Every worthwhile pursuit in life has its difficult moments. Whether it’s suffering through twice daily high school football practices, working around the clock to complete some impossible project at work or slogging through sleep deprivation to care for screaming infants, the pattern remains the same. The best experiences in life are invariably accompanied by suffering. So too with our trip. Beginning on June 1 we went through a 5 week period during which someone was sick every day. First Jake, then me, then both Kate and Michele then Jake again, then Michele for a second time. Our sore throats and fevers were not remotely serious, however, they certainly cast a pall over our adventure. Confined to our apartment, our isolation intensified and our journey began to feel like a chore. While the eject button was never actually pushed, it was certainly located and perhaps the safety glass covering it was raised. However, as of this writing, the clouds have parted and the sun is shining through. Everyone is in good health and we are once again energized and excited about the journey. Kate’s cast is gone and she is back to horseback riding. She recently received a good grade in her Spanish class, which is quite remarkable considering she is in a class with all native speakers. Jake actually admitted that he was looking forward to going to school and we hear him speaking in Spanish from time to time. Michele and I took an intensive Spanish class for 4 hours each day this week and began to see real improvement in our Spanish. We also had two separate dinners with friends this week, though we are still trying to get used to wrapping those up at 1am. Winter break has just begun for the kids. They now have two weeks off during which we are going to Chile to visit the desert and do a little skiing. We are incredibly proud of them for making it through their first semester and we think that the second semester will be markedly easier for them.
While the prior weeks were difficult, they were not without their moments. We were invited to watch Argentina play in the finals of the Coupa de America at some friends houses. Unfortunately Argentina fell to the home team from Chile in penalty kicks, but it was a terrific game. Our hosts’ son wept unabashedly after the loss and we skipped out on the post game fiesta due to the gloomy mood.
We had a couple of particularly fun meals at Dandy and San Juanino, the latter of which has become a personal favorite. They serve regional cuisine such as empandadas and locro and the house wine comes in pitchers shaped like penguins.
We also visited the Evita museum which tells the incredible story of Eva Peron. While the effectiveness of her policies are certainly questionable to say the least, she was an early advocate for social justice and a charismatic leader who won the hearts of many Argentines. Her story is truly remarkable.
We also were invited to the big party at the Ambassador’s house for US Independence Day. Although we weren’t in full fledge party mode owing to the aforementioned illnesses, we still managed to enjoy the party and dance a little bit. We met some interesting people including a woman nearing her sixties who told us that we were “about her age” much to our dismay.
We were thrilled that the Mitics, our good friends from the states, dropped into BsAs for a two week visit. We managed to catch up with them for a couple of nights and it was wonderful to see old friends. In fact, if they are reading this, I credit them entirely with the turn in our fortunes.
When people ask me “how’s it going” I tell them it’s like calling someone who is 5 miles into a 10 mile run. I can tell it’s a good run, but at the moment my legs hurt, I’m tired as hell and I still have 5 miles to go. I have no doubt, however, that when the run is finished, it will all be worth it.