Sitting alone in the Nina Cafe last Sunday, I was feeling quite despondent and alone. Every few minutes I would look up from my veggie sandwich and cafe con leche to a wall post on facebook wishing me the best for my 31st birthday. I was in Argentina, in the middle of a very powerful two weeks at Finca La Rosendo, and all I wanted was to be home with my loves spending the day in Carolina.
Then things got worse. On Sundays, San Rafael becomes a ghost town. Nothing is open (well, excepting the Nina Cafe of course) and so my afternoon was spent walking up and down the main drag looking for some godforsaken place to call Alejandro, to let him know when to be waiting on the side of the highway to pick me up to take me back to the finca. Upon finding the tourist office, I was made aware that no more buses would be going to Salto de las Rosas that day. A taxi it would be.
To make a long, depressing story short, I arrived at the finca two hours later than expected due to a bit of a miscommunication between Alejandro and myself. Stepping out of the camioneta, tired and down, Alejandro walked me to the casita and bravely announced that he had cut wood for my fire this week! Obliging him with a half-smile and a meek ¨gracias,¨he dug further in his bag of tricks. ¨...and, Virginia made you a lemon meringue pie for your birthday!¨ Sold. In we went to the house to enjoy our birthday dessert and coffee before dinner. It was fabulous.
The lemons, Virginia shared, were from a lemon tree from a neighbor that lives nearby. The dinner we would be cooking together that night consisted of chicken in (what else?) red wine sauce. Every single ingredient had a story. The chicken had been killed the day before, and came from another neighbor. The onions and garlic had of course been grown in the garden out front. The wine, obviously, came from the finca. The brown rice had been bought from a 70-year old couple that lived the Sierra near Cordoba. Virginia informed that this couple were subversives during the dictatorship in the 70´s, and had to hide in the sierras for three years to avoid capture and eventual torture. Everything was delicious.
The night continued for hours, through several bottles of wine, talks of knitting, politics and religion, and a few impromptu salsa lessons taught by yours truly. I went to bed that night (quite late) realizing how lucky I was and feeling very thankful to be spending another week in such a beautiful place.
Tomorrow night- on to Bariloche and the land of snow and chocolate!
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