They say that it is the people that make the place. So as I say my goodbye to Buenos Aires, as much as the city is a incredibly vibrant, alive, and beautiful, it is people that came into my life that that have really touched and changed me. So it is to the people who reached out to me, extending their love, that I really must say thank you, i love you.
First to Ale, who took a chance and let an unknown gringa share her home, making me feel completely welcome. Through the months we shared together, painting, cooking, a house fire and just hanging out, i really came to see just how beautiful of a person she is. So giving, of her resources of her time, of her love.
Then to Juli, who first taught me the art of mate, and then shared many special mates with me. I value those conversations so much. Thanks for your patience with my spanish and your patience when we constantly lost our house keys! Study buddy and dear friend, you are.
And to Diana, who along with Ale, managed to convince me that Colombia must be the best country in the world-even though I have yet to had the chance to see it first hand. I admire you, for your courage in leaving home and coming to a new place with a determination to start over. I know you learned so much through your time, keep challenging yourself.
Fabi, I am so so proud of you. Of your strength, to overcome so many difficult challenges, and rather than letting that hold you down, but having such a desire to reach out to others. Know that God loves you so, so dearly. With Him, you will never be alone. He has an incredible plan for your life, keep trusting Him to guide you.
Ann, how would I have made it through all the craziness of San Andres without you? Honestly, you helped me through those first few months of being so lost with the language, and then through so so many hours of group project planning, always providing that breath of sanity, which assured me that, yes, we would make it through! I am so excited for you and the launch of TerraCycle Argentina, way to save the world-one candy wrapper at a time!
Britt, from the first day you showed up at my apartment with crazy stories of ship wrecks and Amazon medicine men, being your friend has been such a fun adventure. Not only did we manage to survive vicious Coati attacks, but you also taught me a few of your delicious cooking secrets, helped challenge the way i look society and religion, taught me to slackline, and mostly, just shared with me the incredible wonder with which you approach life. I know that there is so much more of the story yet to be written.
Sarah, my favorite rotary friend. Who else would i want to go talk to a group of old men in suits with? Or better yet, hang out with gouchos and Diego Torres? It was a sad moment when I had to turn over that Texas Rotary flag to my home club, but knowing you’ve got my EH one makes it all better.
Bia, Diego, and Walter. I put you guys all grouped together, because well, we were all always hanging out together. I can not thank you enough for how you always made me feel so included and welcome in your friendship. I loved that you were always over, making the apartment full of laughter and happiness. Your commitment to the young people’s group makes it what it is, and i have so many fun memories because of you.
Vivian, you quickly became more than just my Spanish teacher, but rather a friend. I looked forward to our time together and so much enjoyed our long conversations. You taught me so much more than grammar, but explained the Argentine culture and people. Your thoughts reflect so much insight and maturity, thank you for all we shared. (Also, if anyone happens to be looking for a great Spanish teacher in Buenos Aires, I would highly recommend Vivian, see her website).
Mario and Jeremy, I enjoyed all the Rotary meals we shared. Mario, thank you for opening your home and life to Jeremy and I. We often commented how great we thought you are. Jeremy, you are my favorite (if only) Aussie!
Miguel, Leo, and Dario, our adventure to Salta and Cachi is really one of my favorite memories of all my time in Argentina. Dario and Leo, you are really so talented. i loved seeing how you use your music to touch others. And Miguel, so maybe we didnt make the record for fastest meal, but I would have to say its up there for the tastiest.
To all my classmates at San Andres, I can not thank you enough for how from the very first days you welcomed me. With so many offers to help explain the material, check over my work, patience with my stumbling over the language, including me into your study groups, encouraging me when i try to speak up in class, everything. I wish i had space to mention each of you specifically for how you touched me and how i appreciate you, but just know that I cant thank you enough for the overwhelming kindness and generosity you gave me.
Everyone from Centro Cristiano de Palermo, especially Roberto who looked out for my like a daughter, and Andres who’s incredibly unique perspective on the world helped me to grow on so many levels. This church family is so dedicated to loving one another.
Writing this blog and really thinking back (its now actually April and so its been 4 months since i’ve said my goodbyes) i am just overwhelmed by how much love people extended to me. i dont think that I appreciated enough what each of these people gave to me. I need to sit back more often and really take the time to see just how many incredible people I have in my life. So to each person i’ve mentioned here, and so many others who touched during my year in Argentina, thank you and I love you too.
For more pics from my time in Buenos Aires, see my facebook album