1. A while ago I wrote about my first host family, and how I wasn't very happy with them. I could go on and on about while living with them was miserable (and maybe I will at some point in time), but I suppose that it my reasons for moving don't matter so much anymore. I'm on to bigger and better things. It's so much better to focus on my new host family and how much better things are here. On Thursday, August 19 I moved to Recoleta. I'm now living with Clara, a 70-something widow, and Carolina, out maid who lives with us from Monday till Saturday morning. Clara is an absolute doll, and I have the best conversations with her. One thing that makes me feel particularly comfortable is that Clara made it apparent from Day 1 that she was in this not for the money but for the experience. Even though the program doesn't recompense her for it, she gives me lunch whenever I'm home and Carolina does my laundry for me. Last night I asked Clara if she knew of a shoe cobbler nearby (I've been wearing down my high heels. Haha), and she told me she couldn't remember the exact dress but that she'd take the shoes for me and then write down the address so I could go pick them up. After just one night in my new home, I left on my trip to Brasil. Upon my return four days later Clara told me that she'd turned down an invite from a friend to got to an art gallery opening that night because she wanted to have dinner with me and catch up. She is just the sweetest.
2. Last weekend, about 14 hours after moving into my new home, I left Buenos Aires to visit Ali in Sao Paulo. Other than my short stint across the border at the Iguazu Falls, this was my first real time in Brasil, I'm already dying to go back. I had a wonderful time getting to know Ali's sweet, sweet family; eating traditional Brazilian dishes; soaking up the sun; visiting a modern art museum; and, of course, catching up with Ali. My Spanish didn't get me nearly as far as I had hoped it would, but that hardly put a damper on the trip. One of the main things I took away from my weekend in Brasil was the sheer size of the city of Sao Paulo--11 million people live in the municipality alone (compare this to the 3 million in Buenos Aires, the 8 million in NYC, and the 2.2 million in Houston). Needless to say, SP is HUGE. Unfortunately I didn't have that much time in Brasil, but I loved what I saw of the country. Like Argentina, one of the most striking features was, once again, the hospitality (I might even say the Brasilians are even friendlier than the Argentines...is that even possible?). I've got to get back to Brasil. Soon.
3. On Wednesday, just two days after I left Brasil, Ali came to visit Buenos Aires. Because Jenny is down here for the next three weeks, we were able to have our on little mini-Pi Phi reunion here in Buenos Aires. That's three Stanford Pi Phis in Buenos Aires at the same time (not to mention my two closest friends here Gaby and Robyn who just so happen to also be Pi Phis). I swear being a Pi Phi is not a requirement for my friendship. I wouldn't say that I'm homesick or anything (I'm loving BA way too much), but but how can you not miss Stanford just a little? I loved getting to experience a little Stanford love here in BA. More to come later on my adventures with Ali and Jenny (and Gaby and Robyn) here in the lovely Buenos Aires.