Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bulletins From BA #09

Bulletins From BA #09
27 Enero 2013

¡Hola! there… Rodger French here.

Living in an exotic locale is indubitably different than simply visiting, and, six months on, Anne and I have predictably settled into our little routines. These are not remarkable, except for the fact that they take place in Buenos Aires and not, say, my hometown of Louisville, KY. Perhaps you regular correspondents will find this possibly unfocused report on daily life of interest, perhaps not. In either case, I promise to keep it short, but brief.

December and January are summer vacation months in Argentina, when a huge number of Porteños (residents of BA) take off for the beaches and other non-urban environments. The salutary result is that Buenos Aires is a lot less crowded y más tranquilo (quiet). As an added bonus, the weather has been muy agradable (agreeable), except for a few days when the heat and humidity went all beastly on our ass. (The heat index on Christmas Eve was 46 °C (115 °F).) But that’s exceptional and we have many days caressed by the lovely “buenos aires” (good airs).

A.J. is hitting the road (Ecuador) and I am working at the Embassy as called upon. Salting away some moolah has become a priority for us since (a) we want to travel as much as we can afford to in South America and (b) we need to have something to live on when Anne retires. So, no leather sofas, silver saddles, or glittering nightlife for us. We are planning a trip to Calafate in March to see the glaciers, but otherwise, most of our spending is for boring stuff like food and utilities.

Speaking of boring, I’ve been practicing pretty intensely of late, mostly accordion, but piano as well. And, I have started juggling again. In fact, Anne and I went with a group of FSOs to Casa de la Fe, a small orphanage in BA, as part of Community Service Day on 21 Enero. I performed, pathetic español and all, for 15 niños and taught a couple to actually sort of juggle.

Hot on the heels of this triumph, there are plans afoot to send me, concurrent with one of A.J.’s periodic visits in her official capacity as IRO, on a tour of some BNCs (Binational Centers) in the Argentine countryside, conducting juggling workshops and musical performances. In English. ¡Hurra! Cultural diplomacy, people - could happen. Should be loads of fun, too. I’ll keep you posted.

Well, that mostly brings us up to date for now. We are enjoying our tour and are sincerely grateful to be posted in a country where the odds of an attack on the U.S. Embassy are like, say, the chances of Louisville ever having a MLB franchise - basically nada. 

[FUN FACT: The Marine Security Guards (MSG) posted at American embassies and consulates are not assigned chiefly to protect diplomats (not that they don’t). Nope, their primary duty is to “safeguard classified information.”]