Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Healing thru Papier Mache

Well it's been an intense month, but I'm doing much better. Right now we're a week into winter break for my kids with only two more weeks to go.... Aack! I've been spending most of my time up to my elbows in papier mache, building sets and puppets for "The Secret Garden". This is some of what I've been working on:


This is me with two of the blue jay puppets and the ladybug.


This is Naomi with ladybug.


Here's the flower bed with two of the flowers that grow and hook onto the wire.


And Chloe holding up the butterfly with Phoebe holding the bees.

I've been getting some e-mails from different people who are interested in moving from the States to this region. That's great! As Jackie O said, you owe it to yourself and the rest of the world to do what makes you happy. Most of the misery in this world is caused by unhappy people.

Some questions included the cost of living, the quality of schools and some other concerns that I will try to address. Let me just say, if you don't know any spanish, get started. It's a catch -22, the best way to learn a language is to live in a country where it is spoken, but the only way to feel really comfortable in a country is to speak the local language. First of all when you arrive here to rent an apartment avoid the following months; December-February, and June-August. This is high season and you will pay through the nose trying to rent at these times. As for food, $200.00 (pesos) worth of groceries is about the same as U$S 200.00 of groceries in New York ( if you know the exchange rate, you'll find that's a great deal), gas here is $2.069 (pesos) a gallon at the YPF, and tuition at my kid's bilingual school is U$S 500.00 a month, for all three of them combined.

Some parents may be concerned about sending their kids to an english as a second language class, but for my girls it's been an opportunity to help out their friends after a difficult morning in all their spanish subjects. For Chloe in particular it's been great as her english teacher is from Sydney, Australia, and she's learned a lot about Australian life and culture. Her class even tried vegemite, (only Chloe liked it), and a number of other Australian treats.

I've been meaning to post some photos from our trip to Buenos Aires. It's such an incredible city and I can't wait to go back. The pictures don't really do it justice, perhaps next time though, hasta luego!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Argentine blood in my viens

I'm writing about the brain I guess, my brain. I convince myself that all is well. Things are looking good, and ignore all the signs and signals that there's something wrong. How can it be? Things did seem great, the kids were happy at school, Mike was busy with work, and my work was also going well.... Meanwhile I was bleeding to death inside. I really was. I was pregnant inside my fallopian tube for two months. The baby was growing and I was bleeding into my intestines and stomach. It's called an ecoptic pregnancy.

After surgery I came to, as they wheeled me into my room. I saw Mike and my heart leapt. Then they moved me off the stretcher and onto the bed. The pain coursed through me and I wished for unconsciousness. I whimpered through that night unable to move or shift from my miserably uncomfortable position, if I tried I was rewarded with agony. They came in and out checking my blood pressure, giving me pain medication, taking my blood and checking the drain that was attached to my stomach.

It was hard to think straight. I couldn't read or draw at first. I learned new words in Spanish though, "Mucho dolor", "duele acca", and "Adelante". That last one means "Come in!" People would knock on my door all day long and I lay there saying "Come in!" and of course they wouldn't because they don't speak English. Finally our wonderful friend, Betina, gave me the words to say and it made a huge difference for me in the hospital.

Our friends here have been very helpful, especially Betina who came to the rescue and watched the kids while Mike rushed me to the emergency room on Tuesday night. I'm so grateful that we've managed to make such good friends here.

When I was a child I lived near a moderately busy road in Northport, New York. The lawn was next to the road and ended with a steep short hill right into it. It was an unremarkable day that my brother and sister and I decided to play freeze tag. My brother, Duncan, was "it" and chasing me. Without thinking I was rushing towards the road in an effort to stay "unfrozen". With a burst of speed my brother tackled me and pulled me back to the edge of the lawn as a white sedan zipped past my toes. It happened in an instant and was over an instant later. This time it was happening very slowly and took more than one quick thinking person to save me. It took my doctor and his team 2 hours of work in surgery, it took the hospital staff and last but not least two Argentines who took the time to donate blood at the local hospital. I received two liters of blood and now I'm happy to say I have Argentine blood in my veins.
"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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