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Monday, June 06, 2011

Mondongo 2 Go!

PR: Mondongo (tripe stew)Image by joannova via Flickr

Let's just recap for a moment the series of events that happened between Marisa and I. She realized that she was my mother about a week or so before I got around to Montevideo, Uruguay. My trip was delayed because my Mac broke down and I had to purchase another computer. Initially I was frustrated at having to delay my trip due to a lack of finances but it turns out that everything happens for a reason. In reality, if I had gone to Uruguay any earlier than I did, she would have just seen me as a friend without the revelation that I was her brood and the trip wouldn't have been as special as it was.

But an interesting tidbit that I haven't dished out until now is that Montevideo took every last penny.  I have a certain amount of money alloted to me for monthly living expenses in Buenos Aires and I knew this trip would cost all the money that I normally use on living expenses. Montevideo is twice the price of Buenos Aires and when when I was there, I had to spend every peso with the utmost care. Marisa and I were joking about having to buy wieners at the grocery store simply because all the prices were severely inflated compared to Argentina.

Coming back to Buenos Aires was just as much as an adventure because I would have no choice other than to trust God for my needs seeing as I basically had no money left for anything.  I came and went to Montevideo in total faith that God was going to take care of me when I got back to Argentina.  And just to make it clear that this would not be a situation where I'm not going to try and beg others for funds.  I voluntarily took that money and spent it going to Montevideo knowing that I was taking the last of what I had.  and whatever comes of it, I'm willing to go through.

My very first week after getting back from Montevideo consisted of micro-managing money. I knew God will always take care of me but being in God's will does not exempt me from conserving with care like the rest of the world. The first little miracle came a couple of days later when I arrived at the doorstep of one of my students. It ended up that instead of teaching english, she gave me 50 pesos because she had decided to buy books off me and was making monthly payments.

The money could not have come at a better time and I thanked her profusely and headed on my way.  50 pesos is roughly $12 CDN is enough to give me food to last me about a day or two.  Argentina is currently in the midst of an inflation so although things are cheap in comparison to Europe or Norh America, things are not as dirt cheap for foreigners like they were once reputed to be. But even in a country where your dollar goes far, there are ways to stretch your dollar even further.

As I held those 50 pesos in my hands, I already started to come up with a plan for how I was going to allocate the money at the grocery store. Espanola de Mondongo........stewed innards for 20 pesos ($5) a kg. This is a South American favorite that is cheap, healthy, and filling. Toss in brown rice and it instantly becomes twice as filling and doubly healthy. I bought two servings of the stew, one for that day and one for the next day.  I knew that the mixture of brown rice and stew would leave me full the rest of the day. Mondongo 2 go!

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Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas