article from May 18, 2011
by Julie R Butler
Well, we packed our car to the hilt, stuffed myself and our growing dog into the passenger seat area, hugged and kissed the people who took us in like family, and left Patagonia behind.
We lived in the Comarca Andina for a total of nearly 16 months, and the whole time we were there, we felt fortunate to have come to such a very special place. Tucked away in a low valley between the high Andes Cordillera and a spectacular Precordillera, the microclimate is perfect for all kinds of berries, fine fruits, and hops. The organic farming movement is alive and well there, and the artisans who gather to sell their wares at the large and well-established feria make for a mix of people that runs from rough and ready gauchos who raise sheep and cattle the old-fashioned way to dreadlocked hippies. Tolerance and coexistence rule the day, and everyone else, it seems, also feels lucky to be able to live their lives there.
We had our winter in the Patagonian Andes. We were content, if a bit chilly, sharing Sunday afternoon asados with our good friends, who gently nudged us along in our attempts to better speak their language. They taught us an enormous amount about Argentine customs, politics, and culture, and showed us how to navigate the uncertainties of Argentine life with grace and humor and love.
We will miss them horribly, far more than we will miss the gorgeous surroundings, because at least we have photos of that, which we can share:
All photos by Jamie Douglas:
Julie R Butler is a writer, journalist, editor, and author of several books, including Nine Months in Uruguay and No Stranger To Strange Lands (click here for more info). She is a contributor to Speakout at Truthout.org, and her current blog is Connectively Speaking.email: julierbutler [at] yahoo [dot] com, Twitter: @JulieRButler