Sunday, May 31, 2009


Morning Ritual, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

I love my maté. Really love it. A couple weeks ago I bought that great thermos on the left. It's incredible! I put hot water in it at 7am and opened it at 2:30pm and it burned me!

Tons of people in Argentina drink maté, but not nearly as many as do in Uruguay. In Uruguay every second or third person has a thermos under their arm, everywhere they go. Here in Argentina it's a really communal activity, similar to smoking a bowl, with it's own etiquette and language. (Except that it's legal, and instead of giving you munchies it makes you less hungry, and instead of making you tired it gives you energy.) One unspoken rule is that when you're sick you don't drink from a shared maté, which means that for more than a month I've been drinking my maté all alone. This might seem sad, but I actually enjoy my little quiet morning ritual.

I've started a new ritual with myself, and I thought it particularly appropriate to share it here. I've turned into a real whiner in the last couple of months. It's hard to read and hear about all my friends starting their gardens, going on hikes, and heading off to festivals when I'm here in Argentina, at a point in my trip that's pretty anticlimactic. At this point I just live here, and there's no dirt to put my feet in. I've worked on a farm for two summers now, and I miss it! I'm really just homesick, I know, but it makes me feel resentful towards Argentina, which is wrong!

My new ritual involves writing in my journal, my real journal. I've started to keep a list of everything I'm grateful for, or that I've learned or discovered since I've been here. It' helps! I had an incredibly productive day yesterday, based on the fact that I realized the upside of having too much free time! This is the free time I always wanted! I had two fabulous ideas yesterday, and the wheels are in motion to actually pursue them!

I've decided to share some of my list each week, so here's today's bunch! It's not all significant and huge, but it all makes a difference in my life.

Big, small, profound and trivial things I am grateful to have discovered since coming to Argentina:
I can converse, more or less, in Spanish!
I love drinking maté with friends, but I also love my morning ritual
I can enjoy a beer, in a bar, with the right friends
Ceci, Steve, Ali and Ashley
I have time to knit
I got to explore the city with Mom and Paula, it was wonderful!

The list is really long, so I'm breaking it up over time.

Now, I want to know, what are your rituals? What keeps you on track? What never fails to bring you joy?

Looking for more SA Sunday? Click it!


BetteJo said...

So what you're drinking is like a type of tea, kind of? Closer to a tea - than coffee. Well my morning routine varies greatly from weekend to weekday - but both times always start with hot tea. Have to have it. But thinking about it I find more of my rituals center around my cats (HOW LAME!!) you know, when I come home and they are all waiting, saying hi to them, petting each one, going and turning the water on in the bathroom for one of them. Sheesh. I do more for them than for myself!!

Bhavna said...

What a lovely blog!

I have started a journal too! Gosh, and my morning routine is just plain routine...LOL!

Bhavna said...

I have to say this - you gave me a very sane advice about my blog's layout. It's taken. Thank you!

Robin Marie said...

BetteJo: It's tea, but it has a lot of the effects of coffee. It doesn't make me jittery though! More like Black tea, in that regard. I love that you pet each cat when you get home:) Cats are family! They deserve to be greeted!

Bhavna: Thanks for stopping by and reading! (And isn't writing in a journal refreshing after so much blogging? It's nice and private!) I saw you changed your post format, and I think it's great! Now I can see all the stories that led up to your new drawing!

VictoriaG said...

Very interesting...thanks for the link too, just got done reading about it. So this is not available in the U.S.? Hmmm...makes me want to at least try and find it...
Rituals: Senseo, 2 cups each morning while on the computer...and reading for 30 minutes before bed...2 things that never change.

Robin Marie said...

Victoria, hi!
Regarding Mate and it's availability in the US...I found it in tea bag form in my local natural foods store, but I go to uni in a really "earth loving" town, and it may depend where you're from. I'm sorry that's so vague.

I know you can buy it on e-bay and I'm sure other places, but DON'T pay more than $10 for it! That bag in my picture, when it was full, cost me $1 US. I've seen it online for $70. If you really can't find it and you'd really like to try it, let me know and I'll send you some when I get home in August!

Ceci said...

Lovely blog entry! That was nice to read. :) (And cool to hear of another Ceci. I've met one other in my entire life.)

My rituals: Not many... raising 2 small children keeps things hopping and always unexpected.
What keeps me on track? just the responsibility most of the time! Otherwise, I'm usually so tired, I'd probably just stay in bed, haha.
What brings me joy: The children. :) They frequently make me laugh so hard I cry.


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