So ends another spectacular three day weekend in Argentina. You know, I really could get used to the easy combination of late nights, sunny days, and mouthwatering culinary creations that scream at you from the shop windows. Somewhere between bites of a triple-decker alfajor and deciding on spirit animals over sips of maté, I realized that I have yet to give a true snapshot of the group that I’m here with. For the sake of future posts, I will provide a quick snapshot for those interested.
The setting of this photo: Saturday night, at an awesome “Mongolian Grill” called Gengis’ House that is set up as a build your stir fry extravaganza. You walk in, pick up a delicate white china bowl, and pile it as high as possible with shaved meat and fresh cut veggies. You then hand over your creation to the man behind the counter, the owner/chef/tour guide. He balances some noodles on top of your already heaping bowl and seasons it with spices, sauces, and garlic as he deems fit. Finally, he ceremoniously dumps the whole mess onto a huge circular griddle, about 25 ft. in diameter, and proceeds to prepare your dinner in front of you.
But!…I digress. After concocting personalized dinners, we diez amigos settled down like one big happy family. Starting from the front left, and moving clockwise around the table we have:
Sarah: A fellow New Englander, she lives and studies in Massachusetts, and is one of the original 3 who started the trip with an overnight stay in Newark, NJ. She has introduced our group to terms such as “zoinks,” “fark,” and “diggity-dogg-down.” Spirit animal: Otter
Katie: Originally hails from San Diego, but made her way east to go to school at UVM, so we’re practically neighbors. Like me, she is a “foodie” at heart who understands the importance of taking 10 minutes of silence to look over a menu…and then running after the waiter when you change your mind. Spirit animal: Merecat
Kayla: Goes to school in Miami, Ohio; NOT to be confused with Miama, Florida. Her spirit animal is a Lioness, not only because of the hair and spunk, but also because it is the official animal of her much-loved sorority.
JD: My newest acquaintance in Argentina, I met JD for the first time while ordering my stir fry on Saturday. He was here last semester, and just returned from a 2-week hiatus in the States for another round. He may be new to us, but after 2 minutes of talking you would have thought he had been there the whole time. Confirming the 7 degrees of separation theory, I found out at not only did JD play football at Bridgton Academy, but knows both Rick and Nick Marcella personally. He also was the student who lived with Maria, my host mom, last semester. Small world, right? JD’s spirit animal was decided before plates were clean: Dog
Eleanor: The only member of the group who shared my original desire to go skiing. She is going to Mendoza and Las Lineas ski resort this coming weekend, and I just may steal her trip plans for a weekend in the end of August/early September. Sadly, Eleanor’s internship down here is ending, and she will head back to the States in about 10 days. Spirit animal: Antelope
Jasmine: Brings with a healthy amount of the organic/grunge/hippie stereotypes associated with her home state, Washington. She is also the easiest to pick out of the crowd, thanks to the colorful sweater she bought at a street fair and quickly adopted (pictured here). Spirit animal: Flying Squirrel
Marrisca: Representing the Rockies, Marrisca lives, works, and goes to school in Boulder, home of CU. A little quieter, but with a contagious laugh and sarcasm that will make you rethink your last statement. We commiserate over the joys and pains of being a server, swapping stories about Bray’s and Chili’s. Spirit animal: Cat
Matt: Another of the original 3, and often the only other person present with a Y chromosome. Matt isn’t the most talkative member of the group, but is up for anything and has displayed some killer street-juking moves (the result of some late night adventures). Another East-Coaster, he lives in Maryland and goes to school at U West Virgina. Spirit animal: Goat
Becky: Soft-spoken, and seemingly always happy, Becky will be my fellow traveler this weekend for a trip to the La Margarita Estancia in the campo outside of Buenos Aires. Don’t let the gentle demeanor fool you, she is a tenacious traveler who has plans for Peru and dreams of training elephants in Thailand. Spirit animal: Deer
So there you have it, an oh-so-quick synopsis of the rainbow of personalities that landed in the same small corner of South America. All told, it is a pretty awesome group, and despite obvious differences, they all fit into that world traveler mold that promises an easy-going, but also energetic and opinionated person ready for an adventure. They’re happy to go along for the ride, but also know where they want to turn. My kind of people. We do, however, have some people missing from the scene. Not pictured are Elaine, Jessie, Jeru, and Jess. Elaine and Jessie are fellow St. Mike’s Knights, but the rest will have to be described at a later date. Also not pictured is your loyal, conscientious, humble narrator. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about me, but will tell you that my (tentative) spirit animal was a Fox. My girlfriend disagrees, but I’ll take it.
I realize that this post lacked a proper summary of recent events, deep thoughts, or miraculous epiphanies, but stay posted. I hope to have another entry coming this week. Until then, as they say in Argentina: Ciao!
….Nos vemos! Hasta Luego! Que te diviertes! (The porteños can never stop at just one farewell)