The Mate Thief

I’m sitting on the porch at the Campo watching the sun set over the western fjord.   A bambia of mate is in my hand and I’m drinking little sips through the hot straw reflecting back on today.

George, his mate and his bambia.

George, his mate and his bambia.

I had my first cup of mate back at Thanksgiving in the US.   From then on I was hooked.   Mate is kind of the national drink in Chile and Argentina and it’s drunk from a little cup made from a gourd called a bambia and it is sipped through a metal straw.

When we walked up the hill to meet the neighbor Arturo he met us with a steaming cup.   Rather than cups for everyone though, the process here is to keep filling one cup, spooning in lots of sugar, and each person sips a whole cup before passing it along to be refilled for the next.

Today, one of our local Spanish  teachers,  Constanza, took us to a favorite shop of hers where traditional crafts were available.   I bought a bambia and straw and then headed for the supermarcado to get a bag of loose leaf mate.

I was promptly accosted by Bobby who reminded me that I not only had drunk his whole pot of mate a week or so back but also a Coke he’d left laying about this week.   I owed him.   He was ready with his bambia  and we filled both of ours up and are now drinking them on the porch letting the day wind down.

– George











We also wanted to say goodbye to Christine, who, at this very moment, is flying from Chile to Denver on her way home.  We will miss her!

More photos!


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