Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Girl's Best Friend

I just wanted to share with everyone a picture of the birthday girl. My little September 11th pooch is 4 today!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Work in Progress

Sometimes, there comes a time in your life when you think "What am I supposed to do in my life? Why am I here? Do things really happen for a reason? " In search for these questions, many people find the urge to experience new things, expand their horizons. Some people enroll in a ceramics class, others register for meditative yoga at the Y. Then, there are those who travel. They travel as far as Timbuktu and as close as the backyard to their own home. As for me, I fall into all the these categories. I did all those things in hopes to know myself better, to become really good friends with a very important person...ME.

Two years ago, I was at the worst place I could be, shattered into a million pieces after having my heart broken by an unexpected divorce. At that moment, I had no hope or faith, everything was dark. But as my dad says, "Después de la tormenta siempre viene la calma." This is so very true. It didn't happen in a blink of an eye, but I managed to put myself together and re-introduce myself to ME. Since my crossroad moment of choosing the path of triumph over the path of self-pity, I have made it my duty to challenge myself, to experience new things, to meet new people, to not let fear get in my way of ANYTHING I do, to not take life for granted, but instead to live life to the fullest. Granted, there are times when I don't follow my own suggestions or advice, or anybody else's for the matter. Regardless, it's because I challenge myself that I am Buenos Aires. Before getting here, I went through a lot of obstacles (post-divorce obstacles aside), some harder than others. I quit my job (done with pleasure). I sold my house (done with a little skepticism but very liberating). I said bye to my family and friends....this was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I have never been away from my family for more than a you can only imagine what a withdrawal symptom I'm experiencing. Sometimes, I think that my family has become an addicting drug that I just can't quit. Without my family and with Jackson at work, I find myself trying to tune into ME again. I admit, I'm one of those people who doesn't like being by themselves because I start thinking about everything from A to Z. The truth of the matter is, I NEED to be alone at times, even if it scares the shit out of me. This is the only way I will get to know myself better, the only way I will become at peace with being away from home, the only way I can reconnect with that incredible person named Erika.

Like I said before, overcoming a disillusioned heartache was the first hardest thing I have ever had to do which brought about self-empowerment, growth, independence, healing and reconnection. A true blessing in disguise. Well, the second hardest thing, being away from my family, has led to the same. Of course both situations are different types of sadness. Nevertheless, moments of sadness bring about change. Being away from home is allowing me to grow in more ways than one.

Till this day, I don't have everything put together. I don't have the answers to all my questions. There's still lots of things I have to learn, lots of places left to see and most definitely lots people left to meet and befriend. There is still more self-empowerment and growth. There always is. But that's okay because I like to consider myself a work in progress.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An American Nurse in Argentina

Today, I'm feeling anxious, nervous, excited and curious all at the same time...where's the Ativan when you need it?!...just kidding. All joking aside, I have all these mixed feelings because I have my very first interview in Buenos Aires. Tomorrow, I will meeting La Matron, in other words the head nurse, of the Hospital Británico. I really have no idea what to expect. My guess is that nursing in Buenos Aires is not the same as in the USA. My fear of being a nurse here is that I'll be doing a lot of ass wiping, aka dirty work. Do nurses in Buenos Aires have the autonomy that nurses in the USA have? In the USA, nurses are pretty much doctors, minus the medical degree. Does this ring true for nurses here as well? I have no idea!! Regardless though, I think working as a nurse in Buenos Aires will be a great experience and will definitely help me with my future goals(I still have to write an entry about my plans for the future).

Aside from tomorrow, on Monday, I have an interview with Sanatorio de la Trinidad en Palermo. I will be meeting with the nursing coordinator of neonatology and pediatrics. This job seems very promising. Although I've heard that the Hospital Británico is one of the best in Buenos Aires, I'm slightly more interested in the hospital in Palermo. For starters, the nursing coordinator seemed to really be interested in my CV. Secondly, it's in Palermo, which makes it easy for me to get to. Lastly and probably the most important factor is that I would be working with kids. Back home, I was a pediatric nurse, so this would be a perfect fit for me. I guess I'll have to make a list of Pros and Cons for both hospitals. One thing is for sure, if I work for the Hospital Británico, I will not be thrilled about wearing an all white nurse's uniform. I'm used to wearing a Sponge Bob Square Pants scrub top with colorful pink pants and of course Crocs. If I'm lucky with both hospitals, I'll have to really think of which hospital suits me best. Hmm, what would Florence Nightingale do?

Side note: (I miss my nursing buddies. Love those girls!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Not So Popular Pooch

It's official, Zoe is no longer the most popular pooch in town. The days of neighbors calling out her name from across the street are long gone as well as her group of doggy friends, like Rodney(the shihtzu),Whimpie(the Golden Retriever), and Larry( the sharpei).

In Buenos Aires, my poor Zoe doesn't have any friends, no dog friends or human friends (she really prefers the human friends). Buenos Aires so far has given her dirty paws with crap stuck them and no attention from passer-byers. Back home, people would get out of cars to play with her. Children would run to her and neighbors would say "hey, there's Zoe!" Zoe doesn't give up, though. She wags her tail like a propeller and bats her eye lashes, every time a porteño walks by her, during her daily walks around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, Zoe has no luck. NO ONE looks her way. I'm flabbergasted!! As the mother to this beautiful shihapoo, I feel bad for little, eager Zoe, when people ignore her and dogs growl at her.

One assumption I have is that porteños are not affectionate with their pets. Unlike in the US, they really don't make a dog a man's best friend. My cousin, who's Argentine, practically shouted at me "Don't treat her (her not Zoe) like a human!!" Could it be that porteños simply own dogs for protection, that they see dogs as simply dogs, an animal? What's wrong with making a dog part of the family? Doesn't humanizing them a bit make them friendlier, loving and happy? I'm not sure what porteños think about dogs but the dogs I've seen are not very friendly. Without fail, all the dogs I've encountered want to bite Zoe. Why is this? She's not aggressive by no means. The dogs are not only mean to Zoe, though. I even saw a small cocker spaniel try to bite an old lady, who wanted to pet his/her head. Are porteño dogs simply not used to affection? Who knows...

I do have to say, though, that old ladies tend to be a little more receptive to Zoe. They won't pet her but they do say "Que linda" with a smile. Today however, a young man stopped me in the street to ask what kind of dog Zoe is. Turns out, the guy has a little girl who wants a dog like Zoe. At least for a moment, the guy made Zoe the most popular pooch and for that, Zoe and I are both thankful.

And now, some pictures of the most popular pooch in Chicago........

Zoe being happy, friendly and loving.

Getting all the love and attention she loves, Zoe could be held like this for hours.

Sleeping with her daddy

Lost in each other eyes.....

Zoe is NBA star in her dreams.

First day home from the, I mean pet shop:)
My little Zoe weighing only 4.5 pounds in this picture.