This November Tano (a man from Buenos Aires who has been living here for a while) completed a lot of paint/repair jobs in the house… here he, Laura, and Vera are contemplating the beautiful new red/orange color of the patio.
The roof of our house is one of my favorite places to be.
It is an incredible spot for watching storms come in. Every time the wind picks up and it starts to rain I head up to check out the view.
Here the kids are running around in the early evening, enjoying the cooler weather.
Vera in a makeshift blanket fort/tent. Later, Tano and Clara joined us and we all held hands and talked about our wishes for the future while Tano’s cigarette smoke slowly filled the space, making it feel like some sort of bizarre sauna.
Tano’s Ode to Acid painting which he gifted to Laura and the kids before returning to Buenos Aires. On the bottom left corner of the painting he wrote “monotono” (monotonous) and on the top left “estereotono” (an invented word… stereophonic would be the best translation) which is supposed to allude to the fact that taking acid transforms the monotonous into the fantastical. Ha.
November 10th was Córdoba’s annual Pride and Diversity March. Having missed it last year, I was excited to be able to attend. Any march, strike, etc. in Argentina seems to transform into a platform for any and all political groups (relevant or not to that specific event) to congregate and make their voices heard. This means banners, flags, singing, shouting, costumes, beating drums. The march began in a park on the outskirts of the center of the city and hundreds and hundreds of people walked together to the Plaza de Intendencia, one of the most central plazas in Córdoba (situated in front of a few important government buildings), where a stage was set up for a drag show followed by other musical performances. As we walked, many people in the surrounding apartment buildings came out onto their balconies to join in the celebration.
I went with my host family and some friends and it was a great moment of solidarity, pride and joy.
I ended the night with an empanada party at a friend’s house. From October-December I continuously visited my American friend Chris’ (second from right) advanced conversation class at a private English school called IICANA (Instituto de Intercambio Cultural Argentino Norteamericano // Institute of Argentine-North American Cultural Exchange). He and his students periodically organized parties as excuses to get together outside of class. Here are a bunch of us together at one student’s house.
Hanora, another Goucher student, has been living in our house for the last six months. On Thanksgiving, we decided to attempt to cook a dinner for our host family and some friends. We ended up being 10 people all together and in order to prepare we cooked straight from 3:30-10:30 p.m. and finally sat down to eat at around 11:00 p.m…. which may sound crazy but is only a half hour to an hour later than people eat dinner here.
My friend Jorge saved us by making the turkey (I am incompetent when it comes to cooking meat and Hanora is vegetarian), my friend Ana prepared the green beans, and Hanora and I worked together to make the mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, garlic bread, pumpkin pie, and apple pie. Unfortunately, supermarkets in Córdoba don’t carry cranberries so we couldn’t make cranberry sauce.
The meal turned out very well considering it was our first time cooking Thanksgiving food (and everyone else’s first time trying Thanksgiving food). People were surprised at the amount of butter that we use in recipes in the U.S. as they tend to use more oil and cream here. In the end, everyone’s stomachs were satisfied and the only casualties were a broken casserole dish and a burn on my arm.
I felt (and feel) extremely thankful to have met such wonderful people here. In true Argentine fashion, we stayed up until 1 or 2 a.m. drinking beer and chatting at the dinner table.
November 25th was Vera’s 10th birthday, and for weeks beforehand Hanora and I slaved away making 30 handmade invitations for Vera to hand out to all of her friends.
She insisted on inviting all of her classmates because she didn’t want anyone to feel left out 🙂
The day before, Vera and Clara worked together to make the cake for the party and decided to dye the batter purple with food coloring.
Everyone in the house collaborated to paint wooden magnets to give as souvenirs to the guests at the party. We finished them all off with some glow-in-the-dark paint and Vera instructed us to make a few AC/DC and soccer team themed magnets for the boys.
It was a pool party and the weather was beautiful. Thankfully all 35 kids didn’t show up.
The beginning of December and the approaching holiday season has meant a lot of farewell parties for people returning home after studying/working in Córdoba. On Tano’s last full day in Córdoba we invited family and friends over for a taco dinner. The tacos were handmade from cornmeal flour that I brought from a Mexican supermarket in Philly and were accompanied by refried beans, pork, chicken, guacamole, sauteed veggies, freshly chopped onions, cilantro, and various different hot sauces.
We ate together in the backyard and needless to say it was DELICIOUS.
Afterwards, we snuck a peak at what’s growing in the vegetable garden…..
Soon after, we held a farewell party for Chris (returning to the U.S. after 11 months of teaching English in Córdoba) on the roof of a friend’s apartment building.
Since Chris had spent most of his time in Córdoba living at a hostel, the party brought together people from all over the world who are living in Córdoba: Paraguay, Brazil, Germany, France, United States, Argentina, etc.
Last but not least was Hanora’s goodbye party just a few days ago. We celebrated by eating homemade pizza and playing with sparklers on the roof.
The last few weeks it has been VERY hot… 85-100 degrees with intense sun and humidity (and lots of mosquitos) every day. I’ve tried to escape the heat a bit by traveling to nearby towns to swim in rivers.
Oh yeah, and I do work sometimes………
These are some shots from the end of the year classes/celebrations at various businesses in Córdoba that I attended. My boss asked me to come to a bunch of final classes to facilitate conversation activities with the students.
Currently I’m visiting with family in the United States for the holidays, but when I return to Córdoba in January I plan to continue with my conversation classes at CoreBI and Volartec, as well as with other private students I have accumulated. I recently met a sociology professor who wants to practice his English before traveling to the United States to work on sociology research at Illinois University. Perfect. Additionally, in March I will begin teaching full time at IICANA.
Hope all is well with everyone. Sending much love & wishing you all happy holidays!!