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Monday, January 02, 2012

Great Expatations

I don't need to state the obvious that Argentine history is nothing less than rich and colorful.  There are countless wars, bloody battles, and an endless list of heroes to many to name. If you don't believe me, just spend an afternoon the the Recoleta Cemetery.  The amount of names, dates and event are enough to go to the moon and back.

But as interesting as Argentina's history may be, there is another type of history that is being made.....expat history.  Just because the history of the expats landing here may not be as extensive, doesn't mean that it is any less fun or interesting. In a previous blog "Chili Experts and Chilly Expats", I gave you a tiny glimpse into the expat world.

Truthfully, people have been coming here for many generations now. Due to location and language barrier, very little info was know about the country except those who happened to settle here due to marriage or work. Blogs were almost completely non existent and if one from the outside world wanted info on Argentina, the only thing available were things like forums and messages boards.  These where were expats messaged each other and talked about things that only concerned those living directly there.  The information would be almost completely useless to anyone from the outside looking in.

Information wise, things were very bleak....until 2006 when Chicago native Allie Lazar landed on the shores of BA. Her landing here may have seemed like such a minute event. Nobody could have predicted that she would eventually be the writer of "Pick Up the Fork", one of the most prominent (if not the most prominent) food blogs in all Buenos Aires.  For the first time ever, outsiders would have a window into the food scene here in BA as they follow her love-hate drama with Argentine cuisine and all its offerings.

 As well in 2006 would be the landing of  Sorrel Moseley-Williams , a british journalist and broadcaster.  She constantly does interviews with expats and reports on the latest happenings in the city. As well she works for Buenos Aire's premier english newspaper "The Buenos Aires Herald"

Spring of 2007 would see the landing of Madi Lang.  It was another humble landing.  Her arrival on the BA landscape may have seemed like such a tiny detail, little did anyone know that she would eventually become one of BA's top Argentine historian. There are very few that could rival Madi in her knowledge of Argentine history. Although her landing into BsAs was unannounced with no media coverage, within the next few years the press would begin to take notice as her tour company the "BA Cultural Concierge" took to the stage.

For those needing a break from the bustling city of Buenos Aires, look no further. Katie of Seashells and Sunflowers will take you on a journey to Necochea in the province of Buenos Aires. There on her blogsite you'll discover her journey as she experiences life marrying an Argentine and settling down 5, 500 miles away from her home in Philadelphia.  Through her blog, Katie sheds light on the process of moving to another country. As we she is a great food blogger who adds delicious recipes to her blogsite on an ongoing basis.

For every one story that I've featured here on my blogsite there are at least 10 more expats who's story I have yet to tell. Stories like that of....

Frank Almeida, a Chicago native who's landing in BA resulted in the city being filled with delicious Sugar and Spice Cookies

Maya May, the creator of Spanglish Exchange, the weekly billingual event that has spread world wide

The there is the story of Dan Perlman of Casa Saltshaker who was one of the pioneers of the puerta cerrada scene (closed door dining). Check out his food blog as well

The above video is of Mark and Kevin, the boys of  Ya Ya Bean.  They are two best friends who came to Buenos Aires and decided the city needed spicing up with their hot sauce "La Boca Roja".  Anyone who is familiar with Argentine cuisine knows that the word "spicy" is almost non existent. But the boys of Ya Ya Bean are on a mission to change that....

And of course, the story of my landing in 2009 is no big mystery. What for me began as a much needed break in life turned into a life long relationship with the city.  I would be the first North American ever to break into the world of Centro Cristiano Nueva Vida, a thriving church in the heart of Buenos Aires and one of Argentina's biggest church networks spanning more than 30 000 people. Within 2 years of my landing, a church that had been relatively unknown to the outside world would have their story told through social media such as videos, blogs, pictures etc.  At last the mission of Rock and Vida would be made known to the world.

Argentine history may be something that you read in history books but expat history is something that is being made every single day. Every single time a new face lands on Argentine soil, they bring their own flair and flavor to the expat scene. And that thought is something that gives me a warm glow in my heart and fills me with great expatations :)


Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas