costumes and confetti
One night, I was talking with my friend Gina about her hometown in Colón, Entre Ríos, about 5 hours north of Buenos Aires. She returned home to see her family about every other weekend, and she invited me to join her anytime. I was intrigued by her descriptions of the small tropical town with hot springs and beaches along the Uruguay River, and I hoped more than anything we would find a time to go before I left for the U.S.
Realizing just how honest and trustworthy my new friends were, just a few days later we decided to go to Colón for a girls weekend and the biggest costume party of the year.
I groggily stepped off the bus, and Gina’s parents greeted us with enormous hugs. “We’ve heard so much about you,” they gleamed. Her little sisters had colored me pictures and written me the cutest notes. I realized just how lucky I was to have so many families around the world who care about me.
While our group of girls was staying with Gina’s family, our close guy friends had also rented a nearby cabin. We began the weekend by watching the sunset over the river, and we watched the sunrise the following morning as we returned from going out. I was struck by the beauty surrounding me, of both the sun illuminating the river and my friends radiating with kindness.
On Saturday afternoon, we couldn’t wait to watch Argentina play in the World Cup. As a soccer player myself, I am in love with the contagious enthusiasm surrounding the World Cup (Also I’m just in love with Lionel Messi). Colón really opened my eyes to the beautiful traditions of Argentina, like watching soccer games with your family, drinking mate at sunset (and really all times of day), and slowing down to appreciate the little things.
That night, the costume party was truly the biggest costume party I’ve ever attended. The club was surrounded by palm trees, with hundreds of people dressed in the most creative and elaborate costumes. Confetti was falling from the ceiling, with different types of music playing in each room. My friends tried to teach me how to dance, but I think I’m beginning to accept that I’ll always be semi-ungraceful. And I will never be able to move my hips like Shakira. Still, I’m so lucky to have friends who will teach me things, about Argentina, about themselves, about myself.