all culminated this morning with another round of lumpy shakes and some herbal pill, looking a lot like the hamster’s food, that was going to help me with my defenses. As we departed the house for the bus back to Corrientes, she generously offered me a piece of paper with her husband’s banking info, so I could wire her money for my first Herbalife provision. Not going to happen.

Its 11:00 o’clock at night. Time for some coffee!

Wow, she was persistent, and lovely.


About Elizabeth

Wife and mother of four. This blog is personal, political and hopefully relevant with a sense of humor. I got to have a sense of humor with the tough crowd I deal with everyday, and they cant even vote, drink or drive.

5 Responses

  1. Barbara

    How is it a Ponzi scheme if she is just acting as a salesperson? Anyway, what’s wrong with her trying to earn extra money for her family?

    I don’t see how the illustration fits the text. Is that meant to represent typical housing in Monte Caseros? If so, the choir’s performance is all the more impressive! (Perhaps the Herbalife nutritional supplements are better than you think…)

  2. Elizabeth,

    You are kind and gracious indeed. Not only do you graciously tolerate pressure sales techniques from a guest in your own home, but you also hold back from unleashing the mother of all flames on a commenter who questions your airy chiding of same.

    If that is the sort of sang-froid that comes standard in Argentina, I’m moving the family there pronto.

  3. Carmen

    Herbal Life, BestLine, Amway, Performance, all of them well known down here for offering a variety of ways to make you feel the worst sinner ever as a way to receive their gifts, with charges though. That is the kind of sales dogmas that makes me really angry. You had the HerbalLife International Inc. Monster at home and you did not sin? Beata Elizabeth!

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