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Argentina! Yeah!

Guess what, world?!  I’m in Argentina!

If you’re not super familiar with my life, then I should let you know that I lived in Argentina, in the province of Buenos Aires, in the city of 9 de Julio, for almost exactly one year while I was in high school.  I was a Rotary student (best choice ever!).   Also, for those of you not super familiar with my life, you should know that it was both the best and the worst experience of my life.  Very formative.  Obvio.

So I left the US from JFK on the 1st, and it was the roughest series of travel luck (or lack) of my life.  First, TAM at JFK couldn’t find my second flight, then I had to pay this crazy impuesto.  Then, I missed my second flight.  When I finally got to Ezeiza, it took 40 minutes to find my bag.  Out of the maybe baker’s dozen people that I approached for help, only two helped me at all.  What I get out of this:

1) São Paulo GRU airport is a mess, both physically and in its management.

2) With numbers, I can be a little dyslexic.

3) Brazilian Portuguese doesn’t make sense and sounds weird.

4) Whenever you have a serious problem in an airport, start crying.  It helps.

Anyway, more importantly, I arrived in Argentina will all my body parts and all my cash intact!  And my very wonderful best friend Maria Pais was there at Ezeiza waiting for me!  Woohoo!!

Can I just tell the internet how much I love this girl?  She’s wonderful.  Es única.  Mery has been a friend since I started in her class at school in 9 de Julio (Cs. Nat.) and has worked to keep in touch with me more than any other friend I’ve ever had.  When we became friends, we literally could not speak in the same language, but through patience, body language and the Beatles, we got along swimmingly.  Now, she’s just recently received her degree to teach English for elementary and middle school students, and in one year, she’ll have a second degree to teach high school ESL.  You all have no idea.  She speaks such good English.  It’s impresionante, especially since when we met in 2007, she didn’t speak a word of English at all.

So I’ve been mostly hanging out with Mery, her boyfriend Ramiro, and mate.  Why don’t I have friends in the US who drink mate?  I love mate.  My friend Laura, who lived in 9 de Julio through Rotary during the same year as me, once said that mate tastes like friendship.  So glad for the mate.

And the empanadas.  And the milanesa.  And the Argentine pizza.

Pizza in the US is disgusting.  It’s got waaaay too much sauce, too much grease, not enough cheese.  Pizza in Argentina is perfect.  I never eat pizza in the US; it’s become an inside joke with my friends.  But in Argentina, si.

Mery threw a surprise party for me!!

She told me that we were going to a birthday party for Ramiro’s uncle, but when we got to the quinta, she honked the horn of the car, and as we got out, the people inside started playing “You Make Loving Fun” (Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, 1977) on the computer.  We got inside, and there was a giant banner in the colors of the Argentine flag that said “Welcome to Argentina!  We love you!” (or something like that; I need to find it and take a picture).  I saw two of my classmates from Cs. Nat., and a bunch of Mery and Rami’s friends.  We had a great time talking, laughing, listening to a bunch of music that I love.  Mery’s family came, and some more of my friends from school arrived.  A big group of people fell in love with a karaoke program that Rami had on his computer, and I went with my former classmates outside to catch up after years.  Some of them hadn’t seen each other in almost as long as I had seen them.

The girls from school stayed with me and Mery until after 4:00 in the morning catching up, and it was buenisssssima.  Mery and I stayed the rest of the night and the next day in the quinta, and I slept until 2:30 in the afternoon.  We listened to music and laid out in the sun for a while, until her family and Rami’s family both came out to the quinta to drink mate and hang out.  I said to Mery at one point, “I could stay here for forever.”  Of course, there are some people that I would want here, too (I’m looking at you, Arturo Barrezueta).

Speaking to of Arturo, can I tell the internet how much I love my boyfriend?  Well, I love him a lot a lot a lot, and we’ve been talking through Skype while I’m here.  Via Skype, he’s met Mery, Ramiro and Mery’s grandmother.  Also via Skype, Mery met Art’s father.  It’s wonderful.  Everyone here really loves that I have a Latino boyfriend who speaks Spanish so well.

I’ll post at least once more before I leave, and it’ll be full of wonderful pictures!

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