Thursday, August 31, 2017

Empanadas y bizcochitos de grasa

The afternoon before our trip to Jujuy is one of my best memories. A moment full of illusion and expectation for the adventure to come, everyone eager, our hearts full of plans and ready to live the experience we were about to share. Because for me and for my sister, traveling like this with our families, all together, was a dream that was finally coming true. And as reality is, it wasn't perfect, but it was perfect in its own :)

While packing, my sister prepared empanadas of meat and of cheese for our trip, and also "bizcochitos de grasa", an Argentinian speciality not as known as empanadas and alfajores but so so good as well. They are like salty cookies made with cow's grease instead of butter or oil. And, once you start eating one, well, you can't stop.

And there, in that moment, we shared a coffee, Djas cooked, I drew, and my son Bruno dreamed of the flavors those wonderful smells would bring to.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Family tour

The first days in Buenos Aires before our trip to Jujuy in the north, we saw family and good family friends. And yes, this is what Argentina is for me and now for my own family: our family country and a deep connection with our origins. The visiting was so intense that at some point my children would wake up and ask: "whose house are we going today, mum?" 

The first of our visits was to my cousin Anna's house. She has my age, and two boys close in age to mine, so it was great. My cousin is just fantastic. She's always engaged and generous and I love her so much. She's changed house since the last time I'd seen her, the new house is an old charming one, and it was such a delight drawing it while we ate pizza and the kids played around. Besides Anna and her family, we saw my aunt Marta and my cousin Caco, Caco always so funny, Marta so attentive and gentle. She will be reading this, I know, así que tía Marta, te mando un abrazo muy grande, espero volver pronto a veros. That evening I also met my cousin Maria and her two beautiful daughters. A truly special occasion for us. Thank you Anna, for organising all this.

The day after we went to see my godmother and my mother's best friend, Ana (yes, there are many important Anas and Annas in my life!!). Even though we ate a lot, there was a lot of food left. And yes, this is the same everywhere: when people invites you to their house they offer you the best, and you always eat like you were not to eat in a week! But Ana and Carlos were beating all records here :) This is the view of the living room from the dining table, of course :D

The following day we visited my other sister in Argentina, Laura, and my nephew Juani. Juani is just one year older than my middle one and they played greatly along. It was a pleasure see them together, as it was to see my sister again. Because Argentina is so far away from Europe and I don't get to see my sisters as often as I would like to. I got to see Laura a bit more after that day, and to spend some time with her alone. And now writing this is difficult because I miss her so much.

After these visits I still saw my aunt Maria Inés who I hadn't yet met. There is no sketch of that one because we were in a bar and well, we were too busy talking. It was impressive to look at her eyes and see how much she resembled to my mother. And now, well, when I hear my mum's voice I hear hers as well because they are so so similar. I am so happy to have finally met her in this occasion, and happy that the sketch will come next time. She will be reading this as well so, tía María Inés, te mando un abrazo fuerte y espero verte pronto otra vez.

And well, this is mostly it before Jujuy. Only preparations are left. But preparations are part of the trip, so this will come some other day :)

Friday, August 18, 2017

At my sister's home

As my head started to become in order after our trip, we spent the week putting order in our house as well. For those actually knowing my home, they'll know how big endeavour this is!! I can try to describe the mess of a family of 5 with a dog, where obviously the dog is the least messy of all, but I would fail to do it. I have drawn it several times, but drawings are always generous, and the mess takes a somehow charming personality which is not what you end up feeling when you live in the middle of it! 

Today it was the turn of the kitchen, and as we were cleaning it, we were listening to the Argentinian folklore we had in our van while driving through Jujuy. And all these emotions came back, specially when this song, Para los ojos más bellos, by Los Manseros Santiagueños, started playing. Then I thought, well, it is time for an entry today.

All these days in Argentina we were with my sister Djas and her family. Either in Buenos Aires at their home, or with them through our trip to the North of Argentina. The first day, we had a coffee and started to look in the map the route we'd follow to Jujuy. With a warm coffee, nice conversation, and lots of illusion to share these moments the two families together.

While we talked I drew. And these are the two doors of my sister's house. Sure there are many more doors. But these are THE doors, and they are beautiful.

Another moment, another special spot at my sister Djas house, the interior window between the kitchen and the dinning room, with all the ceramics by my sister.

Open doors, open windows, and open arms. This is what we always find when we go back to our family in Argentina.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


It is already a week since we came back from our family holiday to Argentina, and it is now when I find everything I need to post the first entry. Because it is not only time that I need, but also to put in order my head, and to find some calm. Going back to Argentina is not like going to anywhere else in the world, but it is going back to my origins, to understand many things, to confront many others, to see the family, and, in this occasion, also to travel around the country.

I have many drawings from this three week trip. I don't think I will share all of them, I also do not have a specific plan to share them. So I will just post what I feel like when I feel like, and see what it comes out of it. But anyway, today, I will start from the beginning.

The trip

We flew to Buenos Aires from Geneva via Frankfurt, two planes, and in the end making a 24 hour trip from our house door in Crozet, to my sister's Djas home, in Buenos Aires. Because the secret to draw in a trip is to start drawing right away, I did a few drawings already at the airport.

View from the Airport Gate in Geneva.
Everyone is so excited, and I wonder where my husband is.

As always at stations, trains, or I should say everywhere, people at the gate were taken away by their phones, and not at all aware that I was drawing them!

In the first flight I took a seat in the corridor, so I could draw some more. I've done this kind of sketch before, and I always like it. My children behaved wonderfully and I could draw with no interruption.

It took another flight to get to Buenos Aires. Then a huge line in immigration, and then some traffic from the airport to the city. But finally we made it to my sister's house. But that was another day, and so it will be another day here :)