I am officially a member of the local DVD video store! Last night I wanted to rent “The Town” to show Javier a bit of Boston and Charlestown—and once I found out that he’s never seen Good Will Hunting, that’s definitely going to be the next one on the rental list. A classic! He said he liked the Towne because it didn’t end like “all the other Yankee films”. “What do you mean by, all the other Yankee films?” He says, “Happily ever after in one of those big houses, big cars, ya know everything big.” Talk about learning from another perspective. Everything is “too easy” and “too big” in America…even down to the size of my tooth paste tube.
Back to my membership at the DVD store: I paid the 3 dollars for the DVD and like anywhere, was told about how long I could keep the movie and then the nice man said something that I thought for sure I misunderstood. “Qué? Repite. You mean you are going to deliver the DVD to my house the first time I rent it? But I live right down the street, I can just take it now, unless this is a rule or something?” “Yes, the first DVD you rent, we deliver to your house, it’ll be there in 5 minutes. After that, you can rent the movies here or you can call and we will deliver it to your house.” (as a teenage boy in the back of the counter flickered a smile my way letting me know he was waiting to vrrooom vroom up his moto and deliver the dvd). Sure enough, about 2 minutes after I walked in the door, sounded the buzzer with the 15 year old waiting at the door with my first DVD rental. Netflicks for humans, what a concept! I just kept saying thank you over and over, not really knowing what to make of the whole thing.
Next week I have an interview with a bike tour company in Buenos Aires that gives daily tours around the city for about 3 hours each tour. I went to give my resume to the director when I saw her on a tour last week and then I played soccer that night and told one of the girls on my team, Ana, how I had applied, and one thing led to another, with this small little world we live in, and she works there too. It would be the perfect part time gig that would work with my schedule here, and to be outside on a bike: utopia!
Yesterday I spent most of my day in San Isidro, a nice suburb 20 minutes by train from my neighborhood of Belgrano. The equivalent in Boston would be like heading out to Belmont or Arlington. Liz (my Camp cheff assistant, Backroads leader) did an exchange program here and her family in North Carolina continues to host kids from the school in San Isidro and vice versa in San Isidro for kids from Charlotte. Liz put me in touch with her host mom, Maria who has seven kids and is the director of the entire English/bilingual/exchange program at the local private school for k-12. What a day I had meeting Maria at her school, learning about the programs there, and then meeting her two youngest sons Tomas and Juako and chatting over coffee and Dulce de Leche, about her sons experiences in North Carolina (which includes a Bottle of BBQ sauce in their fridge), and about my connection with Liz through Backroads.
It was such a unique experience to be visiting the school at this time because the teachers and students start their new school year in a week, now that summer is ending. I walked in to that distinct environment you can practically smell in the air, of summer ending and another school year beginning. Scrubbing floors, dusting off supplies, all the teachers were prepping their rooms, or hearing that they were all of a sudden teaching a different grade then they had planned for, and asking where their books were in the attic, the school nurse organizing and stocking materials, all the same exact things we teachers do every fall around the world. It was a little blast from the past for me, now that I’ve been away from teaching since last June.
Maria is looking into having me be a part of the high school “Global Perspectives” class to come in once or twice a week and present topics on the U.S or any of my previous travels and work part time there, and also helping students who need more challenging English conversation opportunities. I think if I can make this work with bike touring, I’ll have a hard time leaving Buenos Aires! (Don’t worry, Mom). It’s really quite perfect because she knows I am leaving in May, but wants to try and take advantage of my native English skills and bring them to the school if possible. Any other teaching position I apply for here is tough to get if I honestly tell them I’m leaving in May, so this may be the perfect happy-medium.
Maria and her family have hosted students from around the world, opening their home to anyone coming through San Isidro who needs a place to stay, like Justa and Edguardo did many times for a full year with exchange students like Angie. I am humbled by the amount of people that welcome me with open arms here. I am forever appreciative and thankful for that.
Gotta go return that DVD and figure out the translation for “Good Will Hunting” in Spanish. More Futból tonight! Love from the land of “Good Air”. Miss you all!