During my time in Argentina, I’ve challenged myself to be fully immersed in this culture. At the start of this experience, I could have chosen to live in an apartment with other American students, but I chose to live with a host family. Since being here, I’ve crossed paths with quite a few Americans, but I’ve really strived to find friends who are from Argentina. I am thrilled to say that, after 3 months, I’ve got quite a solid friend-group established. I found this friend group through the church I’ve been regularly attending since coming here. In September, this church started a “grupo de jovenes”. This “grupo de jovenes” (young people’s group) meets every Sunday before service to discuss a Bible study on the book of Luke. This group has grown to become much more than just a Bible study — now we are all close friends.
Last weekend, we had an asado. An asado is an Argentine barbecue. These barbecues always involve a parilla (grill), lots of meat, lots of bread, and Chimichurri (spicy/tangy sauce from Argentina). You can expect the asado to begin around 9:00pm and to end around 2:00am. Choripan (sausage on bread with Chimichurri sauce) is tan rico (so tasty). This is usually served first, and lomo (beef tenderloin) and many other cuts of meat are sure to follow. In the city of Buenos Aires, these asados typically take place on someone’s terraza (terrace/roof top). Because it’s officially spring, the weather is now perfect for asasdos. As soon as the hot Argentine sun goes down, the coals for the grill get lit, and everyone heads up to the terrace for the asado.
The asado with my friends last weekend was by far my favorite night I’ve had in Argentina. There were about 14 us present, and we ate and danced our way through the night. Three of the people in this friend group are from Colombia, two are from Germany, one is from Chile, and all the rest are from Argentina. It is amazing to be part of this group of young people from all over the world. The traditional asado we shared together last Friday is a night I will not soon forget.
I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as much meat in one sitting, and I also don’t think I’ve ever found such genuine friendships in such short time. I love the way an asado brings people together to share a meal. In sharing a meal with people, you learn a lot about them and a lot about yourself.