Monday, December 19, 2011

Time Well Spent - Family Time in Buenos Aires

Family time has its ups and downs and its ins and outs, but overall family time is usually a good time.  These days it seems that families are spreading out and it’s not uncommon to have relatives on other continents.  Staying in touch has come a long way and it is much easier to stay connected with the help of technology and applications like Facebook, Skype, Google Chat, etc, although I am still a fan of sending postcards.  After all, who doesn’t like to receive postcards?

Although I do not get to spend as much time with my entire family as I would like, I am appreciative of modern technologies that enable me to stay in touch.  Those same technologies are also helping me connect with other people who live abroad.  For example, I have a friend Isaias, who lives in Puerto Rico and thanks to Facebook we can keep up with each other.  Before leaving for South America I reached out to several people who I know also know other people living abroad, specifically South America.  Afer reaching out to Isaias, he put me in touch with his friend Daniel, who lives in Buenos Aires.  After meeting Daniel and family for a brief 24 hours, I knew I had to go back a visit with them in Buenos Aires before setting out on my journey across South America with a backpack. 

Daniel and family are just so kind and thoughtful.  When I stayed with them the second time I felt right at home.  It was so nice to spend time with a family that really enjoys spending time together.  They treated me so well and they made me feel like part of the family.  We shared wonderful meals and spent a day touring La Recoleta Cemetery where many of Argentina’s famous people have been laid to rest like Evita Peron. Also, we toured La Manzana de las Luces.  “Manzana” is an old name for a city block and “las Luces” refers to the area being an education or intellectual center in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Luces translates to “lights” in English, but more like the “light bulb” that goes on when you have a brilliant idea.  You get the idea? 

After spending five months in Santiago, Chile and not having any “family time,” it was a treat to spend a few days with Daniel and family.  It was the prefect way to recharge my batteries and feel somewhat normal and connected to people; to be a part of a family.  This really meant so much to me because I knew for the next 5-6 weeks I would be traveling alone through South America and I am especially grateful for their time and more importantly – their family time.     

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