Tuesday, April 6, 2010

South Western Dinner Party

Saludos Boludos

Impromptu dinner party last night.

Vegetarian chili, homemade cornbread (no mixes in argentina!), and rice with fresh avocado and lemon dressing.

Lucas, a friend from Sao Paulo who came to Buenos Aires and stayed with me while working on a documentary about the rural landless citizen movement in Paraguay. In a nutshell: during the neoliberalization of Paraguay, the government sold a bunch of land to extremely wealthy foreigners, most of them owners of farming corporations (similar to the HUGE corporations we have in the US that have destroyed the concept of the “family farm”). Much of that land was occupied by poor farmers who had collectively farmed for generations and all of a sudden were displaced. They organized. In a throw-the-dog-a-bone type move the Paraguayan government gave them some extremely rural (basically inaccessible) land in the center of the country and surprisingly it turned out to be an example of local sustainable development (maybe that shouldn’t be so surprising). He and his partners are in post-production now and I can’t wait to see the documentary finished.
Luis, my very good friend with whom I lived for a couple of months while I was in between my old apartment and current house. He supplied the avocado, fresh from his dad’s garden in the country. Yum. Many folks kinda tilt their head in surprise when they find out we are such good friends. He doesn’t share my love for radical politics nor my interest in feminist studies (quite the opposite actually). We are indeed the odd couple, but Luis has a big heart and he is a great friend.
Mariano, my actor/opera signer roommate who is starting to give voice lessons at home. His new play premiers this friday and is a collection of Shakespeare's love sonnets. Before moving to Buenos Aires to peruse acting, Mariano was studying sport sciences in Mar del Plata (about 5 hours south of Buenos Aires along the Eastern coast), which means he also doubles as my work-out adviser.
Three friends of Mariano, Mina, Andrés, and Carolina also joined us. They are the first test subjects of Mariano’s voice lessons. Like minded folks, we all get along great. Andrés and Carolina are both psychologists who work in hospitals and are beginning to offer group dynamics consultations to private companies and corporations, ‘para sacar plata a los que tengan’ says Andrés.

Dinner conversation was varied and dynamic ranging from the social history of the menu items social history of the argentina military regime (kinda a standard at any dinner party in Buenos Aires). But this time it was a bit more interesting because Andrés was sharing a story that shed light on the generational difference between those who grew up knowing only democracy and those of older generations who grew up under Perón, lived through the military dictatorship and witness the transition to democracy. I liked the story because while Argenintes, even and sometimes especially young Argentines, are often aggressively passionate while talking about the military dictatorship (something that I obviously cannot relate too), but Andrés made a rare confession--neither can he. It left unanswered a lot of questions about what it means for young democracies when the population ages and new generations no longer have the lived experience and knowledge about what it means to live under repressive governments (yes I know I know, anarchists and libertarians, we all live under repressive governments but it’s not the place or time for that OK?).
Pablo, my other roommate had a crisis at the office and was stuck working until about 11 pm (which was about the hour that we scraped the chili pot clean, unfortunately for him). Pablo works at the Ministry of Education in the department that handles all of the government subsidies and scholarships to public schools in the country. Full of good stories he is.

Ok this was a new style of blogging with me. Not that I have ever been all that consistent. But I’ll continue to experiment and hopefully will find a groove that allows me to write entries that don’t consume hours of my time yet are still interesting to the ten of you that read this. haha!

much love and many besos

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