Our Argentinian Daughter (AD) left yesterday, on her way to New York for a few days with the rest of the Argentinian students, who’ve been visiting the past three weeks. AD is a delightful girl, fun, intelligent, quick-witted, with a good command of the English language. She likes the music of Evanescence. During her visit, we found her trying to figure out the piano line to one of the band’s songs on our keyboard.
This particular exchange lasted for 23 days, including the day of arrival and the day of departure and was jam packed with events scheduled by the school or by other host families. When I counted up the days we had free to ourselves, there were only 6. Due to the schedule, we regretted not getting to know Argentinian Daughter as well as we would have liked. Things were so hectic that we didn’t even know that her dad is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer until the day before she left. (We wish him well!)
Daughter really did the heavy lifting with Argentinian Daughter, escorting her to the various events and making her comfortable. (We attended several events, too, but many of them were planned for the kids.) Daughter could have a career in working with people from other countries, if she wants to.
Argentinian Daughter was fascinated with our food, some of which is much spicier than that eaten in her country. She bought a number of things to bring back to her family, especially to her older brothers, whom she very obviously adores. She bought peanut butter and marshmallows, and I can’t remember what all else. We gave her a big jar of Nutella. AD was willing to try anything we prepared, which made cooking fun. She and one of her friends prepared us and another host family a hearty dish that they eat at home. I didn’t catch the name of the dish, but I’d describe it as a rice-based stew. It included chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic, along with lots of rice, all mixed together. They diced some tomatoes for a fresh little salad that we ate on top of our stew.
AD shared with us that her area of Argentina is a diverse mix of cultures, many of whom immigrated to Argentina after World War I. Her family is of Eastern European dissent. She is involved in the Ukrainian ballet, which is not like classical ballet done in toe shoes and tutus. Instead, it’s a very active folk-type dance that is popular among boys as well as girls.
She explained to us how her school day is different from that of Minnesota children. Argentinian students get a siesta midday. During siesta, they go home for lunch. Some might have additional classes later in the day, but it depends on what the student is studying. Some only have morning classes.
The Argentinian students enjoyed seeing our fall colors, with AD and Daughter spending some time in a leaf pile. The one thing AD really wanted to see while she was in Minnesota was snow because her region of Argentina is semi-tropical. Unfortunately, she missed it by maybe an hour. It was snowing in central Minnesota around the time she was due to be on her plane to New York.