When you get to the United States you get another chance to build a community in a new place. If you wanted to, you could become completely American by adopting new habits and traditions, and lose touch with the people you left behind. Or you can build these new networks while maintaining old ones if you have the resources to do so. Thankfully, I have had the opportunity to keep up my Argentinian connections over the past ten years because my job allows me to travel very often. I go back to Argentina at least once a year, sometimes more than once. I try to bring my parents and parents-in-law to the United States at least once a year. In all I see my family three or four times a year; it’s not much, but it’s enough.
When I was in college I had so much more fun and made friends that I still see whenever I return to Buenos Aires. I still keep in touch with two friends from high school, one runs a travel agency and the other is a CEO of a company. And I always get together with my friends from the University of Buenos Aires. I know they’re teaching and were able to find jobs despite the economic crisis. A couple are writers and have novels published, another teaches politics, and another is a musician.
I feel more connected to my friends and family today compared to a few years ago. It’s completely different from when I had just began the PhD program. Then I would write an e-mail that read like a chronicle, a story describing what I had been doing over the past weeks that all of my friends a couple times a year. Today it’s like I update my status and in that moment they know what I’m doing. We mostly talk through Facebook, but also through email. My generation got really into Facebook and friends often send me online invitations to events. Some of them, mostly the writers, use Twitter. They send me their novels, and I send them whatever I’m writing or working on. It’s a simple thing to read each other’s stuff and share stupid pictures on social networks, but it’s a way to keep in touch. I’m able to see and sort of ‘hang out’ with this virtual persona they construct.