Jim Gardner in Argentina: Action News meets family coming to Philadelphia

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015
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We were welcomed into the home of Rafael and Patricia Martino for an exquisite lunch and wonderful conversation.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (WPVI) -- We have heard so much about the enormous numbers of people we expect to descend upon Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families and the pope's visit.

To be frank, we've also heard a lot of Philadelphians complain about how the pilgrims will disrupt their daily lives.

Well, we want to introduce you to a family in Argentina, and maybe you'll feel better about the inconvenience.

It was quite a treat for the Action News team in Buenos Aires.

We were welcomed into the home of Rafael and Patricia Martino for an exquisite lunch and wonderful conversation.

Rafael, Patricia and their children, 15-year-old Ignacio and 11-year-old Trinidad are coming to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.

The Martino's are devout Catholics and the World Meeting of Families falls on spring break. That's right, this is the southern hemisphere, and the calendar is the opposite of ours.

Our meal of beef, grilled vegetables, and empanadas was a blessing, and our new friendships were even better.

After lunch, we talked about the big event in Philadelphia.

"For us, it's very exciting to go to the family congress, even more our Pope Francisco is going to be there. It's going to be a good chance to meet with other families from different cultures and to explore the critical role of the family in our society," Rafael said.

Patricia knew all about the initial transportation problems for the weekend of the pope.

"We bought the package for the World Meeting of Families with SEPTA included, but I learned through my host and the internet, SEPTA in the first minute they sold the tickets, it collapsed," Patricia said.

In this soccer-crazed country, it's no surprise Ignacio is a huge fan, but he just can't get the deal about American football.

"When there's a play, they start, and then five seconds later, the ball touches the ground and it stops the game. Why?" Ignacio said.

As for Trinidad, the trip to Philadelphia is all about Instagram.

"I'm going to send to friends and to my cousins because they told me that I had to send photos," Trinidad said.

Trinidad also said she hopes she meets some girls her own age.

Philadelphia will do itself proud to show the world our hospitality, and you can be sure we'll check in with the Martino family during their stay in our city.