Monday, August 18, 2008

We're Here!

Still recovering from jet lag so thought I'd simply share my first impressions. That way I won't ramble so much (hopefully)...

It is colder than I thought it would be. I mean, I knew it was winter but it's the END of winter in an area that has mild winters anyway. And totally had me conned into thinking it was going to be in the low 70s. Ha! Low to mid 60s maybe in the heat of the day, but much cooler morning, evening and night. I had re-packed our luggage a third time, removing most of the cool weather clothes. My poor hubby does not have a single sweater! And I have just 4 pair of pants. I did have five until the zipper broke on one yesterday.

Anyway, I'm set if warm weather arrives before our container. Which I hope it does!

The internet is faster in Carlos Paz than it was a year ago. AND WE HAVE FREE WIFI A BLOCK AND A HALF FROM OUR HOUSE! Our favorite YPF gas station where we'd come for the best coffee in town and the chance to call our kids from the tiny phone cabinas now has free internet. *sigh* Life is good. God is good!

Soccer still reigns supreme in Argentina. Every TV at the airport in Buenos Aires was tuned in to the game between Argentina and the Netherlands (we won!) and every TV we've seen elsewhere is also always on soccer.

SIDENOTE: Sportcasters sounds the same the world over, no matter the language.

Everything is much more expensive than a year ago. I about had a heart attack when we stopped for some basics at the Walmart on our way home from the airport. Yes, we have Walmart in a town about half an hour from where we live. AND McDonalds. But after being reminded that meat and produce reflects KILOS, not POUNDS, the palpitations settled down. Still expensive but not as bad as I thought. Sorta like moving to California :-) About 30-40% more than we were used to paying in rural America.

Our barrio (neighborhood), like all of Carlos Paz, is situated on a hillside. On a clear day you can see across the lake to Cosquin, the next city in the valley. I'll try to get a picture one of these days to show you that. But for now, here's a picture taken at the end of our street, looking across to the Sierras (we are in the foothills of the Andes). We really like our barrio and hope to find a place to rent long term in this area. Especially since I'll be coming to Marcela's daily for tutoring in Spanish.

Have I mentioned the cold? I have an aversion to the cold. And it would warm my heart -- and hopefully the rest of me, too -- if y'all would pray along with me for a place with HEAT. At this point I don't even care if it's central (although that would be nice), just some kind of heat!

Really glad we lugged along flannel sheets and a couple fleece blankets which are coming in VERY handy. But it makes getting out of bed a challenge 'cause I'd rather just hibernate beneath the covers.

Folk lore is alive and well in Argentina. At least in this area. The municipality provides lessons for anyone who wants them, and there are hundreds of people involved locally. The city also hosts encuentros (folk lore gathering/competition) and we attended one featuring adult groups last night. They came from as far away as Tucuman (northwest Argentina) for the gathering last night. We stayed for just a couple of hours. Apparently they go on ALL NIGHT LONG so that's a lot of participants! And spectators -- the gymnasium where it was held was packed with people; I'm guessing around 700-800 in the audience. A gymnasium that was not heated, and it was COLD even with all those warm bodies. Now that's dedication to folk lore! Next month there will be another encuentro featuring children and young people. I'll be able to learn a lot of history and culture from attending these, as they not only have the traditional music and dances but also dramas and multi-media presentations.

It's gonna take a while to get past the homesick phase. As we settle in, I'm sure that will gradually fade. But it just makes me so happy to be able to keep in touch with family and friends through various ways on the internet!


86 My Social Life said...

I figured you would post this morning :) YAY! I checked as soon as I got back from running errands!

rita said...

Cold...ugh! Ask Ivan if he ever had 'sabaƱones'. I found that temperature is a relative factor. You always feel the cold more in Argentina. And it was especially bad in Montevideo with the dampness.
CP seems to be a major center for folklore. Enjoy!!!

s. hoyt said...

I feel so guilty!!! It was probably my comment that influenced you to pack lightly on the winter clothing. I remember being very HOT in September (and considerably further south!)