/ H O M E \

Almost 4 months into Argentina and there’s a sinking feeling in my stomach, one that comes and goes, but has lately made it’s visits more frequent–I’m missing home.

Now, I’m not surprised that I feel this way. I knew that eventually homesickness would nest itself in my stomach, at least for a little while. There was even a part of me that was welcoming it; I know that a true test of character and ability occurs when one is feeling uncomfortable, challenged or even hopeless. And a true competitor at heart, I craved such a challenge. How hard could it be?

Well, I’ll tell you, some days it can be pretty damn hard, friends. Luckily I have a great host family here who takes good care of me, and my town here is so welcoming and helpful. But sometimes, not even the best tasting dulce de leche ice cream after a delicious meal can beat those homesick blues.

What exactly do I miss about my home? Besides the obvious–my family, my friends–I’ve come to appreciate all of the little things that comprise “home” for me.

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When it comes to food, my close friends can tell you that my literal hunger for breakfast tacos has manifested itself into dreams more than once. And there’s nothing worse than driving to Chick-Fil- A on a Sunday than just flat out not having a Chick-Fil-A in your country…*sigh*

But life isn’t all about comida for me (though this blog may prove differently). I miss the drive from Austin to San Antonio, where I’d end up on my couch next to my mama watching old movies until I fall asleep. I miss the weekly margarita trip to Gloria’s with my friends. More recently, I’ve been missing tailgating before the Texas football games and hiking in the Greenbelt in the Fall weather. The list goes on…

BUT, don’t think for one second that I’m not happy to be here in Argentina, one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to. I’m loving it here! Like I mentioned before, I’ve been lucky enough to be placed with an awesome host family who cooks delicious meals and makes me feel at home.

I’ve also had the opportunity to travel around the country, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at it’s beauty: the Andes mountains, the charming German towns, the sunsets stretching across the sky illuminating the expansive countryside that surrounds my town.

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Cerro de los Siete Colores, a place I’m hoping to visit soon in the north of Argentina.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that being here so far has made me appreciate all of the things that comprise “home” for me: my family, my friends, my city, my Tejano culture. Cliché, I know, but true nonetheless.

But, one thing I always remember is something a good friend of mine told me recently: your happiness lies within yourself and all that matters is how you cultivate that happiness, not necessarily where you cultivate it.

Such a beautiful point that has made me realize that I should appreciate both my “home” here in Argentina and my “home home” back in Texas. There are plenty of things to be grateful for in both places.

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So, the next time I feel that sinking feeling in my stomach, I’m going to remember my favorite things about my home here: running in the park, eating meals with my host family, teaching/laughing with my students everyday, having merienda (tea time) with my little sister and her friends, and writing here, in my room, with the sun shining on my face.

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It’s College Gameday!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already Fall, which in Texas means football and everything that comes with it: tailgating, cowboy boots, fajita tacos and ice cold beer. It’s times like these that I’m most nostalgic for home…

In honor of today, here’s a photo of my college crew on our very first Longhorns game day together back in 2012.

first horns game

Tonight I’ll be wearing my “Gone to Texas” t-shirt and sitting in front of this computer, watching the Horns kick off the 2015-2016 season against none other than Notre Dame. It’s going to be a good one, guys.

Hook ’em!

My Mind in Argentina (pt. 1)

Below are some (random) thoughts and realizations I’ve had while being in Argentina so far:

  1. Breakfast tacos are apparently really weird–Like almost unfathomable. I knew there would be obvious differences in diet between Argentines and Texans, but when I told my students that my favorite breakfast food was tacos they couldn’t have looked more disgusted/weirded out/confused. You mean you don’t wake up every morning craving a warm bean and cheese taco with a sweet tea on the side? Que extrañoooooooo.
  2. All people from the U.S. are known as “Yankees”–Yep. Even those of us who come from the South.
  3. Everyone should be able to come home for lunch–Here, everyone gets to come home for lunch (which is a home-cooked meal) with their families. In my case, my host mom, sister and I have a break from school and my host dad comes home from the campo (farm) so we can all eat together. And there’s usually time afterward for a siesta too! How nice, right?
  4. Eating dinner before 9pm is seen as just absurd–Apparently we’re doing it wrong, USA. Similar to the breakfast taco situation, when I tell people that I’m used to eating dinner around 6pm or 7pm (at the latest) I’m met with weird looks and even gasps. Yes–gasps! It’s been a bit of an adjustment eating dinner much later. At first my stomach would screeeeeam with hunger around 6pm, unable to be fully satisfied except for an empanada or maybe a media luna. But, after almost 2 months here (woah!), I think I’ve finally got a handle on it.
  5. “Too much maté” does not exist–Maté is a tea that basically everyone in Argentina drinks. I love the taste but even more so the ritual of drinking it; it’s meant to be shared among a group of people (everyone drinks from the same straw). Whenever you go to someone’s house, you are offered maté. My first night in Argentina was spent drinking maté and my first day here in Serrano I probably drank 10-15 cups before dinner!
  6. Bread is an everyday staple–This…this has been a struggle for me, because when I say staple I mean it’s at every single meal, in abundance! You would never think so because the people here are generally very thin. At first I would watch my host family eateateat bread and think to myself “Huh, if they can eat a lot of bread and not gain weight, maybe I can too.” I’ve now realized what a naive assumption that was (haha) and have limited myself to only eating bread at one meal a day. (#myMexicangenescanthandlebread)
  7. I really freaking miss breakfast tacos–And Chick-Fil-A. And Whataburger. Not to mention a margarita from Gloria’s. I remind myself daily that it’s a small price to pay for having the time of my life here. But sometimes you can’t beat the craving. (I had an extensive dream about eating tacos at Las Palapas last night #help #plzsendtacos).