School in Buenos Aires

School has been going pretty well so far. For my class at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) I have picked out my final paper topic: The relationship between George Bush and Chavez and how it effected their foreign policy. It should be interesting to research and write, however I don't really know anything about political science so it will be a challenge.

For my class at the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) I have a mini parcial coming up this week. It is like a short version of a midterm. The last one went pretty terribly, so I will have to study more for this one haha

The classes I take through the program, with just exchange students, are pretty easy. I just finished reading Boquitas Pintadas by Manuel Puig and it was pretty good; a novel depicting Argentine society/class structure in the 50's. In my other class we have been talking about Argentina's foreign policy throughout history, you can pretty much sum it up into one word-neutral. Well not really, but it is a very neutral country.

Not much else to tell besides that. I have a ton of reading that takes twice as long to read in Spanish as it would in English, but oh well I am learning a lot. I think my favorite word right now that I have learned how to use properly is convertirse, which means to convert or change oneself. great for papers!

Mendoza Friday the 19th

Becca, Amy, Emily, Kasia, Dallas, Lauryn and I arrived in Mendoza around 11am Friday morning. Eric and his dad met us at the station to help us get to our hotel, which was really nice. It was raining like crazy so we took taxis to the hotel. When we got there, we took a couple hours to settle in, get cleaned up and rest. Lauryn, Becca and I went out for coffee/tea and medialunas. Then around 3 we met Eric to get lunch and go shopping. We got asado libre (unlimited bbq) which was delicious. We had 5 or 6 different kinds of meat and a couple bottles of wine. Then we went shopping and got to see a lot of the city. We stopped for ice cream, which is a must anywhere in Argentina. There are ice cream places on every corner, and the flavors are delicious.

After we got back to the hotel Lauryn and I went to check out the pool. It was FREEZING, but I forced myself to go all the way in. It was nice and refreshing. Then we all got ready to go out and meet all the Eric's Argentine friends.

We went to a bar called Ex Xtreme and had a few typical Argentine drinks such as Gancia with sprite and lime and Fernet with coke. We met Efrain, Leo, Francisco, Nico and Ezekiel. They were all super cool and we got to practice lots of spanish speaking with them. Nico wrote a poem and wanted us to translate it to English for him. It was pretty cheesy, but fun. Francisco, Leo and Ezekiel are in a band together. We tried to get them to perform for us, but it didn't work. We stayed out till around 2:30 and then headed back to the hotel. We didn't want to stay out too late cause we had to be ready by 9 the next morning for our bike and wine tour!

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Living in Buenos Aires

I have been in Buenos Aires for about a month now and these have been my most notable experiences so far:

Home Stay
I am living with a lady named Beatriz and her cat Cuazar. We live in an apartment in Villa Crespo. Villa Crespo is a middle class neihborhood in the middle of the capital city of Buenos Aires. I like the neighborhood because it is pretty quite and down-to-earth. There is not a lot of tourism in the area so I get to see a lot of Argentines and not many Americans.

Beatriz is quite the character. She is 62, loves all things touristic, and wears flowers in her hair every day. She loves to talk on the phone with her friends, go out for coffee or tea and yell at her cat. We have a great time together. She has taken me on a city tour and shopping. This weekend we are planning on going to El Tigre together.

Tango
I took a tango class with my friend Becca and it was really fun. There are places to learn tango in every neighborhood, so hopefully I can find one that I like in Villa Crespo and I will come back to the states a tango pro.

People
Argentines are very nice people. They are always willing to help you with directions or tell you about the history of some building or plaza. They are also very in shape verging on skinny. They excercise a lot and eat a lot of meat. Hopefully all of us American students will catch on to this and come back looking like beautiful Argentines.

I have also met a bunch of very nice exchange students here. Becca lives right across the street from me so we do almost everything together. It is nice when we are out late cause we can get a cab home together or brave the colectivo (bus).

That's all for now. I will start blogging more frequently so my posts aren't so long! Here is a picture of the park right by my apartment.View image

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