Archive for the ‘Buenos Aires’ Category

The End

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Okay, I know I said I would finish with Brazil but let’s take a pause first. Because it’s my last few hours in Buenos Aires. I’M SO SAD.

So here I am six months later. I know you may expect some kind of inspiring conclusion to my journey but I am not sure I can muster that. (And, let’s be real, it’s me, you were not expecting that!) I am first of all surprised I have written 43 entries. Anyway…

Allow me to be superficial. I am really looking forward to eating waffles, bagels, sour patch watermelons and chocolate chip cookies, lemonade, Dr. Pepper, french toast, and tacos as soon as possible. I am looking forward to driving, using ziplock bags, having coffee to go (and food!) and wearing sweatpants. I am looking forward to using my heated rollers. And doing my own laundry (except for folding.) And good customer service. Ah, the comforts of home!

I’m coming back and making as much money as I can before I settle back in Fredericksburg in a few weeks. It will feel nice to be settled. At least until May 2011…They say college isn’t real life, so I don’t know how you would describe studying abroad because this definitely hasn’t been real life either. Everything has not been on pause? It’s summer again? The world doesn’t revolve around me? Ha, just kidding. But really things might be strange. I’ve had a great time and I’m so sad but I guess as Maria told me “things come and things pass.”

Well, I guess that’s it then. I don’t think I have much else to say. See you soon!

Dale, bueno, chau, besitos,

Kelly

Brazil: Part I

Monday, July 12th, 2010

I have put this off for too long and better do it now before it’s too late!

Elena, Anna (Elena’s friend from High School who studied in Quito this past semester) and I left Sunday the 20th in the afternoon for Porto Alegre.

That was our first mistake.

Due to finals and my non-accessibility to internet in the proceeding days and weeks, I had done zero amount of planning for this trip. Yes, that’s right, no hostels booked…not even for the first night. This was actually completely fine although definitely not recommended during the high season. Oh well, everything turned out just fine.

Anyway, the Porto Alegre mistake was that Porto Alegre is definitely not a city for tourists. It just didn’t really live up to it’s name. I believe it was decided upon due to its relatively close proximity to Buenos Aires. Everyone we met there asked us what we were doing there. But it was funny joke later. No regrets!

(If you are curious, most people seem to go from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls to Florianópolis and onward.)

So we had one day in Porto Alegre in which we spent on a day trip to Canela. It was a two hour bus ride away. Canela is a cute little town and we saw a waterfall.

We felt guilty we hadn’t seen anything in Porto Alegre, so we planned to wake up early and go for a run. Two birds with one stone. (Clearly this was not my idea.) We knew this was ambitious but we decided to try anyway. At 6:30AM the alarm went off and everyone was up and willing to go! Yet, it was still pitch dark outside! Whoops. Too dangerous. We fell back asleep, woke up again and were successful! I was very proud of us.

Tuesday the 22nd we leave for Florianópolis. I believe that was a six hour bus ride.

I know that only covers two days, but that’s all for now. Stay tuned!

Home from Brazil

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
Wow what an amazing trip! Brazil is magical and amazing and beautiful. I should be able to write more about it later once I’m not so tired (and also because I have internet in my apartment again!)

The route was from Buenos Aires to Porto Alegre, Florianópolis, São Paulo, Paratí, Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro and back to Buenos Aires. 16 days. A whopping 90+ hours of bus travel in total. Vale la pena. Absolutely.

It feels wonderful to have a nice clean bed and a hot shower…clean towel…they certainly are luxuries. I may go watch a movie and then get some real sleep.

Almost There

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

I guess I will talk about my weekend first…

Friday was exhausting. I woke up really early (okay fine 9am but that’s really early for me now) and ran down to the Retiro bus station to meet Elena and buy tickets to Brazil (yes I said BUS tickets). Then we walked to the Brazilian Consulate hoping it would be quick and easy and they would grant us visas even though we didn’t bother obtaining all of the requirements. And they did! We just had to go back to pick them up on Monday. I’m all set to enter Brazil whenever I want until 2020. (Argentina, too. So start planning!)

Afterward I really wanted to go home and sleep but it was a nice day so I met Trisha and we went to the Rose Gardens and went paddle boating! Then to the Japanese Gardens, too. I’m trying to check as many things off of my list as possible! I should update with pictures but it is a lot of work so that will have to wait until later.

Saturday morning I woke up to the sounds of Argentina scoring! Then I went to go volunteer, but I checked my e-mail about two minutes too early and hadn’t yet received the e-mail about the activity being canceled. (It rained all day.) I went all the way to Recoleta and back and was very wet by the time I got home.

Because of  Brazil, volunteering will have to begin in July. That’s what I’ll be doing until I leave. I’m still trying to move my flight up though but there are no seats available. Yet.  I’m sure I’ll be happy volunteering but hopefully I can still get a few days in AND be able to come home sooner!

Sunday I went to Palermo and San Telmo like I basically do every Sunday but this time I actually did a good job getting presents. We ate at El Desnivel again and it was delicious! Steak, beer and french fries yum!

Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday have involved a lot of take home finals and late nights. But school ends TOMORROW thank goodness. Most of the time I still can’t believe I’m here. And now I am saying my goodbyes!

Last week of class FINALLY

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

I can’t wait until these classes are over! As for June 19th, let’s just say I downloaded a Portuguese language iPod app.

Oh and they have these signs ALL OVER school now:

For those of you who don’t know any Spanish, they are basically notifying us that classes and finals aren’t cancelled/postponed for the World Cup. Haha. Oh but we can decide for ourselves if we are coming to class or not.

I Feared This Day Would Come

Monday, June 7th, 2010

So the internet I have been stealing in my apartment for the past four months is finally password protected. I think this will actually have a negative impact on my studying. But it will be good for my sleep schedule. We’ll see how that balances out. I am sad and it’s really inconvenient but I think I will survive.

I can’t believe I’ve never written about the Argentine time schedule before.  Everyone is late, including my professors. So class starts like 15-2o minutes after it is supposed to start which is usually kind of nice. Even though I still leave my apartment to get there on time. And of all the times I have been late somewhere in Argentina, I’ve never actually been late.

But when your professor decides not to come to class, and not tell anyone, you then have to make it up on a Friday when clearly you have better things to do. And then waste thirty minutes with the Academic Coordinator because everyone is so confused and trying to figure out what the assignment for the final is. It’s this week and we still don’t know what’s going on but it involves a paper and a presentation. I guess we’ll have one night to do it. Wonderful.

I am already prematurely re-organizing in preparation to pack. I don’t know how I’ve accumulated this much and I hope it all fits. I cannot believe I am already thinking about packing. But I am so ready to come back! But then I made a list of things I wanted to do before I left, and it is long. But that’s alright, I can’t do everything. I’ll save it for next time :)

Sunday I went to a Thai restaurant in Chinatown and it was delicious! I was given quite a warning before ordering the spiciest meal, but it was not too spicy at all. And I can’t handle very much. Argentines do not like spicy food. Not even a little bit.

Finally, Happy Belated 14th Birthday to my baby Lizzie! I found a little Golden Retriever puppy on the street in San Telmo yesterday and played with her. (Her owner and mom were watching, don’t worry. Otherwise I would have taken her home with me. I don’t think my host parents would have liked that.) She was very cute (obviously) but she was quite the biter. A sweet, awful teething puppy. Definitely reminded me of a very young Lizzie!

I better actually get to work noww.

I Feared This Day Would Come

Monday, June 7th, 2010

So the internet I have been stealing in my apartment for the past four months is finally password protected. I think this will actually have a negative impact on my studying. But it will be good for my sleep schedule. We’ll see how that balances out. I am sad and it’s really inconvenient but I think I will survive.

I can’t believe I’ve never written about the Argentine time schedule before.  Everyone is late, including my professors. So class starts like 15-2o minutes after it is supposed to start which is usually kind of nice. Even though I still leave my apartment to get there on time. And of all the times I have been late somewhere in Argentina, I’ve never actually been late.

But when your professor decides not to come to class, and not tell anyone, you then have to make it up on a Friday when clearly you have better things to do. And then waste thirty minutes with the Academic Coordinator because everyone is so confused and trying to figure out what the assignment for the final is. It’s this week and we still don’t know what’s going on but it involves a paper and a presentation. I guess we’ll have one night to do it. Wonderful.

I am already prematurely re-organizing in preparation to pack. I don’t know how I’ve accumulated this much and I hope it all fits. I cannot believe I am already thinking about packing. But I am so ready to come back! But then I made a list of things I wanted to do before I left, and it is long. But that’s alright, I can’t do everything. I’ll save it for next time :)

Sunday I went to a Thai restaurant in Chinatown and it was delicious! I was given quite a warning before ordering the spiciest meal, but it was not too spicy at all. And I can’t handle very much. Argentines do not like spicy food. Not even a little bit.

Finally, Happy Belated 14th Birthday to my baby Lizzie! I found a little Golden Retriever puppy on the street in San Telmo yesterday and played with her. (Her owner and mom were watching, don’t worry. Otherwise I would have taken her home with me. I don’t think my host parents would have liked that.) She was very cute (obviously) but she was quite the biter. A sweet, awful teething puppy. Definitely reminded me of a very young Lizzie!

I better actually get to work noww.

Random Thoughts

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

To my surprise, something strange has been happening to me here: people ask me for directions. Relatively often. I don’t know what it is about me that makes people think I know what I am doing, but there must be something. Twice today on the walk home from school!

I also get stopped (or yelled at) a lot for having my shoelaces untied. It is pretty bizarre. I don’t know if I have my shoelaces untied here more or what but people seem to care about it a lot. I will be tripping on these sidewalks anyway, but thank you.

I read online somewhere that the Spanish language has about half the vocabulary as the English language. It feels true. There are a number of words I’ve tried and failed to translate properly. Of course it isn’t actually prohibiting in terms of expression, you just have to get around it. For example, there aren’t words for creepy or silly, and the one of the most frustrating: cute.

And, I have a house in Fredericksburg today!!!

Winding Down

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Things are going to be pretty boring here for awhile. I’ll be busy finishing up classes, exams presentations and papers within the next three weeks. It seems very strange that things will actually be coming to a close! Marisa, one of my best friends here, just left to go back to the U.S. yesterday. Very sad!

So this all means that I need to seriously begin making travel plans! (If I can afford it and have company.) Which has proven to be very stressful. And I just called to try and change my flight for earlier and was told there is nothing available. If I can’t change it, I will be here for at least two weeks with no friends and no money! Oh well. I’ll keep calling back…

Happy 200 Years!

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

It has been a long and eventful weekend! My new roommate arrived Friday, Saturday was Elena’s 21st Birthday, and Monday I went to the Argentina vs. Canada fútbol game. Not to mention all the Bicentennial events!

I guess I’m getting lazy because here is a Washington Post article on the game. And pictures:

I was downtown on 25 de Mayo to see the events in the afternoon but there were so many people and it was so crowded I decided I would rather come home and watch the big parade on TV instead.