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  • Writer's pictureCassie Stockamp

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It was a dimly lit room in what I think was once upon a time, an old church. The familiar yoga chants filled the space and the teacher moved with her eyes closed. I followed her movements for an hour. It was a wonderfully surreal yoga class. One teacher. One student. No words. We didn’t speak each others language, but that didn’t hinder us. Yoga is yoga in any language.

Blue had shown us a postcard he had picked up that listed the weekly yoga schedule and said it was 600 pesos - a month (+/- $13). I remember thinking he must have misunderstood, but when we walked into the fabulous gothic building, now used as a community center (it reminded me of what the Athenaeum must have looked like before renovations), we found he was right! Audrey and I had a relaxed week in the third largest city in Argentina, and I fell in love with Rosario. I did yoga 2x a day and realized why I was feeling a bit disconnected; I hadn’t taken or taught a yoga class in over 3 weeks which was probably the longest yoga dry spell in years.

We met Blue at Cool Raul Hostel which was described on the volunteer web site as having a “bohemian style and feel.” That it did! Omar the Argentinian owner is proud of the fact that his band is hoping to tour in Mexico, and twice a week we listened to his band practice at the hostel. And then there’s the cat. Lennon (as in John) the talkative Siamese helped set the stage as the hostel was stylized after a British pub complete with flaking paint that occasionally dropped into our pan as we were were cooking on the old gas stove!

Blue is a creative young man from the US who is living at the hostel and had worked for Michael Singer - Yup, “The Untethered Soul” guy... His partner is in the Peace Corps stationed in Madagascar and Blue wants to be a bit closer to him so he’s moving to Barcelona this summer. Now mind you he has never been to Barcelona, but is confident in his people skills and knows he will find his way. He was working at the hostel for his board and makes money teaching English and uses as his platform to find customers. So many ways to live...

And then there was Diego from Tigre. He and I communicated in broken English and Spanish phrases and turned to the translator app when we were stumped. He had been a pilot in the Argentinian Navy and then a boat captain for 10 years.

I learned he was on a break and “living in the moment.” That should have clued me in...

One morning I asked if he slept well and if he remembered any of his dreams. He broke out in a big smile and told me he has written down all of his dreams for the last eight years. I was more than a bit surprised and asked if he knew the meanings behind his dreams. He energetically nodded his head yes! He knew about all 59 of his prior lives. What?? He said he had learned about his Akashic records.... I love being surprised as he was the last person from whom I had expected that kind of response!

Audi (yes, my daughter!) and I meandered daily around the City either on foot or on bikes to the river, parks and museums after we did a few hostel chores.

It’s really bizarrely funny to note how much satisfaction I felt after deep cleaning two disgusting refrigerators!

The city reminded me a bit of Indianapolis in that it has become known as a foodie and fashion town. It felt comfortable and familiar.

We learned how to flow like the natives as most of the cross streets didn’t have either a stop sign or traffic signal. The cars and buses slowed down as they came to a cross street, and if there were no cars or pedestrians crossing - they kept going. The taxis seem to be the leader of the pack of the cars that were stopped and nosed their way into the intersection which was a signal that it was their turn; the cross street traffic then stopped and the pedestrians took the opportunity to rush across the street. I watched this happen hundreds of times a day and was always amazed at the efficiency, safe crossings and little horn honking that went on all over the city. I wonder if it’s too late to introduce this system in the US....

And I would be remiss if I didn’t write about two food products that Audi and I talked about importing into the US - Casan Crem and Dulce de Leche - lol! Casan cream tastes a lot like cream cheese but has the consistency of sour cream. We put it on crackers, in eggs... heaven in a container, but the other container of Dulce de Leche is straight up decadent. The Argentines use is as filler inside of donuts, churros, pastries, to flavor helado (ice cream) and a myriad of other tantalizing foods. Audi and I bought a huge container that should have lasted us a month.

I think that tub of creamy caramel lasted two weeks... Anyone interested in helping us with an import business?!

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