Despite Ted’s best efforts to write the blog on behalf of both of us, Ted’s somewhat “distinctive” voice has been evident in the prior posts. I have had a few friends ask me to write a blog about my daily life. So here it goes……
The first month was really just about getting everything set up and supporting the kids emotionally. I had to figure out how to buy food, get the kids enrolled in school, find a taxi service to get the kids to/from school, pay bills, find a hairdresser, find tennis lessons, etc. and do all of those things in Spanish. Muy complicado.
Now I feel as if, the fun stuff has started. My favorite thing to do is wander the streets in search of the best cup of coffee. I know, I know, I am still going to Starbucks in the morning, but I am finding that I like a “cortado chico” in the afternoon (espresso with a little bit of foamed milk). It is always served with just a little sweet too. I’m not turning that away.
I also love to look at the fashion. Women are really into big platform sneakers and sandals. It’s actually a good trend for us that are, hmmmm, how shall I say, height challenged. (Brooke Davi you know what I am talking about).
I also love all the little specialty shops. I am finding that if you want the best meats, produce, seafood, cheese, sweets or bread…you need to go to the individual shops. There are great shops right out our door. Most people send their maids to most of their food shopping or get delivery (every store delivers), but I actually like to go and buy everything myself. Also let’s face it, if I could order over the phone I would, but my Spanish is not up to speed yet.
Speaking of maids, this is one big difference between Argentina and the US. Because of the state of the economy, labor is very affordable in Argentina. As a result, it is common among upper middle class Argentines to have full time maids who are paid monthly and work 40-hours a week. These maids typically have a whole range of household duties including not just cleaning and cooking but also shopping and watching the kids. After a few false starts, I finally found a great maid named Magaly.
Magaly now comes every weekday from 12 – 8 pm. She comes from Peru and she has delighted us with some of her local cooking, but it’s not exactly the healthiest food in the world, so I now am teaching her how to make some of our favorite dishes. She doesn’t watch Kate and Jake, but she cleans, does the laundry and cooks. Having her help has allowed me to spend more time with the kids and more time wondering the streets and trying some new hobbies (tennis, Spanish lessons, meeting new friends, etc.). Kate is enjoying trying to teach her English too.
Overall, I would say that I am enjoying this journey. I do have moments of sadness. I REALLY miss my friends and family and the ease of being at home. It’s also hard for me to hear the kids complain and feel sad. However, I just keep reminding myself that we are giving them a gift and this experience will help them grow.
Big hugs to you all!!