Since we made the decision to try out this teaching and life abroad thing, I have felt myself consciously appreciate what our life has to offer in a way that I never could in the states.
We have so much family time, it's insane. Whole afternoons to sit around at the park with friends, weekends full of excursions and get togethers and laughter and good people. I get weekly massages. And I know I have mentioned Shelly, our nanny/housekeeper with whom most of this is made possible. Our life here is a party where our venue is paid for the booze is chilled to perfection and all we have to do is show up.
This past weekend in particular, highlighted how grand our life here is. Invited by a parent of one of Mike's students, Parent Amaze asked us what we were doing for the long weekend. When Mike answered that we had no plans, she offered her house in Casa de Campos, La Romana without thinking twice. We packed the whole family in a rented car: a newlywed couple, a nurturing aunt, a too old for her age baby, two rescued, loyal friends (Jersey & Olive) and left for Casa de Campo as soon as Mike got out of school.
Even though a migraine tried to stop me Friday night, by Saturday morning nothing would stop me from enjoying our weekend away.
Each moment was a delectable sugary treat and we would all find ourselves thinking How did we get here? Mike would say to me We must have done something right. I would tell Nana (my aunt staying with us from Cuba) that never in my craziest ideas (and trust that I have MANY) did I imagine myself in such a place. And Nana? Nana would look at both of us and say Tu? Y esta Cubana? If you never imagined yourselves here, what do you think about me?!
We had this conversation over our steak dinner bought from an amazing butcher in the city with an incredible Argentinian Shiraz Malbec red that I found at the Italian Specialty store down the street from our apartment that costs less than $10.
It dawned on me that we were all thankful for the life we are being fortunate enough to live. I find myself not taking so many things for granted here. I find myself having a clear picture of what matters the most to me in life: this family (dogs and all), our time together, the memories we're making, friends - good, true friends in which life only offers a few - writing, creating, delicious food, music and laughter... lots and lots of laughter. And wine. But most importantly what we're being offered here is time. Time to be with this family, time together, time to write and create and fulfill the part of myself that makes me whole, time to make the memories with good friends while eating delicious food and listening to great music and laughing until you pee on your pants.
Time for wine.
Damn straight.... this is Our Buena Vida.
Now if I could just get my mom to move in with me ;)