Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm home.

I arrived home awhile ago, well months ago, and I have not updated with stories or pictures. When I returned initially, I was in a whirlwind stepping back into classes at Park and getting plans for graduating finalized.
All of this to say...
the semester is over in two weeks! I will have pictures and stories posted around this time!
I can't believe I have been to Argentina and back already!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Martes; el primer dia de la clase

Yesterday we took a placement test to determine which class we would participate in for the next month. My class begins at 9:30 and ends at 2:30. Today was an excellent first day! It is so much easier to learn a language in the country of origin. I really have no complaints about Buenos Aires...except right now it is so cold! I walked up and down one of the main streets here looking for a good sale on a winter coat. Maybe I can find a deal and be prepared for the US winter a few months from now! I don't have much time to update, but I am excited to take my first tango class tomorrow. Thursday I hope to march alongside the mothers at the Plaza de Mayo. Until then, adios!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aqui en Argentina

Whew. The hardest part is over. I was extremely nervous about the initial arrival in Buenos Aires and now, finally, I have made it to Argentina safely and without much trouble. I think the scariest part was entering the airport, right after customs. I remembered that Sol told me to take a remi to the hostel. So I, trying to seem patient and calm, glanced around the small airport, not seeing what I was supposed to see. After walking only a few more steps I noticed the taxi/remi booth and I retrieved the address of the hostel as quickly as I could from my backpack. They were communicating to me in Spanish. I had just walked off a 12 hour/overnight flight. I still needed to brush my teeth and wake up...the last thing I wanted to do was began communicating in my beginner-Spanish. Unfortunately, and fortunately, I had no other option. The lady at the booth handed me a ticket and I waited for the driver to arrive. He, as well, spoke no English. I was so incredibly tired. He was very kind, however, and took me straight to the address I had scribed on my paper. I stepped out of the taxi expecting to waltz into the hostel, book my room, and make quick friends with my bed. As my taxi driver, Walter by name, knocked on the door, I realized it would not be that easy. The hostel was closed.
What to do now?
I asked him in Spanish if he knew of another hostel? I had no address with me, and no way of contacting anyone, (not without Internet access). This "winging-it" idea was a lot more difficult than anticipated.

Fortunately, Walter was so kind. He knew of another hostel and drove me to it. It is called "Sudamerika Hostel & Suites." As I checked in, I realized this hostel would be half the cost of the other. Alright! I put my luggage in the 4-person room and I was greeted by two ladies who were just as sweet as Walter. They asked if I wanted to go shopping with them but I had to decline because I was still fantasizing about an incredible siesta!

As I looked for a plug in for my computer I noticed the outlet was not compatible. I could have cried. How was I going to reach anyone? How was I going to check in-and locate of few of the Argentine contacts Sol so kindly shared with me?

Saved again- I went to the front desk to ask for an adapter and she handed one to me, free of charge. SIGH. What a relief!

After the computer was up and running, I was feeling a little less disconnected and out of place. Sol's friend Melina messaged me and we made plans to meet up ...

I had an incredible (delicious and huge!) lunch and then coffee at a famous coffee hang-out. Melina had mercy on me and saw that my eyelids were fighting with gravity. I was walked back to the hostel re-coup. Today is only day one :)

Friday I will meet my host family, and Sunday is orientation.
I have a feeling I will be pretty busy between school arranged events and everything that Melina and her friends have planned.

What an adventure.
(I have been speaking in English to Melina and her friends. I'm too tired for more Spanish today!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Five days

So, less than a week and I will be in South America. Lately, I have been studying as much as possible for my placement test when I arrive. (This is for my Spanish courses). Fortunately, I had a class with a lady who is from Argentina and she has put me into contact with her friends. So I have been communicating through facebook and she, Melina, sent me some information on Hostels she enjoys. I will arrive Wednesday morning, the 22nd, and the program does not begin until Friday, the 24th, so I have a few days to explore.

Choices, choices:

The nerves are disappearing now that I am anticipating the adventure! I am very excited to be in Buenos Aires!

5 days!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Two weeks...

As of now, the countdown to my Argentina adventure is two short weeks. I am busy running around tying up loose ends and trying to do a little language study before I leave. I am also trying to do more research so I can make the most of my month long trip. I am sure I will feel unprepared until the moment I board the plane.

A little bit of background:
The whole thing is pretty unbelievable. In Jan. of this year I began talking with Park's study abroad coordinator about traveling to a Spanish speaking country. After some research and some speculation about the cost of each trip, I chose Argentina. It seemed like it would be fun! A couple months later I wrote in on a scholarship that would make this idea a reality. I think I cried when I was notified that I received the scholarship money. Now, I can hardly believe it is so close; and that it is really happening!

I am hoping everything goes well and I am one (or two!) steps closer to being able to easily communicate in Spanish.

Wish me luck as I accomplish all the little tasks I have before the trip!