January 2010 would be my first up close and counter with the heat wave in Buenos Aires. For most people, the idea of a hot summer sounds fantastic but there is no one in Buenos Aires that would tell you that the month of January is fantastic. Stores sell out all the fans that they have in stock as well as have fans themselves to keep the customers cool that walk into the stores. Ice cream stores like Freddas sport huge line up as Argentines indulge themselves into mouth watering dulce de leche ice-cream and other goodies.
Many Argentines try and escape the heat by heading over to Uruguay or other parts of the country like Iguazu to see the famed water falls. During the summer months, the beaches of Uruguay, Mar de Plata and Iguazú falls are crowded with Brazilians and Argentines taking holidays. I was fortunate enough to be have gone mid december and beat the crowds. As an added bonus, it actually happened that one of the dates I was in Iguazu happened upon my birthday. So I can honestly boast that I turned 29 at Iguazú
There is quite an interesting story to how I ended up at Iguazú for my birthday. At the student residence, many of the students took excursions to Iguazú and came back with a look of absolute awe on their faces and told me that I HAD to go. My schedule was flexible so I could go whenever I wanted to. I used the weather channel website on line to check the weather up there.
Iguazú is in a tropical region where there are plenty of storms and rain. I hoped to go and at least catch a few sunny days. This is the part where things start to get very interesting. Iguazú had been having weeks of storms and rains without end. That didn't keep tourist from visiting these magnificent falls. However, the weather report seemed to be saying that the few sunny days of good weather and clear signs would be the days that happen around the time of my birthday.
So I bought a round trip ticket and rode Argentina's luxurious coach buses there and back. One thing that I must say about the bus system in Argentina is that there is nothing like it. In Argentina, the level of services for coaches are equal to first or business class on a plane. The chairs are soft and gigantic and can go all the way back to form a bed of sorts. And with the purchase of your ticket comes a meal and a movie. Travelling 18 hrs to another province has never been more comfortable!
Iguazu itself was one of the most unforgettable sites in the world and it is one that you must be sure to put on your bucket list of things to do before you leave this earth. I'm not going to go into explicit detail on my trip but what I will tell you is that the best cameras and video recorders you could possibly use to snap pictures or take videos wouldn't even begin to do justice to how breathtaking the falls are.
Other Argentines escape the heat by heading south, perhaps to see the great Perito Moreno glacier that lies in wait in Patagonia close to the end of the world. That is the other world wonder that I hope to see in my life time and everyone whom I've spoken to who has seen the glacier or been on it tells me that like Iguazu, not photos or videos could do it justice.
Back to our story....meanwhile as the weather was heating up in Buenos Aires, things were heating up in my personal life here in Argentina. I was due back in Canada in March and I thought that would be the end of my trip and I would go back to a normal 9-5 routine among my fellow Canadians. Little did I know that what I thought would be the end was really the beginning and it would all begin with one simple facebook message to the pastor of the church Gulliermo Prein.
*just an interesting side note here that I recently found out that "Gulliermo" is "William" in english :)
I had been debating about contacting the pastor for quite some time but one day I decided to do it. I wrote him a note that said something like "Hi, my name is Angelina and I am an english teacher from Canada. I've been part of the church since Oct. " and then pressed the "send" button.
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A series of life circumstance forced me into the life of a wandering nomad trying to find my place in this world. My journey for identity takes me into the very birthplace of tango, Buenos Aires. A chance encounter happens between me and a mysteriou...