Yesterday marked our first Buenos Aires thunderstorm. We have had a string of sunny, warm, cloudless days, so when the noise of rain coming down in heavy sheets rang as our alarm clock, it was quite surprising. The sky was gray, gray, gray and it was so drenched outside that there was no way we were going to go outside. Luckily, neither one of us had class yesterday, so we had no obligations to be anywhere except inside our cozy apartment.
The day started out like most of our days here: pots of coffee made and drank, Nick at his computer, I at mine, occasionally one of us telling the other news that we have via email or an article we are reading online. Only this day, there was no rush. I can not count the cups of coffee I drank, and I took my time making the most delicious egg sandwhich for breakfast. I read a huge chunk out of the wonderful novel I am reading, Norwegian Wood, courtesy of Sarah Bobbe, and Nick read through-and-through the entire Economist. Finally, around 4 o'clock, we got out of our pajamas and into semi-real clothes--jeans & a tshirt, as good as it was going to get on a rainy day. (It sounds so lazy, but it was, in fact, glorious...)
And then we made soup. But not just any soup. A gigantic pot of home-made broth flavored with bulion cubes and garlic, then made hearty with potatoes, black beans, corn, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, hot sauce, jalopenos, and rice. When it was done, bubbling and boiling, we topped it off with avocado slices and cilantro...It was so thick and so refreshingly spicy (the Argentines cringe at picante, so finding hot food is a challenge)...We were sweating with each bite. After one bowl, I was so full, but I didn't have the will-power to pass up another bowl. Nick went back with me and then he went back again, and again :-) (In fairness to him, his bowl was a lot smaller than mine!) I was bursting, but I could have eaten more bowls just for the flavor...There is nothing like spicy soup during a thunderstorm...And to top it all off, after we ate our soup, we spent two hours watching the Sopranos...It really couldn't have been a better day.
In the evening, Nick & Brenna came over, and we munched our way through olives, garlic bread, and cookies, while sipping our way through three liters of Quilmes and two bottles of wine, all as we semi-played a game of good ol' midwestern Yeuker. At midnight, it was officially Brenna's birthday, and we celebrated to that. At moments like that, as we are with a friend to celebrate the first moment of her birthday, Nick and I realize how we are so thankful to have met the people we have here...We arrived nearly two months ago, knowing no-one, excited and motivated, but scared and a tad lonely, missing all the friends & family that we had left in Washington & Wisconsin. Although we still miss everyone at home everyday, we are so lucky to have made the friends we have here; without such relationships, our life in Buenos Aires would be quite different. From Brenna & Nick, to Leonor our empanada angel, to Jenny our roommate from our homestay, these are people that Nick & I want to know forever, who have helped us beyond words to settle here and become comfortable.
It is a sunny day again today, a day filled with teaching English and taking Spanish, a day back to the go-go-go of our normal lives. It is gorgeous outside and I can not wait to open that door and enjoy the sunshine, to join the hectic beat of the crowds outside. But yesterday was a pause to be grateful for, a break that allowed us to take a breather and realize all we have to be thankful for, here in BA.