After sitting in the airport in Iguazu for four hours because the plane was delayed over and over, we finally arrived in Cordoba around midnight and rushed to La Finca, the family place out in the country, for dinner. Yes, dinner. Gaston’s family, including his 92 year old grandfather, uncles, cousins, aunts, everyone had actually stayed up and waited to meet us. I could hardly believe it.
I know Argentinians are the biggest consumers of beef in the world. We did not have beef; we had leg of lamb grilled over the special grill his father and uncles had built–a separate house just for grilling and eating. It was a warm night and we ate outside. It is a family ritual for everyone to congregate on weekends, but especially Sunday afternoons at La Finca to eat and socialize. Gaston and I went there both Saturday and Sunday.
It was the end of summer (Southern Hemisphere in March). The crop in the distance beyond the trees is potatoes. Gaston’s grandfather, who is 92 now, bought this land, planted the trees, created this peaceful get away in the country. Gaston’s uncle and aunt now live there with their college age children.
The building in the background houses the grill–chimney on the left–and the dining area I mentioned earlier. We ate inside once around the table that must sit at least twenty. The rest of the time they hauled the tables outside and we ate under the trees.
Gaston’s grandfather and I standing before the trees he planted decades ago.
The same trees upclose. Yes, those are very sharp protuberances sticking out all over the tree. You see these trees in cities too, but there they have cut off all the sharp pieces so people cannot get hurt on them. I could just imagine what would happen if a person pushed another person against one of these.
The drive from the main road to La Finca. Sunday afternoon Gaston’s mom and I strolled up and down this drive while Gaston with his dad and uncle and a cousin installed a drip line to water the bushes on each side. Like here, they are suffering a drought. They did not want years of work to die.
The original house where Gaston’s uncle and his family live is on the left. I loved it here and felt very privileged to spend a weekend with the family doing whatever they do on weekends. On Saturday, the men all went to help someone move while I sat with Gaston’s aunt, her friend, some cousins. We chit chatted, drank mate, took naps, ate pear tart and other desserts, and whiled away an afternoon.
Occasionally the peace was disturbed by the raucous chatter of parakeets. The huge nest in this tree is shared by many parakeets. They do not build individual nests. When they get going, they are really loud.
Just as in New Mexico in the US, water comes through acequias. The drive goes over this little bridge in the foreground.
Near this acequia the family grows lemon trees, vegetables, flowers, and other delectables for family use.
It was so lovely and peaceful here, I did not want to leave.
Gaston’s aunt and mother love succulents and flowers. This is only a tiny portion of the plant collection growing everywhere around Gaston’s aunt and uncle’s house. His aunt is very proud of her plant collection. Many of her plants were familiar. Some even have the same names in English and Spanish probably due to their Latin origins.