I'm finally back in my room and in the midst of unpacking and cleaning my room. One last blog is in order though, so here we go...
The last couple weeks went by way too quickly, just like I knew it would. For the most part I did a lot of exploring of the center. Some highlights: robbing incident in La Boca (more of a lowpoint, but an interesting memory nonetheless), street fairs & markets, rugby game, good-bye lunch at San Andres, and ecological reserve. Made dinner for my family Friday night and they absolutely loved it! I went shopping for ingredients in the small, two-blocks of Chinatown in Blegrano. After dinner went out with Flor to a really swanky apartment in Palermo. Got to chat it up with a group of young Argentines one last time and just enjoy how nice everyone is. Colleen, Mark, and Marie were even able to meet up with me there and we went out dancing at a busy boliche until 6am in the morning. I had so much fun during that 'last' night out but was a little sad too. With only two days left, I knew it would be the only time I'd see all the people I met.
Eventually you learn to accept it though. When you travel, you meet and make connections with a great deal of people, but because you are traveling it's very difficult to keep in contact. You take events and encounters for what it is and nothing more because it's somewhat disconnected to your real life- your life back home. It's all kind of surreal and becomes just a memory.
Well, during this trip I stepped beyond that; towards the end things felt permanent, not temporary. I felt so comfortable with my life in Argentina, I feel as though I could definitely move back there to live if I wanted. This is largely due to my amazing and wonderful family. During the six weeks I lived in that house, I became part of the family and they made it home to me. The day I left we had a big American breakfast with pancakes and scrambled eggs, followed by a farewell asado in the afternoon. Eventually it came time to go to Clarke's house for a ride to the airport and Flor, Maria, Cuki, Remy, and Raquel all came out to see me off. Hugging each of them good-bye was strange because I still didn't really feel like I was saying good-bye. We were all smiles and joking around like normal. Maybe because I know that I'll see them again in the future? I sure hope so. I was hit with a pang of sadness on the car ride to the airport though as all the memories of the past six weeks started playing in my head. It was a really exceptional trip and I'm so glad I went.
So this is until later Argentina. I'm going to miss the kiss on the cheek with every greeting, the long lazy meal times, milenasas, media lunas, alfajores, dulce de leche, empenadas, sharing mate while sitting and talking, coffee after every meal, walking along those sidewalks in my neighborhood, the dirty train, Retiro train station, playing Rumy with Chichi, cooking and coloring with Flor just to be tranquilo, sitting in the kitchen and listening to Marina talk about Peru, laughing and joking around with Maria, having Bruno greet me at the door everytime I come home, standing in front of the fireplace for warmth as the family talks politics, greeting the guard with a 'Buen dia' everyday to class, hearing boludo/a every other word, taking a remis around and chatting with the driver, attempts at grabbing a cab in al centro, spending hours in really old and elegant cafes, asados outside and in the countryside- even in the winter, how silent and peaceful the house could be, all that is associated with No-No and Cordoba, listening to Bob Marley almost every other day, the crazy and fast driving, and all the people I met during my time there. And I'm definitely going to miss hearing Castellano every day.