Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Happy Anniversary....to our blog. Yep, October 7th, 2010 I wrote about the perfect fall day in Minneapolis and about how special our community is back home. Can you believe that we still hadn't decided on a country at the time (2 months pre-departure! Yikes.)? Anticipation was building but so was the awareness of what we would be giving up for a year.
So, what better way to mark this anniversary than spending time with some of our great friends from home and from Chile!
Last Thursday our dear friends, Jenny Breen, Jon Dicus and their girls Solana and Franny pulled into town for the long Columbus Day weekend. They are neighbors, fellow frisbee players, we've worked together in the community, and our kids have been close since Gracie and Solana started sharing babysitters at 6 months of age.
They just moved to Mendoza, Argentina in July to start their one year sabbatical, similar to us (Check out their awesome blogs Cooking Up the Good Life and Argentina Adventure.
Just a year ago, all eight of us would gather over dinner or tea and dream about whether we could pull it off - one year in Latin America with the kids. Jon and Jenny, like us, had dreams of their girls not just learning Spanish, but living it. We all wanted to be immersed in another culture and find our way to be part of that community. And here we all are.
It was so great to check in with these guys: to compare notes, to laugh about the funny situations we find ourselves in and to empathize about the challenges. Long into the night, as we adults were reluctantly saying goodnight, we could still hear Solana and Grace chatting about everything as well.
We basically talked all weekend - thrown in was lots of cooking and good eating (Jenny is a chef; check out her new cookbook!) and some wandering around our favorite haunts in Valparaiso (the beach, the funiculars, our favorite ice cream shop, bungee jumping on a trampoline, etc...).
We had a great typical Latin American dinner, hosted by our dear friends Cecilia and David, in which you gather around 6pm, but then there's lots of talking, drinking wine, and eventually cooking and eating maybe around 11pm, until finally its time to go because its almost 1am and the kids are all falling asleep! We caught some live music and attended the Mil Tambores parade (more on that next).
When we went to Cecilia and David's, we suggested to our four kids that they play in Spanish that night, so as to include the Chilean kids. Theo responded, "Yeah, yeah Mom. No problem". Nothing like looking back to realize how far we've all come.
p.s. Thanks to all of you who have been reading the blog this last year. Some quick blog stats:
- page views total: 27,554
- post with all time most page views: Theo's "Ayúdame" Halloween candy advice-seeking post last October with 181 views.
-Four out of five of top page view posts were written by Grace or Theo...hmmm...I can take a hint.
-Number #1 referring site: Facebook, hands down.
- Audience sources: 10 countries, #1 US, mystery audiences: Russia (45 hits) and Germany (41)??? (who are you?)