Monday, February 22, 2010

6 Months In

As of today I’ve been in Argentina for six months. I really left home on August 20th, a date which I arbitrarily picked while still in Ecuador, but because I missed my connecting flight in Washington, I didn’t arrive until two days later. Back in August it was still winter, and arriving early in the morning I saw that all of the leaves on the trees were dead and it was cold, overcast, and windy. In the taxi from the airport to my new home in La Boca, we passed drab buildings and run down streets, and I thought, “This is it? Big deal.”

It’s now summer in February, though it seems to be rounding out to the fall. Aside from minor things like the weather, I feel a world away from where I was six months ago in La Boca, and not just because I’ve moved twice and now live farther north. There was so much uncertainty when I got here, not only because I had no job and little money to waste, but because I didn’t really know how long I would spend here. I told people back home one year to ease the blow, but in my mind I was always thinking two years. Of course, it all depended on how well things went.

I thought then, and still do, that Buenos Aires is a city for the sun. When it’s shinning there is a glow around the buildings and I feel better, but when it’s drab and gray a depression seems to hang in the air. These old run down buildings don’t do well with overcast skies. So my first impression of the city wasn’t off to a good start, yet I tried and pushed onward as best I could, always with an open mind.

I’ve been really fortunate to see a large portion of this country from north to south, as well as exploring different parts of the capital city, slowly but surely. Just this weekend I found new spots to me which were quiet oases surrounded by buzzing avenues. It reinforces in my mind that there is so much to see and do here that more time is really necessary.

In comparison with last year, reaching six months in Ecuador, it doesn’t really compare. For me at that point, it was a downward slide and almost like a countdown had begun. I was in Peru at this time last year, navigating around Lake Titicaca, with a month of vacation time. But I’m continuing the uphill here, with a goal of another year and a half to continue exploring and learning about the place I live in.

Too much has happened in these six months to recount it all, but the experiences, both good and bad, have built up to where I stand now. I don’t really know what to make of it. At times it feels awesome, and other days I just want to be home with my friends doing something familiar. It just depends on what’s going on that day. So here’s to another six months in Argentina, and another meaningless anniversary.

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