"Living Abroad in Argentina Teaches Lessons of Better Living"

John.St

Registered
soulskier said:
Here's a post my wife wrote on to reflect back on our 5+ years in Argentina. I figured it was worth sharing with Argie expats.
It is beautiful - give my best regards to your wife, who shows an excellent understanding of what it takes to live in Argentina - bon voyage and all the best in your new lives as 'expats' in the US.
 

Davidglen77

Registered
Glad to hear that your Argentine experience was so positive. I am also an expat. Just some feedback from someone who has lived here, owns a business and lives my life well outside of the expat world, although I live in Capital Federal. First, yes you have to have a lot of patience here and thats because generally things are inefficient and wasting people's time is of little importance to government agencies or companies especially since they know you have no alternative and you are a captive audience. I think you´ve mistaken the look on people´s faces which is more of resignation than that of "sincere patience". Also these nice people who helped you on their farm are the equivalent of rural poor in the United States akin to people in Appalachia. No doubt they are good natured and thankful to have had the opportunity to have worked for people who most likely paid them more than anyone else has, on time and never cheated them for a day's work. However I would not romanticize their poverty and say they are the "continuously happy people". For most of their lives they probably have had had little access to education, health care and clean drinking water, as many rural poor in Argentina. Unfortunately that has been the norm however things are starting to turn around thanks to new social programs that have reached many people but not everyone they need to. One of the things I have learned living in Argentina is that governments in general need to serve ALL of their people or at least make an attempt to, and the gap between the haves and have nots in this world gets bigger by the day. Thank you for sharing your story.
 

soulskier

Registered
Davidglen77 said:
Glad to hear that your Argentine experience was so positive. I am also an expat. Just some feedback from someone who has lived here, owns a business and lives my life well outside of the expat world, although I live in Capital Federal. First, yes you have to have a lot of patience here and thats because generally things are inefficient and wasting people's time is of little importance to government agencies or companies especially since they know you have no alternative and you are a captive audience. I think you´ve mistaken the look on people´s faces which is more of resignation than that of "sincere patience". Also these nice people who helped you on their farm are the equivalent of rural poor in the United States akin to people in Appalachia. No doubt they are good natured and thankful to have had the opportunity to have worked for people who most likely paid them more than anyone else has, on time and never cheated them for a day's work. However I would not romanticize their poverty and say they are the "continuously happy people". For most of their lives they probably have had had little access to education, health care and clean drinking water, as many rural poor in Argentina. Unfortunately that has been the norm however things are starting to turn around thanks to new social programs that have reached many people but not everyone they need to. One of the things I have learned living in Argentina is that governments in general need to serve ALL of their people or at least make an attempt to, and the gap between the haves and have nots in this world gets bigger by the day. Thank you for sharing your story.
Here is the response Shanie wrote on her blog to the above comment.

Hi David, First, I would like to say thank you for your comment. Discussion is a great thing.

As is life, we all have different experiences, and I can honestly insure that I did not romanticize my time while living abroad (in fact I believe that by fully immersing myself into the culture for so long, all of the romance of an idealized life was removed and the true reality of the culture was left behind).

As a person that created multiple community-supporting businesses during my five-plus years living in Argentina, the real pleasure from creating these businesses was building life long relationships with the people we worked with. These people were the real jewels of being a part of the culture -- they taught me much about living from a standard based on not letting the little things bother you, staying patient and not being in a rush, that family and friends is much more important than anything materialistic, as well as many, many other lessons. In my experience, despite their lack of formal education, my financially-poor Argentine family are much, much richer than many that are more cash-wealthy.

It is true that in many areas of Argentina there is a lack of education, but I must say that in our experience the water that the rural people drank was much better than majority of the cities in the US. Also, their health care system far exceeds other first world countries. I do, however, agree wholeheartedly on your final point...governments around the world should serve the people...but maybe it is time that we change the way we look at exactly what is creating the "best" life. According to the Happy Planet Index, Argentina seems to be fairing better than many first world countries.
 
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