I have avoided writing this post like the plague. I’m not really sure why, because I have such good news to tell. Maybe I’m afraid of the bad luck I had right before the last post… Whatever the reason, I have put it off for long enough. Time to move on!
Well, after losing all my money in the Atlanta airport, I was pretty afraid to go out around town, especially by myself. I had been sufficiently warned about pick-pockets in Buenos Aires (ironic, right?) So I did go out a few times with my friend and host Savanah. The architecture here is beautiful and very European. We went to a couple of milongas the first few nights we were here (those are tango dance socials). They were fun, but after the first few days, I kept very busy going to interviews and learning my way around town. It’s not like in Little Rock where I just jump in my car and drive where I need to go or use the GPS to get to places I’m not familiar with. No, here I have to walk several blocks to the subway, then ride it for 30 minutes or so, then walk the rest of the way to wherever I’m going. No quick way to get around in a city this size, even if I did have a car. Oh but I would never attempt driving here! It’s a bit like the driving I saw in Rome. No thank you!
The most amazing part of my stay so far though, has been the unbelievable outpouring of love, encouragement and money from my Little Rock and Facebook friends! I cannot believe the amount of money that was wired, deposited and otherwise sent to me by family, dear friends and even mere acquaintances! Money literally started pouring into my checking account in Little Rock, and I thought “Well, maybe I won’t have to beg for a place to stay for free after all, or go back home a failure…” My bop club in Little Rock took up a collection for me and raised $400! I couldn’t believe it. In the end, I recovered all what I had lost in the airport! Lesson learned: even though there are people looking to rip you off, by far there are more good-hearted, generous folks that truly care about people and are willing to sacrifice to help a friend in need. I was so humbled by this experience, and it has permanently changed me. I am so indebted to these people and I could never repay their kindness, but “Y’all, I LOVE YOU, man!” The most profound change I have made is giving a few pesos to the beggars in the subways. I would have never done that before, but, although I don’t actually know what it’s like to be that poor, I can certainly identify with being in a helpless position and depending on the kindness of others. So now I happily toss them a peso or two and wow – it feels good to help someone who needs it! I was shamelessly much more selfish before this experience.
Ah… yes it felt good to write this post. The weight that was lifted from my shoulders in the past week was huge. Instead of waking up in the morning thinking, “I’m in a foreign country without a dime,” I can say to myself, “I’m going to be okay because I have the best friends ever!” ❤ ❤ ❤