An Uncertain Tomorrow
Anxiety, depression, helplessness, and desperation are the feelings when a country wakes up one day in a huge uncertain economic scenario. Different prices every single day was the most unpredictable situation for a middle class family living in Argentina in the 1980s. Living at that time was like a lost tourist in the middle of the desert. When people are lost, they don’t know which is the right path to take. Every family like mine was praying to find a way to survive the serious economic situation that was happening in Argentina. I was a child when everything happened, but I can remember all the sacrifices my family made. Some of them were really hard to comprehend at my short age. At that moment, I couldn't understand why the news said that the inflation was 200 percent, or how the goods had two or three different prices on the same day. Despite that I didn't understand what was happening, Argentina was a huge disaster. Thus, the creation of a new currency and the hyperinflation were some of the causes that increased the poverty in Argentina at that time of history.
During that time, people had to prioritize the basic needs in order to live, which left some professions less required as happened with my father’s business. Making my father's job the last point on people's necessities was the cause for my family’s economic hardship. My father had his own business, and that meant that he was a boss and employee at the same time. He was an independent mechanic; he could repair any kind of vehicle. He always had a lot of work because he was efficient and very honest with every client. Working on his own had advantages when the market was going well, but in time of hyperinflation, the disadvantages were predominating. Logically, people reserved their money for the basic family's necessities like food. Therefore, fixing their cars was the last thing in people's minds. Sadly, during this time the amount of cars that my father used to repair decreased by a significant number. Meanwhile, my family had to modify some things in our daily life in order to face the situation.
Another important point is how the economic issues affected my education. At the same time that my family's income was decreasing, my wishes to keep going to the same school were dying. In those days, I was going to a private school called Anglo Americano. The school was very prestigious because the institution offered a bilingual program. I remember those days when during the morning I had all my classes in English, and during the afternoon I had my regular activities like a typical elementary school in Argentina. However, those days at Anglo Americano School came to an end. Respecting my parents’ decision, I moved to a public school in order to save money. It was a very difficult situation for me because I was only eight years old. As a kid, sometimes, it could be hard to understand the adult world. I've always been a positive person having a good perspective to focus on the most important things in life. In fact, there was a good reason to change schools. I had felt very proud of myself making this sacrifice to help my family's economy. Moreover, I had a good education in the following years. Nevertheless, I missed my English classes.
Furthermore, many families were affected by a heavy economic burden risking the harmony, integrity and wellness of their homes. During times of crisis is when families have to be together and stronger walking in the same direction. Sometimes, members of the family start fighting because of the stress. Nonetheless, my family was trying to minimize the crisis by concentrating our forces on the love that we have for each other. To be honest, my parents are the most amazing actors that I have ever met! Nowadays, I know that everything was worse than it seemed. I love the way they managed the situation in front of us. First of all, they protected our childhood. With the prices going up every day, my father spent a lot of time going from one place to another trying to find the best prices. I believe I remember those things because my dad couldn't stay with me for long periods of time as we usually did. He always was between working and searching for a deal. My father occupied less hours of his time when he was going to the supermarket with other families from my neighborhood. Shopping together in markets like Cotsco gave them the possibility to find cheaper prices and save a significant amount of money. They usually bought huge packages of goods sharing the costs and products among the families. When I think about that time of my story, I visualize my dad as a huge gladiator doing everything he could to protect my mother, my sister, and me. I felt that my home was indestructible because he took care of us.
Some words are like tattoos in our soul like when my dad used to say lo que no mata te fortalece, which means "what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger". In that simple phrase, I can represent that time in my past. We were a middle class family that survived the crisis because we were united. Each day was different from the previous one and we had to adapt. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why it’s easy for me to adapt to new places and situations. My parents, especially my father, taught me that no matter if we have the most uncertain scenario in our lives, the matter is how we face the situation. Moreover, it's important that as a family we have to keep going together. The most important lesson that my father gave me was when he showed me that it is better to have quality time rather than a quantity of the time. Also, I have learned how to be calm, hopeful, and harmonious because after a big storm, the sun will usually shine again with its maximum splendor.