It’s a rush to the finish here in Ituzaingo! Our site closes for the two weeks surrounding Christmas, so that means as of December 20th, we don’t even have to think about work for two weeks! However… that means it’s chaos here trying to shut everything down and get ready for the next year. Both T and I are super-excited to go back to the States this weekend and spend some quality time with friends and family. (As well as time with the “rabbit that should have been in Argentina” and our guinea pig!) We’ve been playing Christmas music in the office the past few days to get into the holiday spirit–despite the fact that it’s in the mid-90s outside! The Argentinians are very much into fake Christmas trees and garlands–very strange to see next to the palm trees and parakeets.
Our end of the year prep has gotten a little more hectic than we could have imagined, though! Last week we accidentally hit a yacare, or crocodile. We had to drive to Posadas for a business dinner, and were driving back late. Since the yacare are so close to the ground, we didn’t see it until the absolute last second… and by then it was too late. For future reference–don’t hit yacares! They are like rocks. We are both fine, but the car’s radiator is shot and the radiator frame is bent–plus we have no front bumper. We were planning on sending the car to the dealer for some scheduled maintenance while we are out of the country anyway–but the car had to be towed all the way to Posadas now. We’ll see how long it takes the Argentinian mechanics to get the necessary parts! We’ve since been told by others that the area where we had our accident is a popular late-night crossing spot for yacares–so we’ll have to keep that in mind if we drive at night again!
This means that we’ve been doing everything by bike since then. We do hitch a ride into work every morning with coworkers, but for all of our normal errands, we have to bike around the city. We’re definitely glad we brought our backpacks and have a nice basket to put on the back of one of the bikes. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, especially for grocery shopping! I’m actually really glad we spent the money to get a water purification system for our tap–now we don’t need to lug heavy bottles of water from the grocery store!
Our vegetable garden (huerta) has been growing like crazy with all of the hot weather and rain! T installed a homemade drip line to keep the basil particularly well-watered, but it’s done wonders for the other plants as well! We’ve already harvested some of the beans, but I think our first crop of tomatoes will be while we’re in the States. You know what’s nice about Argentina, though? The growing season is YEAR ROUND. So we will have lots more where that came from, I am sure.
We also had our company Christmas party, which was a fun experience. We had both the Argentinians and Paraguayans, as well as our customer, at the big dinner in one of the fanciest spots in town. On the menu was a delicious whole leg of beef that the cook lit on fire at the beginning. It was perfecto. We also had a wide variety of salads (not the lettuce kind–more of red beets, potatoes, and rices). We made friends with the venue’s dog and a teensy, tiny kitten, but left before the karaoke got into full swing. (We made it 1am! We’re getting somewhat closer to being Argentinians!)
We’ll miss the main festivities of Argentina at Christmas–I’m told it involves a lot of beach time–but we are so happy to go back to the States and see some snow! We’ll see if I blog at all while I’m back in the States!
Feliz Navidad y un prospero Año Nuevo a todos!