Archive for May, 2023

Ahoy, mate!

Sunday, May 28th, 2023
Aboard the Libertad

A few of the consular team and I were invited to tour the Libertad before she embarked on a five-month trip that celebrates the end of the school year for the cadets. Because they stop in Baltimore, they needed visas — almost 300 of them — and we worked hard to get them finished in time. The tour of the ship was fun and interesting – so much so that John and I went back on Saturday to watch them sail away. It was a festive event with the Navy band, families waving farewell banners, and the sailors all decked out. I was amazed to see them manning the crossbars on the masts, all the way up to the tippy top!

Leaving port
The team enjoyed the tour! These girls are the best.
The Captain gave us the deluxe tour
Lots of families wishing their sailors goodbye

It was a short week – Thursday and Friday were both Argentine holidays, and we’ve enjoyed the long weekend. Thursday we went to Luis and Mercedes’ home for the traditional Argentine locro, a kind of stew that was delicious and served on Dia de la Patria. We were happy to see another Argentine couple we like in attendance, plus the two young adult children of Luis and Mercedes, who were both smart and engaging. It was a lovely afternoon, sitting in their glass-enclosed patio overlooking the yard and pool while it rained outside.

Luis shows off Mercedes’ locro

We’ve stayed pretty close to home on this luxurious long weekend; I’ve got the embassy duty phone and have been fielding a few calls. I read the amazing book, “The Wager,” which I thoroughly enjoyed — it’s about a ship in 1740 that wrecked not far from here, in southern Chile. It referenced “Candide,” so I’m re-reading it (and it also partially takes place in Buenos Aires and surrounding countries). We watched “Air,” about Nike signing Michael Jordan back in the 80s – it was a great story, and you don’t have to be a basketball fan to like it. Last night, we enjoyed “Turn Every Page,” a wonderful documentary about the lifelong relationship between a writer and his editor (Robert Caro and Bob Gottleib).

134th Reunion

Sunday, May 21st, 2023
Jamie, Kat, Lisa, Justin & John

We had fun Thursday night at dinner with our A-100 (Foreign Service orientation) colleagues Justin and Jamie. We were happy to see Justin and his wife Lisa while they were in town from their post in Santiago for a conference. It was fun to catch up and laugh!

Yesterday John and I played tourist and took a group tour to Tigre, which is about 30 km from Buenos Aires. We boarded a boat not too far from our apartment in Puerto Madero, and navigated up the Rio de Plata to the canals of Tigre – it was fun to see the houses in the canals and watch the various boats deliver services to them (like the supermarket boat) – you can only reach their houses by water. We docked at the mainland, had an empanada lunch, then went to a bustling market. We returned to Buenos Aires by bus, stopping at a cathedral and handicrafts market on the way home. It was super-touristy, but we really enjoyed it!

Today John took me to lunch at Fervor, an “old-school” restaurant that we really enjoyed. The drizzle had stopped by the time we finished lunch, so we drove over to San Telmo and walked through the Sunday flea market – very fun. When we got back home, I had a video chat with Ann, Pam, and Jackie, then John and I chatted with our good friend Rick from his TDY location in Casablanca. Great to catch up with everyone!

Click here to see photos from our trip to Puerto Valle! Here are a few, as well.

Funny capybaras – they are BIG!
In the estuary
Sundown in the estuary – it looks like a moonscape!
John watching the Yerba mate production
Driveway into the lodge – a bamboo cathedral
Howler monkeys on the river!
Marsh deer
Beginning of sunset in the estuary
Relaxing on our porch looking at the Parana River – not too shabby!

Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, May 14th, 2023

I celebrated my birthday this week! Lea gave me this cute penguin pitcher – they are a “thing” in Buenos Aires. We went to lunch on Sunday at Bis (nice) and I had video chats with Pam and Jackie, then James and MaryBeth. Thanks to the many friends and family who sent me birthday wishes!

My best present was a four-day trip to a lodge on the banks of the Parana River in the north part of the country on the Paraguay border! We had a great visit and saw lots of birds, capybaras, cayman, and monkeys! We just got back in tonight and I haven’t had time to download photos yet, but here is a preview of John channeling Indiana Jones!

Immigration Museum

Sunday, May 7th, 2023

The consular team had a leadership day off-site on Friday. As part of the day to focus on team building and leadership, and to think about our work, we visited the Argentine Immigration Museum. It was a beautifully done museum housed in the old “immigrant hotel” where thousands and thousands of immigrants landed in the late 1800s, 1920s, and 1940s.

View of modern Buenos Aires through the windows of the 1880s era immigration hotel
Staff looking at old ship manifests
The stairs had eyes!

Last Sunday evening, we drove out to Martin’s weekend house for an asado with Martin’s family, plus Fernando, another former colleague of John’s from his Systematics days. Big fun! And the next day was a local holiday, so we got to sleep in a bit. I met Lea for a delicious brunch at Marti’s – my omelette was smothered in yummy sautéed mushrooms that they grow on site – check out the assortment on the wall of ‘shrooms. Some looked like flowers or sea creatures to me!

Wall of mushrooms

The week was busy – my boss was out, so I covered the section. I went to the Wednesday yoga class and to the dermatologist on Thursday. Saturday morning we had our Argentine friends Luis and Mercedes over for brunch and a coffee-roasting demo and in the evening we went to a Cinco de Mayo party with some co-workers.

With Mercedes and Luis

I read Demi Moore’s memoir, “Inside Out” which I enjoyed, and I’m plugging alone in “Quit” by Annie Duke. John and I are thoroughly enjoying another South Korean show, “Crash Landing into You” – so sweet and clever!

It’s fall here now and the perfect time for a morning bike ride today with John! Afterward I had a delicious lunch with Lea at Bis, followed by a video chat with Jackie and Pamela, then with James and MaryBeth.