Paint & Sip

October 2nd, 2022
At Palacio Bosch

The Federal Women’s Program sponsored a fun “paint & sip” event this week, and around 75 women attended at the beautiful Palacio Bosch, including female diplomats from a variety of countries. It was a fun event! The woman who runs the company did a fantastic job (as did the wonderful staff at the Palacio) – I was impressed that she said she only hires women over 45, as they often have problems finding work – so it was girl power all around.

John and I had a fun video chat with our old friend Lydia and her husband Cesar yesterday – they are more famously known for being Honey the Chihuahua’s parents (we dog-sat Honey for a few months in Islamabad). They are bidding on Buenos Aires, so we chatted about life here. Nothing would make us happier than to have Honey (now 13!) nearby, and, of course, her parents, too!

I also a had call this week with a colleague in Riyadh who is working with management there to manage the feral cat population on the embassy grounds – something I worked on when I was in Islamabad. Fingers crossed that management there understands the benefit in stabilizing their feral population. I was tickled a few weeks ago when a colleague who just arrived from I’bad told me the C’Attaches were still going strong there!

After two months here, John and I finally watched some television last night, the new season of “Trapped,” an Icelandic crime show. I love seeing the countryside and we like the actors.

Here’s my version of the image we were to paint at Paint & Sip:

And here’s Flavia enjoying her friend, the sun:

First day of spring

September 25th, 2022
Flavia contemplates brutalist architecture

While our friends in the northern hemisphere prepare to move into fall, we’re heading into spring down here. We had some unseasonably chilly weather earlier this week, but yesterday was gorgeous. Flavia is enjoying the new desk/makeup table we had delivered for the bedroom, and has been enjoying sleeping in her bed and looking outside. She still is shy about coming into the living room, but will on occasion.

Lea and I had the chance to tour the Teatro Colon this week with members of the consular corps (diplomats from other countries). We had a lovely guide and enjoyed walking through the historic building – I remember doing it back in the 90s when I was here before as a visitor. It’s so pretty, and I look forward to going to a performance there.

The week was busy. I was lucky to sit in with the DCM as she conducted interviews for my new boss who will arrive next year, then Friday afternoon I sat in on interviews for a new local staff employee.

Last Sunday John and I met our A-100 colleague Jamie and his family for dim sum in Chinatown – lots of fun catching up and laughing. Afterward we moseyed around Chinatown for a bit, then headed home. We had to close the consular section a few minutes early on Thursday while maintenance did some electrical work, so Lea and I had a happy hour for ourselves at a nearby restaurant and worked on solving the world’s problems. John took me out for a nice dinner Friday night in Palermo, followed by a scoop of yummy ice cream – Argentines love ice cream in all flavors and get pretty creative with some of them.

A few photos from Teatro Colon:

Gorgeous stained glass ceilings in many rooms
I love the mosaic floor throughout much of the building

Testing my limits

September 18th, 2022

I had three representation events to attend this week, which were fruitful and enjoyable but severely tested the limits of my introverted self! Wednesday night was a welcome event for our new DCM; Thursday was a public affairs event; and Friday afternoon was for consular contacts. The public affairs event was for alumni of student exchange programs – it was fun to see so many young, smart kids who had gone on transformative adventures via Fulbright programs to the United States. I talked at length to a young electrical engineering student who had gone to Fayetteville, Arkansas – he just raved about Arkansas and how much he loved it there and wanted to return to visit. At the DCM’s event, John and I spent a long time talking with a retired Exxon exec who was fascinating. And during the consular event, I visited with representatives of airlines, the head of the morgue, the head of the tourist police, and others who work with us to help U.S. citizens abroad.

All of the events were held at the Ambassador’s residence, the Palacio Bosch, an enormous and beautiful palace on the national historic register.

After the consular event on Friday, John took me to a nice dinner in Palermo where I had a yummy crown of cauliflower. When I got home, I jumped on a video chat with two State Department friends: Jim in DC and Cathy in Calgary. We laughed and talked for two hours until I got too sleepy to talk any longer – it was great to catch up with them! I also had a fun chat with Ann, Pam, and Jackie last Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday I walked until my legs were about to drop – to Palermo to meet Lea for brunch after her yoga class, then home again with some shopping along the way.

With my work bestie Lea at Palacio Bosch

Labor Day Week

September 11th, 2022

For some reason, short weeks feel more like long weeks, I guess because you have to jam in as much work in four days! We enjoyed the day off, but had labor of our own: the ritual of checking your inventory of Embassy-furnished items (e.g., beds, sofas, lamps). It involves crawling on the floor to find the tiny tag with the inventory number on it – we got quite the workout before it was all said and done!

John and I went to a fun backyard BBQ yesterday at a co-worker’s house. We had a lot of fun meeting some new folks and eating chorizo and steak hot off the parilla.

I spent time with Lea on Labor Day across the street at Invernadero, a nice little outdoor restaurant with a resident cat:

Sunning

Thursday evening I had a great, long, catch-up chat with my friend Nomi who just relocated to DC. We yakked almost three hours! She and I worked together in Islamabad.

John took me out for a nice dinner after work in Palermo. It was one of my favorite meals here so far, hip little place in a fun part of town. We stopped by an ice cream shop for a gelato afterward – there’s an ice cream shop on every corner here and I finally couldn’t resist an espresso martini gelato any longer!

We all scream

Here are a few random shots:

Sunrise from our living room
Puerto Madero from last week’s dinner out
Large piece of art at restaurant last week – I’m not sure of the type of tree, but they are everywhere here
Wall of wine
Night shot of statue across the street

Good news!

September 4th, 2022

We were elated that John was promoted this week! Promotions come out annually, and you just never know who the boards are going to reward. He’s done great work, and the promotion was well deserved! The announcement came out on Friday before the three-day weekend, so we have ample time to celebrate! We went to one of his old haunts, Cabanas las Lilas, Saturday night, down by the port – it’s old school and we enjoyed excellent steaks and a bottle of wine.

Today we walked down to Recoleta and bought tickets for the Yellow Bus, one of the “hop on, hop off” busses – while we didn’t hop, we enjoyed the open air ride around the city. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we saw some parts of town we want to go back to.

John had lunch with two of his former co-workers from pre-Foreign Service, Martin and Hernan. They had a blast catching up.

The government of Argentina called for an emergency holiday on Friday; John and I scrambled trying to get the word out on the embassy closure while getting still into work. Lea and I were in the office but took the opportunity to go out for a nice lunch together – I enjoyed the quiet day to get some stuff done.