Saturday, November 22, 2008

Una semana más ¡Qué triste!

It's November 22, 2008 and in exactly seven days I will be leaving Buenos Aires. I remember when I came here time couldn't go by any faster, but now that I am almost done I don't know what to feel. Ofcourse I am happy because I will be able to see my family and boyfriend after 4 long months. On the other hand, I am also saddened because I have to leave my host mom, María. I mean you never realize how close you get to someone when you live with someone. Es increíble. With only seven days left I don't know what to do with my time. Ofcourse I have to do schoolwork and prepare for finals (womp womp), but what else am I supposed to do. It seems that there just isn't enough time in the day. I mean today I went to the Plaza de Artesanias in Recoleta to finish buying gifts and after 4 months I still don't know what to get my friends and brothers. Isn't that a shame? Up until now I have been just buying things and figuring out who it's going to later, but this is crunch time. If I don't buy their gifts now then they just won't have a gift because I'm not going to have time during the week. I am supposed to go to San Telmo tomorrow so hopefully I will find something there. Wish me goodluck!!



Sunday, November 16, 2008

El Tigre

Yesterday I went to El Tigre with my program. It was really nice. You know someone told me that they were all "Artesan's market" out, and I know exactly what they mean. I mean oncce you've been to Recoleta and San Telmo, it is so much different things you can buy. However, El tigre was different. It seemed like it had a little bit for everyone. I mean it had your Argentine souvenirs ofcourse, but it also had furniture, clothes, and fruit. I didn't buy any fruit but I wish I had. Since I've been here the only fruits that I have eaten are bannanas and mandarin oranges. I mean don't get me wrong they are good, but every once in a while you want a little bit variety. So at el tigre, me and my friend walked around and looked at the merchandise. His family is small so he's done with the gifts, me on the other hand still have so many people to buy gifts for. I mean I have a lot of things, but a lot of it isn't designated to one specific person. Another thing is hoping that they like their gifts. We always hope that people are grateful, but we never know. Also since I am the only one in my program who bought one suitcase it's going to be a field day trying to get all my clothes back in with the gifts. Granted I bought really small things, I'm just worried. I know that has a lot to do with my excitement since I only have 13 more days in Buenos Aires. It's crazy to think about how time has gone by. I can honestly say that I enjoyed my time here, but I am so ready to go back home and see my family, eat my favorite foods, and wear more clothes than what I bought here. I have literally been rotating like 6 jeans, 10 shirts and 3 pajama pants. That is ridiculous. i just need some variety in my life. I am so excited I've just been thinking about what it's going to be like to be back in the states with familiarity. I can't wait. We also took a 2 hour boat ride which would have been really nice had the weather been better. It was so windy and cold, but it was still very nice and peaceful. Well until next time...



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Life goes on

Congratulations!!! President Barack Obama. As you already know, history was made on yesterday. For the first time in history the United States of America has an African American president. Hats off to Obama and Biden. I am SO ready for change. For me the presidential election was just another reminder that life goes on. I mean here I am in another country while so much is going on in the states. On September 11, I was on my way to Iguazú. Most of us were pumped because we had a longer weekend not realizing that September 11 marked the 7th year anniversary of a tragic. It's crazy.

I currently have 2o more days in Buenos Aires and I am so excited, but also saddened because I am leaving my host mother. As my time here dwindles I am trying to fit as much in as possible. This weekend I went to two trips with my program. Today I went to another artesan's market in which I bought more gifts, but I still have so much more to buy. Man it sucks having a large family. Anyway, don't have much else to say so until next time...



Saturday, October 25, 2008

Colonia, Uruguay

Ever since I learned that we would be going to Uruguay on October 24, I have been waiting for that day. Even before the month of October began. I knew the month of October would go by fast but and for me October 24th marked the end of the month. Now this it has gone it passed, it's almost a bitter sweeetness. Yes, I am happy to know that in a month I will be going home, but in a month I will also be leaving behind a wonderful woman and an experience of a lifetime. I talked to all my siblings last night and it felt good to know that they are waiting on my return. They even decided to push back Thanksgiving dinner until I come home which is a big deal. I'm soo happy about that. Coming from a big family we really do it up on the holidays. I also got to see my nieces and nephews, which was great because I feel like I've already missed so much of their growth by being in school and this experience just adds to it. One day at a time.

Uruguay was amazing. We went to Colonia, which everyone in the program was pumped about that is until we saw all the work we had to do for it. I mean it was great to go to another country, but they really watered down the experience by making us do so much work. Ururguay was HOT it was almost unbearable. I definitely turned a couple shades darker. So part of the work was find out different uruguayo words from the native. That was relatively easy. Then we had to go to a museum and find out information on it. This part is going to screw me because I was so hungry that I was not listening. Wish me good luck. After leaving the museum we headed over to this little restaurant. I ordered ñoquis and a salad. Usually I'm not much of a salad person, but after living in Argentina for 3 months now I have been feening for some vegetables. That's crazy, but the food was really good. So our bill came and it said $395.00 Uruguayo pesos then it also said $64.00 Argentine pesos. Just looking at the prices shows the difference. It's amazing to see that a simple meal could cost so much between two people. Anyway, after eating me and my freind Matt both had the "ITIS" so we began to just relax on the grass. Then we saw our friends who missed the boat because they left their passports home and we began to chill with them. It was so much better hanging in a group then a pair. We began walking around the city. There wasn't much to see since Colonia is more historical than anything, but it was cool.

The process back was very interesting. Not to mention it was over 100 students on the trip then while waiting in line some Argentine woman began just moving through us. It was so rude and aggravating so we shut them out of the line. Ofcourse they began to curse us in spanish, but we didn't understand them so it didn't really matter. So I sit in the waiting room and now I have this super bright tan since I don't really get much darker. I just get more gold I guess. So I look up and there is this woman in front of me taking a picture so I look back and the woman directly behind me is cheesing all hard. So ofcourse I tried to move out their way, but here in Argentina no one ever want's me to move. It's crazy cuz there has only been like one person that has asked me "Can you take a picture with me"other people, like the woman behind me just starts posing and hope they get me in the shot. Then one of my friends began laughing histerically at the thought that these people wanted to take a picture with me because I was black. I told her it happens to me all the time. It's funny and very strange. I mean what are they going to tell the people when they ask who I am. Mind you I am in like 5 other people's shot. LOL.

While on the boat a guy in my program sat next to me that I have never seen in my life. It's amazing because after 3 months in the same program, there are so many people that I still don't know or ever seen before. We had a long conversation about everything and it was cool to learn about a new person. He was a very interesting character, but cool. Well I gotta go to my internship, I will be sure to write soon. Until next time...


Yaszy, la Morena en Argentina

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Feliz Día Mama

The other night after watching an episode of Law and Order I realized how lucky I am. I came to Buenos Aires in hopes of improving my spanish, but what if something would have gone wrong. I mean there are people that go to different countries every day in hopes of improving something whether it's a language or their life in general and they get lost in the balance. So I began to think about all the things that could have gone wrong, but didn't. I mean I could have been sent to live with a family who treated me horribly and like the episode of Law and Order used me as a slave. In that particular case it was a sex slave. It's a bit morbid I know, but these things could have very much happened, but it didn't.

I live with a wonderful woman who truly is a blessing. Because of this I bought her a half dozen of roses and a chocolate plaque that says "Feliz Día Mama" (18 ARS = 6USD) for Mother's Day, which is tomorrow. She was so thankful. I left everything on the table for her, but for some reason she didn't realize it was hers so I sent her text. It feels good to do something for someone else especially when they've done so much for you. She not only opened her doors to me, but she wakes up and sets my breakfast up which includes fresh squeezed orange juice EVERYDAY. I don't know about everyone else, but I never got that home and I know that she doesn't have to it, but she does it anyway. I also bought the maid the same thing and she also was very thankful. I actually thought she was going to cry, but she didn't. I'm happy too because that would have made me feel weird.

So I currently have a month and a half to go and I can not wait to go home. I really like it here, but the closer it gets the harder it gets. I am a family oriented person and being here I almost feel like I'm missing out on everything. I miss them soo much. I also miss my boyfriend whose been sticking it out with me throughout this whole experience, but it's hard on the both of us. I know we will be fine though. I'm just waiting on November eventhough he tells me to take it one day at a time. How nice. Until next time....


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spring Break

So it is officially spring in Argentina, which is great. Not that it has been all that cold, but warmth just makes everything better. I am currently on my spring break it has been much beter than I ever expected. Originally I really wanted to go to Brazil just for the bragging rights of being able to say that I spent my 21st in Brazil, but it wasnt feasible. I am happy though because while I am spending a lot of money I would have been spending crazy money just getting to Brazil. I decided to vacation with a couple of people from my IES program. They wanted to go to neighboring cities along the Rio Parana (Parana River) which included Rosario, Santa Fe, and Corrientes. However after visiting Rosario which was absolutely amazing our plans changed. In Rosario we stayed in the most chic hostel that I have ever seen. It was so stylish. I would definitely recommend CHÉ PAMPAS Hostel. We also met some cool Argentines who me and another girl began giving "English Lessons." It was great.

After we left Rosario we took the bus to Sante Fe. It was only 2 hours away, but in my opinion there was nothing to see there. That is however what one of the girls at Che Pampa's told us to. We basically went to museums and different churches around the city. Then we ended the night watching the sun set over the river. It was very nice and calming. We ended the night with a dinner at a restaurant which we thought was all seafood, but turned out to be all fish. It was such a bust. The first two or three dishes were really good, but it was a bit too much fish for me.

That night we headed to Cordoba. Our bus left at 12:30 and we arrived around 6 a.m. In Cordoba there was so much to see. We stayed in a hostel called Palenque Hostel. Lucky for us, the night we arrived was free empenadas night. While most people would have just bought a bunch of empenadas we actually made the empenadas. I couldn't believe how easy it was. I can not wait to try to make them at home. In Cordoba we went to more museums and churches. I don't know what the deal is with churches, but they are really religious. The highlight of my time in Cordoba was definitely going to Ché Guevara's house. If you don't know who he is, he is an Argentine who led the Cuban Revolution with Fidel Castro. It was amazing. I learned so much about him and his later life. I had already knew a little bit by the movie "The motorcycle Diaries." I had watched it in one of my spanish classes and at the Ché Pampas Hostel, but I feel asleep half way through.

Spring break was good. I was really happy that I went somewhere instead of spending my time in Buenos Aires. My 21st was also during spring break which was cool. We didn't do much for it since we were traveling, but I am OK with that. The real party begins when I get home just 2 more months can't wait. Until next time...
Hasta Luego,


Sunday, September 28, 2008

La Viruta

Studying abroad here in Argentina has been both rewarding and challenging. Challenging for more reasons than one including being away from my family. However, lately I have also found it challenging being here because I really have to know myself to be here partly because I don't drink or smoke. Because of this I've had to distance myself away from my friends becasue they like all the places that I can't stand. And in order to stay true to myself, I stopped going out after we have dinner on the weekends.
However, last night three of my friends and I went to a place called La Viruta. Its like a place where you learn different dances. We were there for the Tango class which was an absolute blast. It was difficult at first because my first dance partner was an Argentine and I was scared and embarrassed to talk with him. One because I don't speak spanish that well and two because I wouldn't have known what to say in spanish about Tango. As if speaking it isn't hard enough, but we got through it. Then I began dancing with my friends which was an experience in itself. I know I was their worst dance partner but I am OK with that. It was just so much fun to just be free of all inhibitions that is of course once they began playing American music.

I can definitely see myself going back there. It was nice to enjoy myself and not wory about blackened lungs from smoke inhalation. I'm just joking, but on a serious note it's being true to yourself which many people find hard. It's definitely a crucial part of studying abroad. I'm glad I'm here.
Hasta Luego

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just One Small Kiss

So since I've been here I've continuously said that the Argentine men are weird. I know that isn't nice to say but it's true. Tuesday for instance, was like any other day. However after having lunch with a couple of classmates since we didn't have class, I met the most interesting man. I don't know how long he was behind me, but I kept hearing somone talk. Needless to say he was talking to get my attention and he did. So for about 8 blocks he walked and talked with me IN SPANISH. I mean granted I am in Buenos Aires learning spanish, but I'm not that good, but I understood the gist. This man was crazy. He kept asking me for a "besito" which is a little kiss. Who in their right mind just kisses a complete stranger? Who did he think I was? And get this everytime I would tell him NO he responded "feo?" to see what I would say. Funny, but I'm not that easy so we parted ways. However, while standing on the corner waiting for the light to change I saw a man with a camera. Something just told me that he was going to try to take my picture so I turned my head and waited a while, but when I turned back I heard "CLICK." What is wrong with them? I don't get it and my host brother wonders why I don't want an Argentine boyfriend. No Thank You.

The rest of that night wasn't so interesting. I was sick. I think it was from the primavera tarta I had earlier. I think the diner gave me bad ham or something. It was a bad scene, but I was happy that I had such a sweet host mother because she knew exactly what to do. Immediately after she gave me medicine came up and I felt so much better. I was saddened however to think about when my aunt and boyfriend would take care of me. Man I miss being home. Soon enough I keep telling myself, but soon just isn't soon enough right now. Oh well, you do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do. That's another think I keep telling myself. Well until next time....
Hasta Luego


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Puerto Iguazú

Last time I wrote, I said that I would be going to Iguazú Argentina. Well I went and it was absolutely amazing. It was so beautiful. Before arriving in Buenos Aires, I had a picture of what i thought everything would look like. Needless to say that everything was different, but Iguazú was definitely what I had pictured for a typical South American city. We arrived in Iguazú at noon after a 18 hour bus ride. It sounds really painful, but it wasn't that bad. We went cama which basically means that your seat goes down 180 degrees. It was definitely like first class. On the bus they served candy, champagne, wine, dinner and breakfast. We stayed at Marco Polo Inn. It's a hostel which is like a step down from a hotel here, but it was really nice. The amenities included Wi-Fi, a kitchen, a pool and continental breakfast. It was really nice especially because we got the chance to meet other travelers. Granted they all spoke english, but I was ok with that. For me, learning a different language is so tiring and sometimes you just need a break.

Upon arriving me my friends and I decided to go to the national park. There we did a nature trail which was nice, but long. When we finished we reached a natural pool. It was so cold. Part of me didn't even want to get in it and once I did I was stumbling everywhere from the big bolders. There was a small waterfall there that my friend wanted to take a picture under. I was definitely hesitant because black people just dont't do that type of thing. I was there for the experience though so I got under the waterfall and took the picture and hoped that my hair didn't get too wet. It didn't which is good since I still have some ways to go before I can go home and get it done. For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant which was really good. I ordered Lasagna. It was good, but I do not understand Argentines' obsession with putting ham in everything. It was good but I just wanted the simple meat sauce, cheese, and noodle lasagna that my aunt makes.

The next day we started our day early since we had another day planned at the park. We bought a package that included several things such as another nature trail, boat ride, and an ecological tour. It was really good some parts better than others, but it is to be expected. The best part of the trip was the boat ride. There we got a chance to see las cataratas (waterfalls) up close and personal. It was amazing. I have never seen anything like it. We probably saw every angle of the waterfalls and I couldn't stop but to be amazed at everything. It was absolutely breathtaking and all that I had expected it to be.

While I had a lot of fun, I definitely paid for it the next day. I woke up feeling horrible. Everything on my body hurt and what made it worse is I had a fever. I was horrible especially since my friends were going to ride horses that day. I wasn't too thrilled in the beginning about it, but i have only been on a horse once and that was here so I thought it would be a cool experience to spend 2 hours on one. Oh well.

Sunday was our last day in Iguazú. This was the day that I realized that I was in South America. I feel like it is so easy to forget because Buenos Aires looks like Times Square to me. It's a city and a big one at that and being from the city it didn't really amaze me. However our last stop of the day was to the Triple Frontier. It is a place where three rivers cross and while standing on the Argentina side, you can look to your left and see Paraguay. Then when you look to your right you see Brazil. Each place had an obelisk so that you can know exactly waht you're looking at. Something so simple had me in aww. It was amazing to think that if I could swim a little bit I would be in Paraguay or Brazil which is where I really want to go. Hopefully I will get a chance because that would be hot.

Hasta Luego


Sunday, September 7, 2008

One Month Down...A Couple More To Go

So I've past the one month mark....Wooo Hooo! While it seemed like such a long time it has honestly gone by pretty quick. In the month that I have been here I have seen so much including more PDA that I honestly care for. It's amazing how often you will see people making out on the streets here. I mean they just don't care streets, clubs, bars it's whatever whenever. I mean some say that it's like that in the states, but I have never seen it this month. Apparently some of the Americans are following the trend too. I guess they are REALLY trying to make the best of their study abroad experience. Hey it's different strokes for different folks.

This was my second consecutive weekend going out and I definitly enjoyed my self. My friends and I went to a buffet style restaurant called "Tenedor Libre." For 17 pesos (a little over 5 USD) the food was pretty good. They had everything from empenadas to meatballs. They also had desserts which were amazing. I had bannanas and dulce de leche as well as a baked pear.

Upon leaving the restaurant we headed over to this little bar called "Antiguas Lunas" which I enjoyed. I don't drink or smoke so I must admit that I felt a little out of place, but they had great music by the way which was from the United States. You definitely hear more english music here than you would expect. They also had a live band which I wasn't really listening to. At one point me and my friends began making up dances. It may sound a little boring, but it definitely helped pass time.

Hopefully next time I write it will be about my amazing trip to either Mendoza or Iguazú. Originally we were going to go to Mendoza, but apparently it's freezing there now and none of us has the clothes for that. Now we are thinking about Iguazú which has the most breath taking water falls that I have ever seen. I am so pumped. However, today I broke my boyfriend's camera which kind of takes the fun out it, but he just told me to have fun. What a great boyfriend!!!

Abrazos y besos


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Almost a month in Buenos Aires

So it's almost been a month since I arrived here and there is so much I want to say. So much I need to say. For the first time in my life i am completely away from my comfort zone. I've never done much traveling. In fact, my trip here was the first time that I had ever been on a plane. Needless to say, that was an experience in itself.

Since I've been here I have somewhat become living proof to the expression "Black is Beautiful." I am one of maybe 4 other black females here in my program. I don't know how it is for them, but for me walking down the street is a hassle. The men here are very straight forward and aggressive. Every one likes a compliment here and there, but everything is different. Smile and that's kind of a welcome sign. No thanks. However, apparently the men aren't the only one who likes darker skin. In a smoked fill club called "Sugar,"a woman signaled me to come over. She wanted to know where I was from. Apparently all of the people with darker skin here are from Brazil. Go figure why everyone thinks that I am Brazilian. When I told her I was from the United States she complimented me on my complexion saying "I like your color." Tha't's very nice to know. It's different though because I didn't think that everyone would be so drawn to a darker complexion.

While it has been a month, I must admit that I have only officially enjoyed Argentina's night life twice. The first night out, I tried Sushi for the first time. Then we went to a club and it just wasn't my cup of tea. The highlight of my night was when break dancers came out and performed. That definitely brought me a little closer to home since one of my brothers break dances. The second night (last night) was actually much better. I liked the atmosphere of the club. It was real laid back and chill. It has had pretty good music so I was in the zone. I walked in at like 5:30 which apparently is normal here, but after burning eyes and a chest congested with smoke, I was done.

Abrazos y Besos