Iguazu Falls

October 23rd, 2022

Gorgeous!

John and I flew to Iguazu Falls Thursday morning – wow! We love being back in a rain forest, and the waterfalls are gorgeous. We went to the Argentine side Friday, then to the Brazil side the following day. Both were spectacular in different ways. The area has had very heavy rains, and the falls were full and muddy.

We walked under the Devil’s Throat Fall on the Brazil side – thank goodness our guide brought sturdy rain jackets for us, although we still got pretty wet! Yes – we were out on this walkway with the water flowing right under our feet!

Water, water everywhere!

We’re staying at a lovely resort and have a private villa and plunge pool, all surrounded by green jungle – it’s really wonderful and I may not ever leave! In the late afternoons, we’ve taken a couple of short excursions: one to a small hummingbird garden where we saw some beautiful birds and another to an animal/bird rehab center. I caught this howler coming in from the jungle to steal a snack and check us out:

We were tickled to see a toucan right before we entered the national park on the Argentine side:

Today we drove about 45 minutes to the small town of Libertad where we got on a boat and went birding. We were on the Parana River on the border with Paraguay, then took a couple of smaller tributaries to see birds. Everything was lush and green, and there was a waterfall, too!

On one of the tributaries
On the Parana River
We’ve enjoyed the resort!

It has begun

October 16th, 2022
Boxes and boxes

Our household goods arrived Friday! We’re spending the weekend (and then some) putting things away and making the apartment feel like home. Despite LOTS of purging before leaving Liberia, it still feels like a lot of “things”! While the apartment is large, there’s not much storage, so we’ll have to get creative!

Last Monday was a holiday and John arranged a guide to take us urban birding. Not far from the house is an EcoReserve – we strolled along the sidewalk and saw lots of birds, then went inside the park for a while. We spotted over 50 kinds of birds – lovely. My favorite was a huge stork flying overhead!

Urban birding

I had a good video chat with James and MaryBeth on Saturday. John and I watched (and loved) “Bad Sisters” (thanks, Pamela, for the recommendation!). We also thoroughly enjoyed “Elvis”! We’ve started season two of “London Kills,” a good crime drama.

Here’s a shot from San Telmo last weekend:

Spring?

October 9th, 2022

It’s supposed to be spring, but the days have alternated between warm/sunny and cold/windy! Today was beautiful – John and I walked to Cafe Mushugein for a yummy brunch.

Shakshuka!
Cafe Mushugein open kitchen

We came back home but it was too pretty to stay inside. I hopped into a taxi for San Telmo and hit the antiques fair – a hopping place on Sunday afternoon. Afterward I met John for a drink across the street at Invernadero with Maura and Ben, and their cute baby Magnolia. It was a gorgeous afternoon.

Lea and I had a couple of outings this week – last week we went to a fancy Japanese-Peruvian place for sushi, and this week we went to the Evita Museum, followed by lunch in the courtyard there. I had forgotten everything I’ve read about Eva Duarte Peron, so I read a biography of her yesterday and today – so interesting. (I also finished “The Colony” and re-read “Under the Banner of Heaven.”)

Gorgeous dress
Kitchen from Evita’s benevolent society – with odd fake pieces of meat on the grill

Thursday the Ambassador sponsored “choripan day” – sausages (on buns) on the grill outside the embassy. Big fun and delicious.

And big news! My Honda arrived! I can’t drive it until I get my license plates, but she’s in country safe and sound!

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