Fuerza Bruta, Nuevos SOLmates, y mas!

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– MALBA! I went to the art museum like 2 weeks ago by myself after school one day. There is this cool exhibit about a photographer (Mario something or other) who does risky photos for magazines around the world, and some are of models, but I recognized a lot of the celebrities in his photos, too. I also wandered around the permanent exhibit of art throughout the history of Argentina/Latin America. That was a nice relaxing afternoon, and I walked home the 45 minutes or so, just to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise.

– Fuerza Bruta! Lissette and I tried to go saturday night, but when the tickets were sold out, we just bought tickets for the next afternoon. It’s basically a Cirque de Soleil show, and it was crazy! At one point, there was a guy running on a treadmill with things flying at him and getting shot. Then there was a giant curtain that was drawn around the entire room, and two girls hanging from the ceiling ran around it and fought. Then the ceiling dropped down and we saw that it was actually a kind of a swimming pool, with 4 girls running around and smacking their stomachs against the tarp and they jumped around. It looked like it really hurt. A couple different times, the ceiling dropped down so far that we were actually told to help hold it up. Next, they brought out a huge parachute type thing and ballooned it up with the entire audience under it. There were guys walking around on top of it, and then they opened up these 3 holes, jumped down (with their harnesses, obviously) and swung around. They also grabbed some random members in the crowd and raised them up to on top of the parachute thing. I was so jealous of the 3 people that got to do it. The show ended with basically a mosh pit in the center, under this fountain of water, while 5 performers banged like crazy on drums on the stage. It was an experience unlike any other.

– First time going to Argentine movie theater! Lissette and I basically had a date night two saturdays ago. We met up to go to Fuerza Bruta, but the tickets were all sold out. So instead, we went to Volta for some ice cream, and the went to the movies! We just picked a random movie that was starting soon, called “La Ley de Mas Fuerte” or “The Strongest Law” and we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. It ended up being a movie from the US, Out of The Furnace! It came out in the states several months ago, but I never saw it, even though I had been to some of the places where they filmed! It’s a Christian Bale movie, and part of it is filmed in the West Virginia Penitentiary, where I went on a overnight paranormal tour, and actually laid in the bunk in the cell that they had redone for the movie. It was pretty cool to watch the movie and be able to say that I walked through that same prison, just at 4am and with only a flashlight.

– Shopping, shopping, and more shopping. Two fridays ago, I went on a bit of a shopping spree. I walked to Alto Palermo, the big shopping mall about an hour walk from my house, and shopped my whole way there. Before I even got to the mall, I had bought 3 pairs of tights and a scarf. I got two pairs of black tights, one of them metallic, and a pair of silver metallic ones (Teresa absolutely loves those, she’s acting like she’s going to get some herself!). The scarf is this beautiful bright red. I met Julie at the entrance to Alto Palermo, and that entrance is also where I bought two pairs of shoes. There is a brand of shoes here, that are exactly like Tom’s, called Paez. I got a plain black pair that are good for winter because they have a layer of microfiber inside, and another pair that are black with tiny white stars that does not have the microfiber. Each pair was 250 pesos, but the workers were flirting with me, so I asked if I could get a discount for buying both, and I did! Instead of 500, I got both pairs for 440. I call that a good deal. After that, Julie and I wandered around the mall, got Starbucks, talked forever, and then we went down the street so she could try Kentucky Pizza for the first time.

– Dancing at La Viruta! The next Thursday, Julie and I met up at La Viruta to dance the salsa, the milonga, and the tango! Talia joined us later, when salsa was almost done. It was actually really fun! You pay to enter, and then you can stay as long as you want and take as many classes as you want. Oh, and by the way, I went full tango dress that night! I was completely dressed up, because, why not? Salsa was super fun, especially with Leo. He was a guy in my class, and by far my favorite. He was just clearly one of those guys who is always in a great mood and is not afraid to laugh at himself and us when we messed up. Plus, he wasn’t grossly hitting on me! +1 for Leo. After each class, there is a free period when people can go out into the dance floor and use what they learned, so I danced with one of Julie’s friends then. Then there was the milonga class, that I wasn’t going to join, but this old adorable man who had also been in my salsa group, Horacio, asked me if I wanted to dance. He was really good! And he was really patient, teaching me the steps slowly. Then, before the tango class, the professors performed! There were 10, for all the different levels of classes, and they showed us all their moves. It was so freaking impressive. Then the tango class! Unfortunately, I don’t have a favorite guy that I danced with in that class, because there was one guy who literally kept grabbing me again and again to dance, even though we were supposed to switch partners, and being super weird. And when I finally got away from him, he straight up left the class. It was very strange. But that professor was really nice, and he invited me back the next week (actually gave me a discount on some passes). My feet were killing me after 3 hours of dancing, over half of that in heels, but it was so fun!

– The new SOLmates! So, last saturday, we got a ton of new SOLmates. Most of them are just here for a month, but one or two are here for 2 months. On Monday, they all went to Cumana to try mate and get their orientation and meet Beatriz. Beatriz is a new director who is going to be helping out Raul, because this new group is bigger than usual and it’s hard for one person to handle. Sergio, Lissette, Talia, and I all stopped by to meet people. Actually, I was there the whole time. Raul wanted me to give my experience and my advice after almost everything he told them, which I didn’t mind at all. I also finally tried terere! Terere is another type of mate, but cold. Sometimes it’s ice water, or juice, or pop, but all with the same yerba as hot mate. We tried it with orange juice, and it was honestly just delicious. Lissette and I couldn’t get enough. Overall, the newbies seem cool, and I enjoyed being the voice of experience. Made me feel all important, jaja.

– Mate club/Cuartito. The next day, Tuesday, all those newbies came to mate club. It was pretty chill, I had some good conversations with locals, and Beatriz, and it was nice and calm. Unfortunately, Hollie and Maura’s table won the competition, as they have for the last 3 weeks, and they ate the alfajores very smugly. Oh, also Hollie’s mom is in town visiting and she came (she’s Mexican and completely fluent in spanish), and they are so alike! They look alike and very much have the same kind of teasing/joking humor. After mate club, but before mundo lingo, I went for pizza at Cuartito with Kylie and Maura and there two roommates from the new batch. It was my first time at Cuartito, which is kind of weird since it’s so close to us and famous, but oh well. I prefer Kentucky Pizza. Then it was off to mundo lingo, where I only stayed for like half an hour because I had a movie to watch for my class the next day. However, in that half hour, Rodrigo and Evan taught Talia and I some pretty cool lunfardo.

– Tango class with the newbies! Yesterday, they had their first tango class, and Raul said I could tag along, because I’ve seriously been in a dancing mood for like 3 weeks now. Since I already knew the basic steps that they were learning, I danced with Raul a good part of the time. The rest of the time, I was dancing with all of them and helping them out. I also know the guy steps to the basic parts, so I was showing the girls, too. It was pretty fun! Also, Andrew taught me the 2-step! I had never danced it before, but it’s pretty simple. He was spinning me around everywhere and dipped me too! Like I said, very fun!

– Liquid Bar/Boliche with TECHO friends! Last night, Talia and I went out to a bar with some of the people we met this past weekend at Techo (which is going to get it’s own separate post). We went to a new place, called Liquid, that (only on Wednesdays) foreigners get in free with a copy of their passport, and get a free drink. This place was a bar, but at the same time kind of a boliche. We were dancing off and on the whole time, and most people around us were too. It was fun, and a place I might even want to go back to, but last night Talia and I were super tired.We went to bed at like 3am, and both passed out immediately. But we’re glad we went out, at least for a bit!

 

Okay, so that’s all for now. I’ll try to do the TECHO post today as well, but I’m not going to promise anything. Also, I’m going to post pictures of Fuerza Bruta. Until then, chau chau!!! Besos a todos!

I forgot about Uruguay!!!

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Remember two posts ago how I said I didn’t remember what we did on that sunday? That’s because I was trying to think about something we did in the city, but I couldn’t because we left the country entirely! We went to Colonia, Uruguay!! I can’t believe I forgot that that was when we went.

Anyway, we left early morning to catch the express ferry (one 1 hour instead of 3) and landed in Uruguay at about 9am. We took this quick bus tour around town that described the most important historical parts of the town, because Colonia has a wonderful historical district (we actually spent the entire day there). To be honest, I was unconscious for about 75% of that tour. Like I said, we had to get up early.. After that, we walked around a couple blocks and picked up our audio guides. We spent the next couple hours wandering around the town, just strolling through the little streets, and learning the history of the town. You could tell which streets were of Spanish design and which were of Portuguese design which, although it is something I never need to know, I’m happy I do! It was full of cool tidbits like that, and a bunch of information about the battles that happened during the struggle for independence. We also got to see remnants of a fort: there was a giant wall that lead to the water, which I climbed, but I was actually quite scared, the ledge was thin. We spent some time by the beach, just skipping rocks and talking, and Maura walked across some rocks further into the water. Just chilled. Then, Raul showed us (AGAIN) why he is the greatest person, because he helped us to listen to ants talk! Sounds weird I know, but he picked up 3 ants, put them in his hankerchief and tied it up, then put that tiny ball in our ears. After we stopped giggling at them moving around in there, we could actually hear them chattering away! It was really cool, and Raul is just the best for knowing that that was a thing. 

Finally, we settled down for lunch. We had drinks, an appetizer, main course, and dessert. None of us could move, especially me, since I had gnocchi for lunch. Everything was super good, but we could barely move. Anyway, we headed from there to the lighthouse. That was so cool (that’s the picture I posted), and we went up to the top of it. Obviously there was no elevator, and I don’t mind stairs, but the stairway was tightly winding and very narrow. There literally was not room for someone to go up at the same time people went down, so there were workers at the first balcony and at the bottom monitoring traffic. From the top, we took several pictures, and I tried to get one of the Buenos Aires skyline, because we could see a decent part of it through the fog, but it didn’t come out clearly in the photos. From there, we walked to the little crafts market, where I bought a new mate! I had already bought the really cool one from Recoleta market that has my name engraved on it, but I wanted one that was glass or something so that it was easier to clean. This one is leather on the outside but is glass or plastic or something on the inside. It takes 3 seconds to clean, and I’ve had mate so many times since buying it. The cleaning process of the other one was discouraging me from using it. But after I bought that, I joined Christina and Talia down on the grass for a little half hour nap (we still weren’t recovered from the early morning). Following that, we headed back to the ferry (not the express this time), and headed home. I was up on the roof for a while, looking at the stars as the ferry pulled away, but it got chilly soon so I went back down and laid down to sleep. We were supposed to get home at like 1015pm, but there was some delay that happened while I was sleeping, so we ended getting back to our house at like 1130pm, and we had dinner then. Luckily, that lunch had been plenty large to sustain us that whole time. Anyway, that was Uruguay! I can’t believe I forgot!

Vote for SOL!!

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Vote for SOL!!

Hey everybody!! So there’s a poll by GoAbroad.com on facebook for a lot of the top study abroad companies, and SOL in currently in second! You should know by now, from reading all the stuff we do together and how much I love my directors, that SOL is just the best. Help me prove it to everybody else, too!!! You can vote every day (once a day) until May, 28th. Thanks, guys!!! ❤

Heeeeeyy!!

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I’m gonna do a list of cool things I did in these last 2 weeks, because I don’t have time to blog day-by-day.

-My very first opera!! We went to Barber of Seville at Teatro Colón, which was sung in the original italian, but with spanish subtitles at the top. That was pretty freaking cool! We were in the very top, called Paradise because the sound quality is impeccable, and we had to stand the whole time which wasn’t fun, but it was worth it to hear the snap of the hand fan as a woman opened it on stage. I was also thinking before how the only opera song I know is the “Figaro, Figaro, Figaaarrrroooo” one, and it ended up being that opera! I laughed so hard when the guy started singing that. I felt accomplished. It was also just really cool that I was able to understand the majority of the play, even though the it was in antiquated spanish.

-Three different midterms that I rocked in a week. Literature, which was an in class essay test that we could prepare for ahead of time and bring in an outline, so that was very easy. The narratives midterm was actually kind of terrible, because it was 3 in class essays that we had to dig through our materials for quotes for, 3 quotes per essay, and it was a bunch to do. I was the first one done, and I finished 15 minutes after our hour and a half class ended. The last person took almost 3 hours. That was crazy. The history one was beyond easy, he basically gave us the four short answer questions and the answers to them beforehand, so I just had to study a little bit. I was one of the very first done, it only took like 35 minutes. I haven’t gotten any grades back yet, but I’m pretty confident about them.

-Saying goodbye to a bunch of SOLmates…which I can’t classify as a “cool” thing because it was actually really sad, but it was definitely important enough to blog about. We had a goodbye lunch at Raul’s house that thursday that we had a holiday from class. Christina, Luke, Isaac, Courtney, and Ronika all finished their programs, and it they didn’t go home yet, they’re out and about travelling. It was a really nice lunch that Raul’s wife, Monika, made for us, and I got to meet one of his other daughters. Also, Rodrigo and I took some pretty awesome pictures of me being totally badass with my hair braided tightly (by Ronika) and wearing my leather jacket. I’ll for sure post on of those on here.

-Saying goodbye to Christina…which deserves a separate point because it was just so sad…She started crying as she got into the taxi, and we hugged about a million times.. She’s in Peru now, but we’re gonna talk so much when she gets back and can be online!! We have so much to catch her up on, and she for us! Soon it’ll be time to live vicariously through each other.

-Long holiday weekend, in which honestly I did basically nothing. Talia’s roommate from University of Kentucky and some her friends that she’s studying abroad with in Brazil, came to Buenos Aires for the weekend. We met up with them thursday night and went to Club 69 again, and it was just awesome. The next day, we wandered around Plaza Italia and got some Kentucky pizza (yum!!!) and then stumbled upon a Violetta concert!! Actually, I think I already blogged about this, so, moving on!

-Botanical garden!!! Talia and I met up after my class on wednesday and finally wandered around the botanical gardens. It’s right by Plaza Italia, where we always go, but for some reason we never went before. We played a game of cribbage, she won of course, then wandered around the entire gardens, and stopped by a garden to do a bit of homework reading before they kicked us out as it closed. It was cool, and I can check it off my list of stuff to do!

-Evita museum!! It was really cool to finally learn about the woman that everyone in this country loves. For example, I learned that she was an actress and a dancer, and already a big activist before she met Perón, which is how she met him. I also learned a lot about the different programs she put in place after she got married, and after Perón got elected: like going to Spain, Italy, and France and doing charity work, and also her work in Argentina itself. She created better schools all around the country, and a city for children to play and stay, and a new school to create better nurses, and homes for single moms and orphans (one of which is where the museum is now located), and made a bunch of reforms for treatment of the elderly, too. She really was a fighter for everyone that was less fortunate, which is why her grave is the only one in Recoleta cemetery that always has flowers on it. Talia and I biked home from that, and we kinda biked home super fast, so it was decent exercise.

-Hurlingham with Irina and her friends and family! Talia and I visited Irina out in Hurlingham, which is about a 45 minute train ride outside the city, to the west. It’s still a part of the province of Buenos Aires, but I’d never been out to the greater ring before. We actually had to sprint to the train and hold the door open to make it, but we did! Irina met us at the train station, and bought us all these sweets for us to eat while we had mate and her house with her parents and talked. We were determined to spend the entire day in spanish, even though Irina’s whole family speaks english, and other languages, fluently. After mate, we went to a local garage sale with two of Irina’s friend, and because Talia owed me 50 pesos, she bought me a super cute shirt. Then we went back to Irina’s place and chilled for a while while she showered and changed, then we went to her friend’s house for an asado! This was the very first asado at a house either of us has been to, and it was so much better than one at a restaurant! We hung out for a while, out in the balcony and in the kitchen area, and we ate a toooooon of food. It was all so delicious, but there were about 10 of them, and while I could understand them speaking to me, when they all started speaking to each other so fast… That was rough. And I was pretty tired, so that was rough. But totally fun! We finally got to hang out with a big group of porteños! A bunch of them were heading into the capital city to go to a boliche, so they dropped us off in palermo on Santa Fe, and we took a bus home from there. We got home at like 330am or something, and we crashed. This one guy, Francesco, kept trying to get me to go to the boliche with them on the car drive back, and I mean he was flirting haaaaaard, but I’m very glad I decided to crash instead. He probably would have tried to continue the flirting, too, which was getting bad, lol. Overall, a super great day and evening!

-New bar with Angie! Talia and I met up with this girl, Angie, that Talia had met through one of her friends who had studied abroad her before. Actually the same friend that hooked us up with Irina. We really owe Alex, now that I think about it. But anyway, we discovered a new bar really close to us, and it was pretty cool. Also, it’s awesome to have a new friend that lives SO close to us, everyone we know, especially the locals, they live sooooo far away from us. Like on the other side of Belgrano, or in Hurlingham. She invited us to her birthday party the next night, but we were still in Hurlingham, so we didn’t make it, but we had a nice talk, and she’s really cool. Angie is also like the 7th person I’ve met that is an engineer, or engineering student. Apparently there aren’t that many in Argentina, but I guess all of them want to learn different languages, so I meet them all at mundo lingo. Works for me!

-El Zanjón de Granados! Today, we went with SOL to these tunnels! They are underneath a huge brick house from roughly the 1700s. Most of it is still original bricks, they just replaced the adobe with cement so that it actually stays up. The giant house was originally residential, then became a kind of hostel for men, then they tried to convert it into a restaurant, then it was abandoned for more than 20 years. When the museum got ahold of it, there was a lot of reconstruction to do. But, they kept a ton of the old artifacts they found and it was pretty cool to see that. Also, the tunnels!! There used to be a river running through San Telmo barrio, and it carved through the underground, and left behind these pretty cool tunnels. We obviously couldn’t go through a lot of it, but there was a decent portion that we could, which was pretty cool! 

I’m fully caught up again! Yay me!!! Chau chau, besos para todos, hasta luego. 🙂