Argentinian Olympic Athletes Open Invite

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During the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, many countries will host their own pavilion showcasing their countries best offerings, but I didn’t see Argentina offering a pavilion or area for their athletes to hang out at.

Being from Argentina myself and growing up with the culture I was thinking yesterday about this and have decided to open my home up to the Argentinian athletes that are participating in the games. I don’t think their are many Argentinians participating in the games, but you are welcome to stop by for a mate, alfajores, empanadas or pan dulce please let me know! I’m conveniently located downtown in Yaletown and ready when you are!

Please drop me a note or email me at gfosarolli [at] gmail [dot] com.

Buenos Aires – Recoleta

Buenos Aires, like many major cities worldwide, is divided up into many neighbourhoods or “barrios”. On our recent trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Russ and I got to explore some of these neighbourhoods and I will create a short series on them.

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Recoleta is known for its expensive shops, cafes and parks and the famous Recoleta Cemetery, where several famous Argentine’s are buried, including Evita Peron.  The cemetery centres infront of a square where many local restaurants and night clubs are situated. The cemetery “was designed by Prospero Catelin of France, following a proposal by Bernardino Rivadavia, and opened in 1822 as a public cemetery for ordinary citizens.” [wiki]

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Recoleta is also known as one of the most expensive neighbourhoods to live in, with the cost of real-estate, pricey restaurants and fashion designer adding to the cost of living. This is also the neighbourhood where I was born. Alas I can’t recall the name of the hospital my mother told me I was born in.

As most neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires, Recoleta’s streets are lined with trees and every few blocks you are greeted with a park with huge full grown trees and you are always treated to a sculpture of some sort. One of the most famous sculptures is the Floralis Genérica, located in United Nations Park in Recoleta. This was created by Eduardo Catalano and is a metallic flower who’s petals open and close based on the incidence of solar rays.

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The buildings rage from french style in architecture to more modern buildings.

We were lucky to have this as our base camp when we were in the city. Our hotel, Park Chateau Hotel, was located on a quiet street and a few short minutes from all that Recoleta had to offer.

Vacation is Over

Buenos_Aires_ 014 Yesterday Russ and I arrived back from our trip to Argentina (A 20 plus hour plane ride).

I know I have lacked in blogging about my excursions of the Capital City – Buenos Aires. The internet connection was way too slow and I had trouble even uploading my photos up.  I promise I will blog about the different areas of the city we explored in the coming days, but you can experience the photos on my Flickr page.

We both had a fantastic time in Argentina. Russ got to know my family alot more, and got to experience what has made my family truly amazing!

This was a trip for me to reconnect with my roots, to visit family I haven’t seen in so long, and restore those ties. This was also a trip for me to experience Argentina as an adult, to get out and enjoy what the city has to offer.

Buenos Aires is a huge city and is truly diversified from it’s European charm, to it’s modern elements. It was so nice to see a huge city like this have many parks spreed out through it. Each park also had statues and other pieces of art for all to enjoy. Buenos Aires is truly the Paris of South America.

I will miss Buenos Aires, and I look forward to experiencing the city again in a few years.

Last Day in Ramallo

There is just something to say about family.  This trip has been a great way to connect back with them and get to know them all over again.

On our last day in Ramallo, we spent lunch with my Aunt Carmen and her family. They set up their garage with tables, and had the paralla all ready when we arrived with 8 chickens cooking nicely.

We sat around the table and enjoyed the great company while at the sametime Russ practiced his spanish with my family. I think Russ was enjoying the meal so much that he said “Oh My God” alot and it quickly got caught on by the members of my family who kept repeating it and laughing everytime they said it.

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After lunch, Russ and I started to explore my Aunt’s surrounding neighbourhood and my father suggested we walk a few blocks and explore the farm where he had been raised when in Ramallo. He had never told me this before and I had never asked before, but the history of our family is so strongly rooted in Ramallo, Argentina.

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Later on that afternoon, my father headed down to get the lamb he had ordered for the big dinner that was planned that night.  There was some confusion as to where the dinner would be held. Initially we had planned to have it near the river on the beach, but alas with the wind and the cooler weather we ended up renting a club house close to my Aunt Carmen’s house instead which proved to be a better choice in the long run.

As we watched my father and uncle prepare the feast, we all began to play games outside the club and I connect strongly with my cousins again and their children. Russ was having a blast and it should as his spanish kept improving slowly. I at one point was taken back by all the requests from family members to ask Russ stuff, but took it all in stride.

I am not one to eat lamb, never really liked it, but the way my uncle and father prepared the fresh lamb was unbeatable. The flavour of it, the tenderence of the meat were amazing. There wasn’t a single piece of lamb left that night. A truly amazing way to spend our last night in Ramallo.

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The next morning we picked up my Aunt Nelly from my uncle’s farm and headed back into Buenos Aires where Russ and I had planned to spend the rest of the week downtown exploring what the city has to offer.

From Mar Del Plata to Buenos Aires to Ramallo

It has been a few days since I was last able to update this blog, this is mainly due to not finding many WiFi areas around here in Argentina. I apologies if this is too “diary” in format, but I think it’s important for me to remember and recall. 🙂

We had an interesting trip back to Buenos Aires from Mar Del Plata.  We encountered a huge rain storm that lasted about 45 minutes. The rain was coming down so hard that alot of cars and trucks were pulling to the side of the street and waiting out the storm. Our driver on the other hand continued driving through it and I have to say drove amazingly safe. My aunt Nelly, was white knuckled during the storm and was worried.

We arrived fairly late to my aunt Tita’s house and you could notice the change in climate BA. It was 37C that night and my aunt’s place was so hot that it made it difficult to sleep that night.

The next day Russ and I joined my father and headed downtown to a car rental agency to rent a car for the weekend for our trek to Ramallo.

It was interesting taking the bus to downtown from my aunts place. I truly forgot how big BA is. The city is HUGE and I’m looking forward to spending a few days in the downtown core.

After the car rental, we picked up my mother and headed off to Ramallo. Ramallo is about 2.5 hours north of BA and the drive was interesting with little traffic.

We arrived at my parent’s apartment and unloaded our luggage and washed out clothes (which needed to be washed).

Ramallo is a fairly small town and it has been over 24 years since I last was here. We walked around the main boulevard for a bit and then headed off to my uncle’s farm for the evening and as customary with my family, you are made to eat when visiting. My uncle had made some asado, and we enjoyed eating it as usual. I was surprised that there was no mosquitoes at his place. I recall being eaten alive while there. I think that due to the drought they are having here, it has reduced the mosquito population drastically.

Yesterday we had gone around the town again and my father has planned a big get together for Sunday. We had gone to a farm where my father has asked for a lamb for dinner (mmm fresh meat).

When we arrived back to my parents place, my cousin’s daughter was there visiting with my mother and later my aunt Carmen dropped by so we could head to the cemetery to visit some relatives there, including my recently deceased uncle. I was amazed how the cemetery has grown through time. My father and mother highlighted some places where my relatives were buried, including my great grandparents, my grandparents, and my brother. I had taken a few photos of their grave stones to remember them.

I was surprised that when my aunt visited my uncle’s grave, she was able to remove the front plaque and actually see the coffin inside.  It was alittle shocking at first, but at the same time, not so shocking to see.

This trip has been filled with family and my way of connecting back with them. This is my heritage, this is my past and I wanted to connect with it again and feel grounded. This is what has made me the person that I am, my family, my linage.