The weekend was lovely. Saturday afternoon I went to Niko's grandmother's house for their big family lunch, and met the grand majority of his extended family; a huge meal with a lot of different dishes, all of which were delicious. As soon as I got back home, Rogelio and Anahi (who are the second couple who have adopted me in Olivos) picked me up and we went shopping in San Fernando. I go shopping maybe twice a year, so when I do I'm usually pretty determined to find what I want and when I find it, purchase it with little hesitation. So we wandered around the rainy streets (did I mention it literally rained every single day I was in Argentina...until the day before I left? And the day I left it was a brilliant blue-sky day with a gentle breeze...some sort of conspiracy) until Rogelio couldn't take it anymore.
In the evening Dife, Vale, and I went over to Roge's house, and we went to a corner shop around his house to have a meal, and hung out at home...a muy tranquilo evening. Sunday we slept in, and in the afternoon took a long walk past a villa (the Argentinean equivalent of the Brasilian favela), to get some choripanes. In the evening, we went to the river closer to home to visit Anahi's newborn nephew, a delightful 5 week old. Later that evening, we went to Paula and Peter's home where they were doing a big asado. As we arrived, at around 9pm, the grill was just starting to get lit. Which meant that we started eating at about 11.30pm. Until nearly 1am. This is one of the things that I struggled with the first time around, and this time as well, I find it extremely challenging to eat a meal close to midnight. Anyway, it was all worth it because that bondiola de cerdo (as far as I'm aware, pork shoulder, though I could be completely wrong), and the chorizo was without doubt the best I have ever had in my life. Peter actually works with pigs, so I should have suspected as much.
Monday I went to the doctor then went to Valeria's parents house to say my despedidas...but that resulted in 4 hours at the coffee table passing around mate, discussing family histories and international economics and the virtues of mate, dulce de leche, and what the hell I'm doing with my life. They've always joked that I'm their fifth child, and that day, as I was getting ready to leave, I felt lucky and proud and blessed to have been allowed into this beautiful family's life.
That night, Vity and Xime came over - I was really bummed as they had been away on vacation in Uruguay when I arrived, but we were able to have a great final dinner with them and it was all smiles and laughs. This time around, when I said bye to all my friends it felt like it was really a temporary goodbye. As if this time around, I was at home, and needed to go take care of some stuff elsewhere, but I'll be coming back. And sooner rather than later. They know that my plans isn't to actually live in Argentina but in Brasil, but I'll just be a short plane ride away. Possible weekends and longer trips are much more plausible. I can't wait.
Tuesday I ran around running errands until I got on my plane and passed out. When I got off the plane in Sao Paulo, I was overtaken by this huge nostalgic, saudade rush...how gorgeous to hear the Portuguese announcements, to read the Portuguese in the advertisements, to see Guarana and Pao de Queijo...ahhh....the feeling that the location itself gave me was such a contrast to what I had been feeling in Buenos Aires...and that reinforced the decisions and thought processes that have been occurring as of late. I have so completely been taken with Brasil that I feel I owe it to myself to at least try and give it a shot of staying there.
I got on the plane to New York, and essentially slept the whole way through...
so that was my goodbye, see you later, see you soon, I'll miss you, with South America. Undoubtedly the next continent of my residence...I'm counting down the 6 months it'll take for me to get back on that New World Latin soil...