Yesterday, I spent my first birthday in Buenos Aires. It was my first birthday free of winter coats and hats and it´s lovely, a summer birthday. I started the festivities the night before, making an experimental cheesecake for the mini-fete for the night of my birthday. I don´t have an oven in my apartment and a very gracious friend of mine offered her oven in her new apartment. She hasn´t yet moved in yet, so we had to do a lot of experimenting with cooking tools (not to mention the experimental ingredient substitutes). It was a lovely evening catching up, melting butter in a roasting pan, and crushing amaretto cookies with a wine bottle. Being the wonderful friend that she is, she even walked me to my bus stop to go home. Warm faux-cheesecake on my lap, I took in my new city rolling by through the bus window.
I woke up with the hot hot sun on my birthday, made a coffee and went out to run some internet errands. (I have been back for a week now, and spent that whole time, without my computer (the battery and charger died), – my god, did I ever feel naked.) The internet brought me lots of good news, birthday wishes from friends and Facebook (ha! it´s so funny who comes out of the wood work to say Happy Birthday!), and a lunch invitation. I then went and had lunch with a friend (who informed me I´d be getting a bicycle!!).
Next in the series of good moments, I picked up my computer and then went off to a meeting at a Museum that we´re in the process of writing a grant for a project I wrote. The meeting went really, really well. It felt really great to talk to people here about museum education and share similar educational philosophies and pedagogical ideas. And it happened that two of the people I had met two years ago on my reconnaissance trip were at the meeting (full circle).
After the meeting I walked home through a few beautiful parks and went to my favorite deli to pick up some food for the evening. I got some delicious prosciutto, smoked and cured filet mignon, a camambert, a manchego and olives. At home I set up my new speakers* to my wifi, and the lay spread of food for my 17 guests. Everyone arrived at around 10pm, and it was a great evening. An odd mix Argentines and expats, mostly unknown to each other. When it was the time for the cake everyone sang Feliz Cumple, I blew out the lighter (no candles, oops), and then got a kiss from everyone in the room. We ended the evening playing celebrity (boys vs. girls), a really interesting experience considering the cross-cultural nature of the group. The boys kicked our ass. That´s ok.
I even got some nice gifts. A plant picked perfectly for my patio; my neighborhood friend (a painter and art teacher) gave me a painting that she painted; and my cousins gave me a perfect bag and a fancy wallet. Sometimes I feel embarrassed by such generosity, but I am letting myself enjoy it. The whole evening was a great welcome back to Buenos Aires.
So, thanks to everyone for the fun last night. And thanks to you all who sent me birthday wishes from far away. Kisses to everyone.
*thanks dear brother and his lovely wifey