Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I haven’t been too great at updating my blog for the past two weeks—I’ve been on two different trips and managed to have exams in there. I wrote around 40 pages—all in Spanish, of course. I’m yet to update on my Thanksgiving. On Thursday, November 25, about 140 American students invaded the small colonial town (an UNESCO World Heritage Site) of Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. Located just across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires and a 1 to 3 hour Buquebus boat ride (depending on if you take the fast or slow boat), it’s a popular day trip from Buenos Aires. The director of our program, Mario, owns a small boutique hotel in Colonia, so we were all invited to his house for an Argentine attempt at Thanksgiving—there was turkey and stuffing but no mashed potatoes, corn bread or pumpkin pie. Oh, and the Argentine favorite choripan (a chorizo sausage sandwich), obviously.
Post-Thanksgiving lunch we all donned bathing suites and spent the afternoon around the lovely pool (weather aside, I usually try to avoid a bikini post-pigging our on Thanksgiving Day, but I decided to make an exception).
After a night in Colonia, I headed to the super luxe Uruguayan beach town of Punta del Este, a favorite vacation hot spot of all the wealthy Argentines, with my friends Gaby, Janie and Savannah—we were not the only IFSA kids who decided to spend a few days at the beach; a number of our friends were also at Punta del Este that weekend.
While the city was close to dead—it’s currently late spring, and the beach will be a crowded mess in a few short weeks—this gave us plenty of room on the beach. We weren’t quite brave enough to test the water, but the sunshine was just perfect. It’s a personal goal to make all of my friends who’ve spent the past few months bundled up in the Northern Hemisphere jealous of my tan. Sorry! Well…not really.
Here are some pictures from my sunny Thanksgiving Weekend:
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Over four months ago on my first Sunday in Buenos Aires, I went to the San Telmo fair with my parents and little brother. Sadly, today was my last Sunday in Buenos Aire (while I still have three weeks left in Argentina, I will be out of twon for the next three weekends), but I managed to enjoy it by returning to the San Telmo Fair for the first time since that rainy Sunday in July when I went with my family. In a stark contrast to my first trip to San Telmo, today was a beautiful sunny Sunday.
Today Robyn, Victoria, Janie and I mozied around the different stands that displayed everything from jewelry and photographs to antiques and puppets. Robyn and Janie snacked one vegetarian burritos while I got my hand read (for free) from some man selling necklaces. The fair goes on for about 15 blocks and culminates in a plaza which sells mainly antiques, and we walked the whole distance twice so that we could make sure we got the very best.
All in all, it was a lovely afternoon--quite peaceful and relaxing (and really helped me forget about the huge work load I have looming over myself right now). Neither the company nor the weather could have been better. It was a fabulous (and sentimental) way to spend my last Sunday in BA.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I will definitely excited to see friends and family (and to eat Mexican food for the first time in 5 months), but I can't believe my time here in BA is coming to a close (at least for now). I have so much to do within the next month. Here's a running list:
-Visit the Most Dangerous Zoo in the World and hold a baby tiger
-Hang out at Tierra Santa--what has got to be the only Jesus-themed theme park in the world
-Buy a pair of leather boots
-Return to the San Telmo Market
-Attend a polo game
-Take a tour of El Teatro Colón
-Stock up on Malbec to bring back to friends and family in the States
-Visit the charming historical city of Colonia del Sacramento and the posh beach town of Punta del Este, both in Uruguay
-Travel to Patagonia
Quite the list--so many things to do, so little time. Oh, and I should probably study some so that I can pass all of my classes. These next two weeks are going to be miserable work-wise!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Because of my birthday (and limited internet connection) I didn’t have a chance to write about my trip to Northwest Argentina, to the regions of Salta, Jujuy and Tucuman from October 29 to November 3. I went with my two friends Janie and Lambros, and we had a spectacular time exploring the region in a rented car (moderately dangerous considering none of us had ever driven a manual car before—don’t worry though, Lambros watched you tube videos on how to drive stick before our departure). While Argentina is one of the least indigenous Latin American countries (93% of the country is white), the Northwest is known for being the country's most heavily indigenous region while also quite well known for it’s stunning natural landscape, often compared to Arizona and other parts of the United States’ Southwest.
While physically located in South America, culturally, Buenos Aires is located somewhere in between Italy and Spain. You can eat pasta in most restaurants in Buenos Aires, and you are much more likely to hear French or Italian when walking the streets than Quecha. The European influence here in Buenos Aires is astounding, and you often forget that you are indeed in South America. It’s easy to see why this city is often referred to as the Paris of Latin America.
However, as Lambros pointed out one day, on this trip we were, for the first time, visiting "Latin America." In Northwest Argentina I felt so much closer to Peru or Mexico than I did to Buenos Aires. The indigenous roots, the traditional artisanal crafts, the colonial (but not imperialistic) European influence—all of these things made us feel far away from Buenos Aires (and Europe). We even ran into Day of the Dead celebrations in Jujuy--something that I can't imagine seeing at Recoleta Cemetery.
The three of us really bonded on our six-day trip in Northwest Argentina, and we loved getting to see a new side of the country that we have come to love. Oh, and the killer views definitely didn’t hurt.