25 May 2011

Revolutionary Changes

Along with the rest of Argentina today, we celebrated the anniversary of the "May Revolution" of 1810 that led to the country's independence from Spain. Last year's bicentennial celebration was extravagent and lengthy. This year, commemorations were low-key and traditional, centering on food and family.

Los Pinos, home of the world's best locro 
We hung our Argentine flag from the living room balcony last night, despite the steady rain that has signalled the beginning of fall. The rain continued overnight and throughout the morning. But at noon, the skies cleared and the sun came out, just in time for our four-block walk to Los Pinos, one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. We went there expressly for locro, a stew that is the traditional dish on May 25, much like hot dogs in the U.S. on the 4th of July. Los Pinos serves the best locro we've ever had. You have to get there early, or you'll be disappointed.

Locro for two
We have special reason to celebrate this May 25.

After three years of living in Argentina, we've gained permanent residency status, meaning we no longer have to do the annual paperwork shuffle to extend our temporary residency nor the monthly money transfer from the U.S. to demonstrate financial stability (in itself another paperwork shuffle). We also now are eligible to apply for Argentine passports, a goal we intend to achieve in the next few months.

At the same time, we've decided to sell our beautiful apartment here and move to Panama. Why? Many reasons. We love Argentina and have enjoyed living here, making new friends and learning more about a different culture and ways of doing things. Yet at the same time, we are both itching for a new adventure - before we get too old to enjoy one - and realize we need to be a bit closer to our little nuclear family.

Here's to the future!
Panama seems like an excellent choice. Kurt went to high school in the old Canal Zone and his parents were restationed there while we lived in Mexico City, so Linda also became familiar with the area during the mid 1970s. And earlier this month, she got the chance to stay in Panama City for a few days with daughter Belén following a three-week trip through Colombia (more on that later!). Now we're looking at apartments in Casco Viejo, the old colonial part of town. Like San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico, where we had a house several years ago, the casco has been designated by UNESCO as a "World Heritage Site." Obviously these old colonial towns appeal to us! Developments as they happen.


cheris said...

That's so exciting! My great grandfather was lock-master and my grandparents grew up in Panama. Their children go back often, but I have never gone. It's on my bucket list. Be prepared for a visit from the Austin Liffords some day!

Fernandez said...

Now I am remembering that story! Looking forward to seeing the tribe there:)