Sunday, December 27, 2009

Argentina: Retrospective

Argentina Recap

1. It's a plan!, 2. Old Man Plant, 3. Zorro with his tools, 4. Can't help myself..., 5. My view, 6. Onion, Carrot, Garbanzo Bean Soup!, 7. Mom and Me at Casa Rosada, 8. Packing up, moving out, 9. All bundled up, 10. Cacti!, 11. Glad I Wasn't Driving..., 12. Ninja!, 13. "Little Bird, Big World" Inspiration

Argentina is the single biggest topic of my year, and therefor deserves her own post! This isn't to say that nothing else happened since I left Argentina, but I think it's safe to say that the bulk of my excitement took place during those 5 and a half months (or really, during the last month). I learned to weave, to cook, to speak Spanish, to identify birds (in Spanish!), and to have faith. I taught Federico (the man at the hardware shop) to make hula hoops! I learned to party, I learned to navigate, to observe, and to take things as they come (though robbery is hard to let go). I learned that friendly knitters are universal but good yarn is not. I learned that I can feel at home in another land. I learned to slow down and then promptly forgot in the instant my plane hit the tarmac...we're just not a mellow people!

Looking back, Argentina has had a profound impact on me. Some lessons have been forgotten, but I am left with a profound need to go back with awareness I have now and see what new lessons await me!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wrapping gifts is my favorite part. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

FO: Opus Spicatum

Christmas knitting begins....

Secret Santa, originally uploaded by Soasa Designs.

Pattern: Opus Spicatum by Kate Gagnon Osborn
Size: Unmodified
Materials: 2 half skeins Wave from Filatura Di Crossa
Needles: US 9 /5.5 mm
Start Date: November 16, 2009
Finish Date: November 29, 2009
On Ravelry

This was my first gifted knit of the season, an Opus Spicatum hat knit for my secret santa. I think it was my most successful Christmas knit of the year (I DEFINITELY didn't accomplish all I wanted to...) and I wish the rest could be up to this caliber. I just had a really bad year, knit-wise. I was out of commission for the better part of this fall. I loved the yarn and the pattern, both were easy to work with and delightful! Careful, the yarn blocks generously, which is good for this sort of hat I suppose. I was hesitant to block too heavily because I have such a big head compared to other girls once you factor in my dreads. I sometimes lose perspective. In any case, I was sad to see the hat go, but it was well received!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

SA Sunday: Purmamarca, Jujuy, Argentina

You can thank The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club by Jessica Morrison for inspiring this installment of South America Sunday. That and the fact that I finally have free time again with classes over...

I'm picking up from where I left off in Tilcara, Jujuy.


What's not to love?
One of many beautiful scenes we encountered

From the journal:
6 de Julio, 2009 written on a colectivo en route to a then unknown location between Salta City and Cafayate, Salta, Argentina.
...From Tilcara we took a day trip to Purmamarca to see the Cilla de Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colors). Though the town is tiny the 2km walk around the "hill" was VERY impressive. We took tons of photos! We met a lovely family from Michigan who were very friendly and had really adorable children! We paid 40 pesos and took a remis (a car for hire) up to Las Salinas Grandes (Salt flats on the road to Bolivia). The ride totaled 3 hours and I would estimate that we were at the salt flats for 15 minutes. Totally worth it though! The flats were incredible. It was like another planet. I could hardly see because of the sun reflecting off the huge white landscape. It looked like snow...
...Back in Tilcara I learned the danger of combining guilt and Fernet con Coca when I nearly cut off a dreadlock to give to a man I had mistakenly insulted the day before. I am grateful and forever indebted to Ashley for putting a stop to the madness...

Imagine this being your backyard...
Purmamarca's backyard. Are you jealous? I am.

Town is a generous word for Purmamarca (though who am I to talk, coming from where I do) but it has a treasure in those hills. The hills were ridiculous. Every corner we turned yielded more perfect photo ops and elicited more oohs and aahs. It never got old. I think we could have walked around the route 3 more times without getting bored! Remarkably, we only encountered two or three other people on our walk. A car full drove by, and a little boy was sitting under an overhang selling trinkets. I think he had a slow day...It is incredible that the area is not more heavily populated.

Salt Formations
A salt ridge at Las Salinas Grandes

We were late getting to our remis for our trip to Las Salinas, and unable to find a restroom, we begged the driver for some direction. He promptly knocked on the door of the house we were outside of, and they let us use their toilet. I was incredibly grateful that I spoke Spanish at that point. It was awkward.

My very own...
My very own nativity set

Never inclined to miss an opportunity to shop, Ashley and I scooped up some treasures in the decidedly more pricy market around the town center. Frankly I am beginning to wonder if all of Argentina has conspired to make it impossible to catch a bus without waiting for hours near a market. The result was this lovely nativity set that is currently residing on top of my TV.

Quinoa Salad at El Cardón
Quinoa salad and tamales...mmmm

To pass the time we also had a delicious and remarkably healthy meal at a lovely (I think the only...) hostel in town, right across from the bus stop (El Cardón, I believe).

In short, Purmamarca is a fabulous day trip! Don't spend the night there though...there isn't enough to do besides shop!

For more photos please visit my Flickr album: Jujuy
Want more South America Sunday? Click it!


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