February of last year was when we first made contact with the school in 9 de Julio. After a year of emailing, some Skype calls and a six-hour “milk truck” bus ride from BA (stopping at most small towns instead of following the main highway) we have finally arrived. We are proud to say that the same number of people who attended Donald Trump’s inauguration was waiting for us at the bus terminal. Eight people were eagerly awaiting possibly the first Australian family to reside in 9 de Julio. They had heard about our legendary amount of luggage from some disgruntled luggage handlers at various bus terminals and had brought a ute plus two spare cars. Our house is only a few blocks from the bus terminal so we loaded our bags onto the ute and opted to walk over.
The school community have very generously organised a furnished, three-bedroom home with a study and garden for us. Some staples were in the fridge so that we could just relax for the first night. While the house is more than we expected, it still needs a few things done to it. For example, Truce found that the downstairs baño is missing a door handle and accidentally locked herself in. We found a spoon handle that fitted into the mechanism and she was soon released.
Many people aim for big cities or popular destinations for ESL teaching. We have found that by moving out of our comfort zone and choosing a place that we haven’t heard of, people have been a lot more willing to help us establish ourselves here.