Monday, September 13, 2010
Birthdays (and holidays for that matter) are tricky as an expat. On one hand, I have wonderful friends here who have become my Argentine pseudo-family. We are all expats so we work really hard to make holidays special for each other. On the other hand, the meaningful part of any holiday are the traditions you have, and it is often just simply impossible to re-create those traditions away from home. Though we have been lucky enough to find great friends to celebrate birthdays and holidays with, sometimes its just not the same as doing what you do every year, surrounded by the people who have known you the longest. This year, I faced my birthday with mixed emotions. I love birthdays (especially my own hahaha), but was a bit depressed about not getting to spend it with my family and life-long friends.
So a few weeks ago it was Hugo's birthday, and he was also feeling kinda down in the dumps about it. I wanted to do something really special for him, so I, being a nut job, decided that I would throw him a surprise party. I think I kind of wanted to prove to him that although he wasn't back home with his family, there are lots of people here who love him too. The funny thing is, in the end, I think I actually proved it to myself. The party turned out to be a much bigger undertaking than I ever assumed it would be (making a full Colombian lunch for over 30 people!) and I soon realized I was in over my head. What was really touching though was how much everyone was willing to help. Throughout the week before the party I was beyond stressed out (at that point I was still working like a 50 hour work week) but I received countless messages from friends offering to help in any way they could. We had friends who made birthday cakes, friends who dealt with distracting Hugo on that day and getting him to the party on time, etc. Hugo's aunt was AMAZING and helped out a ton with the food. In the end the party was a success--- Hugo was surprised (despite me being a dumb ass and repeatedly sending him text messages about he party that were intended for other people). Anyways, we ate really well, danced, drank, and had a great time. Only one thing was missing....