Some last minute thoughts from Argentina

What I have learned cannot be expressed by mere photos, souvenirs, or the recounting of endless stories. I´ve lived the experience of merging with a foreign culture filled with people who are much more willing to expand their horizons than the average American. The fluidity of their lifestyle has allowed even the shyest of our group to have a chance to experience an intimate culture, promoting the fundamental principal behind a ¨Friendship Touring¨Ensemble.

My first accomplishment of this goal was entirely unintentional in many ways. My time in Cordoba with the members of the local Suzuki group soon became more than just making music together, but relating our music to one another. For most of the group, they were forced to rely on a translator when they were touring the city. Yet in the walls of the Cordoba workshop we spoke one language that said it all, music. It wasn´t long before I engaged my classroom Spanish droll to make friends, and, with Tim Valint at my side, attempted to immerse into the surrounding culture, rather than being the average American who boasts his own way. As a result of our obvious efforts, they reciprocated. It wasn´t long before all of our thoughts were spoken in Spanish, and their answers were completely in English. By the time we spent a wonderful dinner together with our new friends, the language barrier had practically evaporated, and the moments we shared forged an unforgettable bond that will live with me for the rest of my life.

The whole idea of a ¨Friendship Tour¨ does not purely relate to our interactions with people from a different environment, but also to our growth within the touring ensemble. As a group, we have all become closer than I thought possible when we set out for Argentina about ten days ago. I have uncovered friendships that I believe will last a lifetime, and learned the most personal details about the lives of people I barely knew before the tour.  Making music with people is the most effective way to understand them, to be able to read them to the depth of their souls. I believe the hardest I´ve laughed was on this tour. There are not many people in the world that can make me smile until my face aches and for whom I would not hesitate risking life and limb. I´ve had the most invigorating conversations, ones that have the potential to bring me to tears or to help me imagine a future you only read about in science fiction novels. These are people that have the potential to change the world, and I feel privileged to know each and every one of them.

As I sit up writing in Argentina I can only imagine what my life would be like without this incredible experience. As a veteran of the previous tour to Spain, I was familiar with the whole deal, and now older and wiser because of that experience, I soaked up every bit of Argentinian culture I could possibly hold. With my trusty Spanish Translator Christios, obliviously hilarious Cordoba Roommate Eugene, and my slick and dubstepped Buenos Aires Roommate Aidan, I stepped into a whole new world of Argentinian culture; haggling with sketchy street vendors, putting toether french and english to try to bridge the language gap, wooing young Argentinian women…. — the usual things any guy would do with some of his new, close best friends — friends which will surely only become closer in the future. I now know more about EVERYONE on the tour, and thats a great thing! I like taking funny pictures with Will, and I still turn the wrong way when Chris Lu taps me on the opposite shoulder. This is truly what the ¨Friendship Tour¨ is all about, and I wouldnt give it up for anything, except a longer stay in more places with these great people (and chaperones!!) – just with more free time! 😀

This is a small bit of our 3 A.M. morning rant before our flight after Easter mass. Various authors and friends made this entry possible and fun. A special thank you to all those who made this trip so special, whether it be a morning wakeup call, or a reminder that we aren´t the only ones having dinner in the restauraunt. To all of our friends, here in our hotel, at home, and in Argentina, your support and kindness has surpassed all expectations and has made our time in Argentina truly worthwhile.

11 thoughts on “Some last minute thoughts from Argentina

  • The thoughts regarding the tour to Argentina were very moving for me while I read what it meant to this member of the touring ensemble. I would have to say that this blog tgrully summed up the total tour experience. I know that as a parent and as a supporter of Buffalo Suzuki Strings, that this connection has helped tranform my son into what he has become today. I have to say “Thank You” to Mary Cay and all the teachers, chaperones, advanced ensemble members and Suzuki parents for the wonderful opportunities that you have coopersatively given to our children. Words cannot describe what I feel today on this Easter Sunday morning. My sadness is that the tour is coming to an end and that this will be my son’s last opportunity to ever tour with this outstanding group of musicians and faculty. Congratulations to everyone. Have a safe trip home and get some rest on the plane.We are all looking forward to hearing more about your experiences.

  • A very special thank-you to everyone who is a part of the BSS family: all the teachers,
    students, parents and extended families. Not only for your support for making this amazing tour possible, but everything that you have done to commit to the ideals of Dr. Suzuki through Mrs. Neal from the day you made the committment to become part of the Suzuki family! The journey has been extremely rewarding for all of us. Thank-you for such a wonderful insightful blog!! I’m so happy for all of you!!:)
    for you for a very

  • Thank You Nancy & Phil for putting into words what we all feel! We are so grateful to Mary Cay, Linda, David And Raechele for making this experience as meaningful and memorable as it has been for our children, and thank you for sharing it with us at home!

  • Risking being repetitive (and redundant!) with the other comments – we can only echo the same sentiments…Thank you Mary Cay, Linda, David, and Raechele – plus everyone met in Argentina from our Suzuki community!

  • This post was written beautifully, with such sincerity. We too, would like to express our deepest gratitude to this Suzuki Family for being the very special people that they are. THANK YOU.

  • The incredible blogs and pictures are appreciated beyond any discriptive words. Please know I will treasure these gifts forever. Thank you so very much.
    Love, Claire

  • This was written so beautifully, with such sincerity… We too, must express our most deepest gratitude to the Suzuki Family for ALL you have done to make this a truly unforgettable experience.
    THANK YOU.

    The Sams

  • Thank you Raechele, Linda, David, and Mary Cay
    for taking such good care of our children, the dearest
    things to our hearts, and allowing them to experience
    such a life lesson. Thank you also for letting us
    share this journey with you. Gracias y Buenos Noches.

  • Thank you Raechele, Linda, David, and Mary Cay
    for taking such good care of our children, the
    dearest things to our hearts, and allowing them
    to experience such a life lesson. Thank you also
    for letting us share this journey with you.
    Gracias y Buenas Noches

  • This post actually brought me to tears. Thank you also to all the parents and everyone behind the scenes to make this amazing experience happen.

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