I've mentioned in previous post the increasing difficulty of living in Buenos Aires due to radical changes that took place after Cristina Fernandez Kirchner was re-elected. Within the past yr and a half the abuse of political power, inflation, peso devaluation resulted in a large exodus of expats from the country back to their homelands or other places in the world.
Life here is like hanging onto a mechanical bull. The one where you have to cling on to it for dear life as it gets faster and faster until you get flung off involuntarily or you choose to hang your hat and surrender to force of gravity. For many expats, it was a combination of both. They voluntarily left simply because they knew if they were on the verge of being flung off.
For me, all the positive idioms in the world couldn't convince me to stay in an insane situation. So after much thinking about the next phase of my life. All I knew is that I had to get out of here and leave everything that I know. If there is anything I've learned as a traveller is that you often can't see the whole picture of how things work out all at once. But often all you need to do is take one small step in the right direction and a light will illuminate the rest of the path.
For me, that one small step was buying a one way ticket to Chile. In regards to my life in Buenos Aires, I knew how important it was to tie up loose ends. And as I took that leap of faith an amazing string of events fell into place and bit by bit one small step turned into one giant leap.....
As a traveller, the key is to travel light. I came to Buenos Aires with 4 pieces of luggage, one of them being a backpack and another being a wheeled carry on. I gave the wheeled carry on to a friend of mine as a surprise and it turned out to be just what she needed because she had started a job that requires her to travel around the city with documents every day. It was great for me because for the longest time I felt I had too much stuff I was hauling around.
It was then that I realized that my friend was the exact same height as me, had the same shoe size, and was a brunette so many of the clothes I brought that I looked good in she would look good in too. From my days as a corporate clone, I had plenty of lovely business casual clothing that I wasn't using anymore. In addition to that, it occurred to me that my other good friend is also the same stature as me, has black hair like me, and the exact same body type (we both have "apple" bodies). Both these girls have a very difficult time finding clothing that fits them here in the city.
To make a long story short, I ended up cleaning out my luggage good by dividing my clothing between both of them. Each person got things that suit their personalities, lifestyle, and needs. And I got what I wanted, more space in my suitcase (happy dance). In fact, I got rid of enough stuff until the point that I didn't need my third suitcase anymore and I gave it to one of the girls who would be badly needed a suitcase shortly for travel and moving into a new place.
Unbeknownst to me, there were more spiritual lessons to be gleaned in the midst of all this. By first world standards people would say that I don't have very much but in fact I had alot more than I ever thought I did. I ended up giving each girl $300 worth in clothing. The value of what I donated was $600 and in their currency about 3000 ARS.
But the value of it all went beyond the clothing, these are things they could never find down here. No one in North America would have any trouble finding good quality clothing for an "apple" or a "pear" body. Here in Argentina you basically have to do a scavenger hunt to find semi-decent clothing. My friends lives were forever changed by the stuff that I had thought nothing of. They walked away with coats, dresses, pants, tops etc. Clothing that not only fit them but made them look and feel good both inside and out.
All of us walked away from this experience with something different. For my friends, they learned about the generosity and the faithfulness of God who gives them everything they need in abundance. For me, it was an answer to a prayer to be able to travel with less things. But for me as a North American, coming from a consummeristic society, the whole experience brought me a freedom I had never known. It really opened my eyes to what everything I have really means when the things that are truly important to me now fit into only two bags.
God is the best story teller of all time. He is author of the beginning, middle and ending. He started my story in Buenos Aires, wrote every chapter and like every good book this author knows how to write a finish like no other. The video above represents my time here in a nutshell. Everything that happened to me, every person that I met was like a detail on a canvas. Detail after detail, drawing after drawing eventually all added up to make a big picture.....
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