Thursday, August 5, 2010

I know, its been too long...

So for about the past month or so, as I've been sitting (well, more like standing in a complete cluster f*** of people) on the subway, or walking in between classes, I'd come up with little pieces of information and try to remind myself to put them in my next blog post. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and the aforementioned post just didn't materialize. The past month has been quite the little flurry of excitement.
First, we had guests!!!! Hugo's sister came to visit for 5 weeks, and one of my very best friends, Ben, also managed to come down for 8 days. It was soooooo great to have someone from home come visit me. It was especially great to have Ben here as his love for meat products meshes perfectly with Argentine culture. While I spend a lot of time writing about my life here, or talking with people on skype, its hard to really understand what my life is like until you're here. (Was that a solid enough pitch for you all to come visit???) Anyways, when Ben got here, we basically did a meat-centered tour of Buenos Aires for the first few days. Then, the four of us (Ben, Hugo, Claudia, and I) went on a short trip to the waterfalls at Puerto Iguazu, and had an absolutely AMAZING time. Going into this trip, both Hugo and I were a little worried about the blending of our markedly different families. The biggest concern of all was that Ben does not speak any Spanish, and Claudia does not speak any English. Amazingly though, the two managed to communicate using hand signs (and of course Hugo and I as translators), and we all bonded over a shared love of excessive drinking and eating.
Iguazu is potentially the most beautiful place I have ever been. The waterfalls are enormous and completely breathtaking. I think the best way to describe them is kind of like Niagra, but bigger, and with a lush Brazilian jungle behind them. On the second day there was a huge rainbow over the falls! We all left Iguazu saying "Wow, that is one of the most stunning places I have ever been". I would seriously recommend it to anyone (though I'd say don't go in Dec-Feb as summer there is over 100º every day).
Before he left, Ben, who is not usually one for words, shared some interesting insights with me. He said that after spending about a week non-stop with Hugo and Claudia, he felt pretty close to them, yet at the same time, oddly aware of the fact that he may never see them again. I think that's something that us expats deal with all the time. In this lifestyle, friendships tend to become intense quite quickly as we lack our traditional support networks. However, these friends almost invariably move away at some point, and while you tell each other that you'll visit in your respective countries, you are left wondering if you ever really will.


  1. I totally empathize with you and Ben. Though I'm not an ex-pat, as a bit of a nomad in these last few months, I've felt it very strange to spend tons of time with people and then realize that you never know when you are going to see them again. While it is awesome to meet new people from all over and feel that you have places to stay in tons of countries and cities, it is bittersweet. :-/

  2. Glad to hear about your trip. Vicky told me that Ben said the waterfalls were amazing. FYI: It's Niagara (Falls) - not spelled like Viagra with an "N". :-)