Sunday, January 18, 2009
It's all Happening at the Zoo!
In the words of Simon and Garfunkel:
Someone told me
Its all happening at the zoo.
I do believe it,
I do believe its true.
Its a light and tumble journey
From the east side to the park;
Just a fine and fancy ramble
To the zoo.
But you can take the crosstown bus
If its raining or its cold,
And the animals will love it
If you do.
Somethin tells me
Its all happening at the zoo.
The monkeys stand for honesty,
Giraffes are insincere,
And the elephants are kindly but
Orangutans are skeptical
Of changes in their cages,
And the zookeeper is very fond of rum.
Zebras are reactionaries,
Antelopes are missionaries,
Pigeons plot in secrecy,
And hamsters turn on frequently.
What a gas! you gotta come and see
At the zoo.
And is it ever all happening at the zoo...
Aprovechar: to make good use of; the mantra of 2009.
Our friends Jenny and Elise decided to start their new year with a promise to aprovechar, and Nick and I wanted to follow suit. We have all had some really hard times in BA, from being robbed, to being over-worked and under-paid and over-charged, to simply being part of the chaotic daily grind of a commuter searching for work in the over-populated capital of Argentina. But we are all here, which is somewhere we worked hard to be, and somewhere that begins our path to finding whatever it is that we are searching for. All of us forget this at times, times when we have been on the bus for five hours in one day and we are filthy from the pollution and the heat, and we are furious because a language institute forgot to tell us that classes are less expensive in the summer, which means we will get paid hundreds of pesos less than we expected. But then we come home, and Nick and I come home to each other, and we have to remind ourselves that we did this, we are doing this, and that we have an exotic continent at our fingertips, and that despite the slowness, we are beginning to grasp another language, and that suddenly we have close friends that we didn't know a mere 90 days ago. We have to remember that certain miracles have popped up along the way reminding us that yes, with hard work, your dreams can come true. And so 2009 became the year to aprovechar.
We are all trying to that in our own way. Nick and Brenna are moving to Patagonia, Chile in one month to begin a new job and a new life in the pristine environment of the south of the world...Jenny has begun a PR internship with one of her favorite restaurants in Buenos Aires--Pura Vida (http://www.puravidabuenosaires.com/). Elise has begun a job as the promoter of a pub crawl through the hippest part of the city for North American tourists (email me if you are interested!), something that is fun, exciting, and allows her to show off the city she is living in. Nick and I are taking steps to change our lives by finding freelance work and striving towards making a move to Corodoba in May, and hopefully after that, a "travelling wilbury" life through so many of the places in Argentina and South America that we are dying to see. And in the interim, we are all aprovecharing Buenos Aires, this city that to all of us represents dreams fulfilled dancing a tango with fears created (and faced!), but no matter what has given each of us a better and deeper sense of self and that will always hold a very sacred part in all our hearts.
Today, Brenna and I aprovechared Buenos Aires by going to the zoo. So simple and maybe boring to some, but it was honestly lovely. It was filled with people, but it wasn't chaotic, and sometimes that in and of itself is a blessing. The day was perfect--upper 70's and sunny. And to see animals!! We are in this concrete web of what feels like a mega-city, and to see animals and their squishy, cute faces, their fur that looks so pettable, ah, it was so much fun. Brenna said she felt like it was her first time at the zoo, and I was certainly snapping pictures like it was my first time, too. Giraffes, camels, ancient-looking tortoises, parrots, monkeys, polar bears, prairie dogs, gorillas, leopards, cheetahs, and lions. All of them were there, prancing around their miniature kingdom. To wander across the zoo's little bridges; to walk past its domed buildings, the paint peeling but regal nonetheless; to sit and eat salty french fries and drink cold water next to a river with cute little turtles paddling across; it all made for the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the city. Aprovechar here we come! In the words of one of the most special people I have ever met, of our Buenos Aires miracle-maker, "When you are open to the universe, the universe opens to you."