long time no blog

After six months in South America, I am finally home.

Leaving Buenos Aires was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I expected to survive study abroad, but not to fall in love with it. I didn’t just have to say goodbye to a city, I had to say goodbye to a family, friends, and community that I will miss dearly.

After the tearful goodbye, the fam (real fam) and I headed to Perú and Educador for some Machu Picchu hiking and Galapagos Islands snorkeling.

Adjustment to life in America has been bittersweet. The bitter side: serious home-away-from-home-sickness. The sweet side: friends, family and Colorado sunshine.

More than two months after the sprained-ankle-incident, I went on my first long run this morning. I wasn’t planning on going very long (the altitude and newly recovered ankle), but once I started, I couldn’t stop. Feels good to get back into the run of things.

With senior year of college ahead of me, I’m not sure what the future holds. But one thing is for sure, I’ll never forget year 21 spent in Argentina.

la velocidad de vida

I celebrated America’s birthday wearing the only red, white and blue shirt I was allowed to bring (thank you paranoid Mom) and drinking free cerveza in a bar filled with yankees. No complaints there.

I have far too many lists of the things I will miss about Argentina. But at the top of every list, behind these two incredible people: 

These people too:

Oh and these too:

And dulce de leche, chimichurri, fútbol, you get the point…is the Speed Of Life.

The thought of buying a coffee and not having enough time to sit down and drink it is unbelievable to them. And now kind of unbelievable to me.

Waiters aren’t worried about turning tables or rushing the check or menu out. While this is definitely going to bother brother (badly), I’ve learned to love it. Today I drank a coffee with a friend for an hour and a half. And no pasa nada.

Time to drink coffee, time to talk about the day, time to siesta, time to stop and smell the roses, literally.


feels like home to me

I can’t believe I only have a few more weeks left in this amazing country.

All of the things that used to be so strange to me feel so familiar now. When I first got off the plane, everything from the sidewalks to the coffee looked a little off. And now that things are finally comfortable, mom and brother are coming to retrieve me.

I can’t quite describe the relationship with the friends and the family I have made here. Last night while making homemade empanadas, it finally hit my self-proclaimed-feeling-less friend Maria that this was all coming to an end. Yep, that’s right, for once I wasn’t the one crying. (Although her tears had a domino affect).

The empanadas turned out much bigger than we planned.

After five months together, we still can’t seem to run out of things to talk about.

Today Maria and I went to watch Kiki play rugby de las chicas! Maria’s host brother (and every other person we’ve ever told this to) can’t believe that girls play rugby. So he decided to come with us to see for himself.

Kiki’s team won all three of their games. And Kiki scored three trys in the third game! The BA clubbing scene has nothing on the tercer tiempo (after party) or rugby.

Endless pizza and bar-top dancing. Who knew.

Unfortunately, the local fútbol team, River Plate, wasn’t as lucky today. Their loss today means that they will have to play in the B division next season. This has never happened in the over-100-year history of the club. I received an email from the US Embassy advising all US extranjeros to avoid the River stadium because of possible violence. We will assess the damage tomorrow!

día del padres

Today was my first father’s day in a long time.

I woke up to the smell of a feast brewing in the kitchen. All four children arrived for lunch around two and we didn’t finish until four. Oh how I am going to miss the taste of Argentine meat and potatoes.

My host mom invited my friend Kiki over to play her saxophone as a surprise for my host dad! She played everything from tango to jazz and even gave my host brother a tutorial.

Took him a while to make a sound, but once he did, we couldn’t shut him up. Kiki will be spending her last three weeks in Argentina teaching him to play!

This past week was my younger host brother’s birthday as well. I made chocolate cookies for the occasion and now am some sort of famous cookie god. I think I wrote the recipe down at least five times.

Tomorrow is flag day, so obviously no one will be working. Did I mention I love this country?

glaciers, whales and cruches

A four day trip to see the glacier in El Calafate turned into a week long road trip.

One rented car, two 20-hour bus rides, and a very swollen ankle later, we are finally home in BA! And with some great stories:

las gauchas

After a series of unfortunate events, my family invited me and two friends for a weekend away at my favorite spot: La Florita.

Turns out horseback riding, long strolls in the forest, and giant barbeques were just what the doctor ordered.

While looking at pictures in the living room, we learned that La Florita has been in my family for over fifty years. There is a foto that shows my host mom’s father planting the ocolyptus trees that now make up a giant forest!

With only eight people staying at the campo, this visit was a lot more tranquilo than my last visit during Semana Santa.

Two presentations to go and then it’s off to El Calafate for some glacier climbing!!

tío loco

Explaining to my host family why my uncle was in BA twice in one month was difficult to say the least. I tried explaining the truth: “He rode his motorcycle from the US to Ushuaia.” Their response: “Tío Loco.”

So I guess he is pretty crazy. But that also makes me really lucky. Who else has an uncle that would jam out at a drum concert in the very first row?

We managed to squeeze a Superclasico, Bomba del Tiempo concert and a trip to Tigre all into one weekend!

I haven’t been to Venice, but Tío Loco said Tigre is the Sur America version it’s Italian cousin.

There were carosels,

Ferris wheels,

and ancient/abandoned boats.

There are public boats that float down the rivers of the delta and act as subways. If you need to get into town, you simply stand on the end of your dock and flag down the next boat you see. We managed to get off at the wrong stop and tried to hitch hike with kayakers, speed boaters and even jet skiers. No luck.

With his motorcycle off to England, he won’t be returning to South America for a while. Like me, he is going to miss the people the most.

Thank goodness I still have two months left in this amazing place.


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