Another Journal Entry:
15 June 2014 Sunday
Today we went to the Recoleta Cemetery. Yes, a cemetery.
I was a bit freaked out at first and I kept wondering if I even belonged there being that I it’s against my religion to participate at all in funerals. One of my classmates commented to me that she doesn’t do grave yards at all and we were able to connect. I quoted what Jesus said to his disciple, “let the dead, burry the dead”.
Nevertheless, I went along with my class and Dr. Anderson and at the end was not scared at all. I realized walking through that the Recoleta Cemetery was actually a tourist site! Imagine, a cemetery as place to sight see! But it is indeed like no other cemetery I ever saw! It is literacy a city of the dead! We walked in and had a time finding our way out.
We met our tour guide, Simon, who made the tour very interesting and informative. It is at this site I begin to understand the story of the Peron’s and Roca, the father of the disappearance, since I was behind readings.
Simon’s mind seemed to be a store house of innocuous anecdote. He told us stories about government officials as well as others who happened to be buried in the cemetery. A few stuck with me and if I could have a favorite, it will be the couple who always argued. The man held power of some sort which made the family rich. The women loved to shop, not clothing shopping but high art and things of value. She shopped and created debt for herself and her husband until he put his foot down and told her to quit. Of course she wouldn’t and that is when he refused to pay her debt or associate himself with her buying habit. They stopped talking and their graves were built resembling that fashion. Their backs were towards each other.
I should say here that these tomb stones are huge, some over 10 feet!
I also learned through the story of Rufina Cambaceres (1902 )that Argentina doesn’t waste time in burying the dead, she was buried alive!
The only animal buried in the cemetery is a dog of a girl named Lilliana who died in the 1970’s. She (I forgot if the dog or the girl died that day…) died on her wedding day.
The cemetery was once a garden and is connected to a huge church. It dates all the way back to 1716 and is 14.5 acres which is equivalent to 6 city blocks.
Check out my youtube videos for the full stories.