Before I explain today’s events, I have to share a little cultural phenomenon that Tajel and I discovered first-hand last night. People who go out in the evenings, whether it be families getting a treat, or an older couple sitting and getting a drink together, or teens going to the clubs, they don’t even go out until midnight at the Earliest. Tajel and I went out to find a bar, or cafe to have a drink, and we left around 11/11:30pm. There was no one on the streets when we sat down and had our first Argentinian wine, a Sauvignon Blanc called Trapiche. By about 12:30am and later, older couples began showing up at the cafe and groups of young people began walking by…but not many. I have been told that the usual thing to do is nap in the evening, then go out around 2am until 7am!! Not even true college partiers could handle those hours. So this is definitely a different nightlife than what we’re used to!
Today I was woken up in the sticky humidity of 6am Argentina. The sun was shining through our window, and for the first time in 5 weeks, I actually got up Earlier than my alarm and felt awake. We had our breakfast and were driven to our meeting point by our host father. It was quite far away and so we were able to see lots of the city! He is Super smart and gave us a small tour of the sites. When we arrived at CEA headquarters the program organizers were there ready to introduce us to everything in Buenos Aires. We learned about the neighborhoods, safety, excursions we will be going on, and some cultural differences about living in a city and with a host family. It was a long, but very helpful meeting…which made me a little paranoid, but I think in every huge city, it’s important to be on guard and watch out for things.
We then went to lunch where I had empenadas, which as one of our program people describe, “They are like fancy hot pockets.” Then, we had chorizo steak…which is literally a piece of steak, and helado chocolate. Mmm! Also…it’s like 100 degrees with 100% humidity here. So most of my pictures I will be sparkly and shiny looking, like the twilight vampires. Haha.
After lunch we had an Amazing tour of the city, where we went ALL over the city in a bus and our program organizer guided us. He is hilarious and knows all about America culture and phrases…so we had a blast. The picture I posted yesterday is of a barrio called La Boca, and we were able to drive by and walk around a little. It’s not the safest part of town, but the tourist area was very cool! The colorful buildings are because these house are along the docks and when the boats would leave leftover paint cans or have extra, the people would grab what they could and paints parts of their houses. Now the whole neighborhood is quite touristy, but it reminded me a Latin New Orleans. We drove from the homeless and slums to the wealthiest area, where the Argentinian “Oprah” lives. It was quite an eye opening experience…and it really showed how diverse this city really is. It is the tenth largest city in the world, and we could definitely see that today.
Our third roommate also arrived today! After a canceled flight, Sarah has now moved in with us. So our family is complete! Right now, I am sitting in my room during a HUGE thunder and lightening storm. It is pouring outside, and I have never seen so much lightening and this intense. It’s quite amazing! As we’ve learned, we know going out doesn’t happen til later…so we’re waiting, and hoping the rain will stop too!
Until next time…Ciao!