When It’s Time To Move On
Anyone familiar with overseas basketball knows that most contracts are year to year, sometimes with an option for an additional year, and sometimes you’ll get a two year offer. Our two year offers have mostly been from less desirable teams, so throughout my husband’s 11 year career, we’ve always had one year contracts and have never stayed with the same team for more than a year, until now.
This past season was our second year in Argentina, and the second year with the same team. There were many firsts for us in Formosa, and as we prepare for a new season with a new team, I look back on our time there with nothing but love.
Aside from a 6 week hotel stay last year, we were in the same big, beautiful house for both seasons. It’s the first time overseas that we’ve had a house, a pool, and a yard, and it really did begin to feel like home. The kids got their hands dirty in the yard, spent their days swimming, doing school work, and playing hide and seek. Our boys learned how to swim and ride bikes in that house. All the kids became true water babies.
Our 11 year old learned Spanish and is now so fluent that she often answers my questions in Spanish and sometimes refuses to even speak to me in English, leaving me all kinds of confused!
They all made friends, and had playdates constantly, especially Maliya, who had a busier social calendar than I did. She took dance classes, Zumba classes, and spent so much time outside of the the house that we even decided to buy her her first phone. As a result, most of her time was spent at a friend’s house, or in her room talking to the friends she just saw minutes before.
Our time in Formosa also did wonders for my boys, who are extremely shy. In addition to friends from school, they were able to play with the other kids from the team, as well as the many kids running around at the games. They joined the team’s youth basketball league and had their first taste of organized ball. They also started learning the language, and will soon hopefully have two languages to communicate in.
It’s no secret that I didn’t love the city because there wasn’t much to do, but it was safe, relaxing, and the people were so warm and friendly. For the first time in years, there were a boatload of other wives, and despite the fact that all but one spoke no English, we became fast friends. We were constantly having playdates, parties, and nights at the casino and the club. For a small and pretty quiet city, I will say that the nightlife was pretty great. We found a reliable baby sitter and had more date nights than I can remember in recent years.
When we decided that we wanted a change for next season, it was pretty sad in our house. The boys wanted to stay, but it was Maliya who begged and begged. She says that Formosa is where she’s made the best and most friend’s in all of our years abroad.
When it came time to leave, the school presented each of the kids with framed photos in a beautiful little ceremony, and Maliya’s friends organized a going away party, or despedida, to send her, and us, on our way. She cried, and because I’m such a softy, I cried too, and we weren’t the only ones! A few families actually offered their homes to her if she wanted to stay there for the summer, or until December so she could finish school with her friends. To see the impact she had on so many kids and their parents warmed my heart, and actually made it difficult to leave for the first time in years. It truly is the first time we’ve felt so welcome and so connected to our international community.
We will be back in Argentina next season, and we are excited to see what kind of experiences we’ll have in a new city, and with a new team, but our time in Formosa will forever be a special part of our lives.
Chau Formosa! Hasta luego! xoxoxoxo