First off I want to say that I am incredibly happy to have decided to study abroad and to have chosen Rosario, Argentina. I had not traveled outside of the U.S before (well once as a child but I don’t remember the experience) and this study abroad has broadened my horizons and I cannot wait to travel again.
I’ve been home since Tuesday afternoon and things have finally slowed down enough for me to write. Being back home has been more of an adjustment that being in Rosario. For one, it’s summer here. It was a lot easier to go from spring to winter than from winter to summer. Especially since I came back with a cold, and a cold + hot dry weather = nose bleeds. I’ve pretty much had a nose bleed since I got back, not fun and it really makes me miss the winter in Rosario. And two, the vacation is over. I’m working again and it’s a little weird since I hadn’t had a vacation in over a year. Going back to work after five weeks of “vacation” kind of sucks.
I feel like it is more difficult for me to adjust back into my normal routine and into American culture than it was for me to adjust to Rosario. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that when I arrived in Argentina I had no clue what to expect, everything was new and I just immersed myself. But coming home, I had a clear memory of what everything was like. But now that I have a different perspective and notice different things, what I see does not match perfectly with what I remember so it has been a bit more difficult to adapt because things feel more foreign. I feel like i’m not making much sense, maybe it’s the blood loss, so I will update this later.
Week four is just ending and in about 8 days I will be on a plane back home. I still can’t believe that time has passed so quickly.
This past week has been great, just like the rest. The week started off with tango lessons and some pizza. The tango lesson was super fun, and all in all quite a success. I managed to not fall on my face and I had a good time, so I will call it a win.
Friday and Saturday were spent in Buenos Aires. Despite a few bumps in the road (like a 5am Friday morning, 7am construction outside the hotel, tiny hotel rooms, getting ripped off for lunch), I had a great time. We visited a lot of historical sites. We visited La Recoleta, the Boca Juniors stadium, el caminito, la casa rosada, el museo de Evita Peron, and la plaza de mayo. A lot of the things we learned about I already knew but it was to see the local perspective on the topics. There are things, like Evitas death, that I definitely want to research more about. But the highlight was the delicious dinner with an amazing tango show. We got to see amazing dancers, musicians, and singers. It was interesting an interesting experience to see a real tango show. From beginning to end, the tangos and songs told a story.
For Saturdays lunch we got to wander around a less touristy town and we found a great meal and I finally tried the traditional Argentine parrillada. Not only was the food delicious but the service was great.
Today was a pretty relaxed day back home in Rosario. Had a good lunch and walked along the river and bought some presents for my family.
I apologize for the flipped images, I can’t turn them. tomb in la recoleta Continue reading
This, like previous weeks has been exciting and new.
First off I want to say what an incredible experience it has been to be here in Argentina during the World Cup and to see them advance to finals and place second. I have never seen so many people unite and cheer for a single cause. It has been truly amazing and contagious. Today as I watched the final against Germany, I saw people of all ages cheer and cry for their team. Even though they lost the match, people still went out on the streets and celebrated. It was truly heartbreaking to watch Germany score at the last minute and feel the atmosphere of the room change. Never the less, witnessing the World Cup in a football loving country has been wonderful and I am glad that I was able to experience it.
Midterms were this week and I was exposed to different examination method. It was interesting, to say the least. Professors expect you to know all of the material, no study guides. One professor didn’t even tell us the format of the exam. But overall I think I did well and have found a new appreciation for the Oregon public school system.
I also went to the monumento de la bandera this week after Argentina’s win on Wednesday, which also happened to be their independence day. There were hundreds of people there, chanting and dancing. There were fireworks and news vans. It was a wonderful experience to celebrate and feel like an Argentinian.
This week I also went to el parque de independencia, el museo de la ciudad, el centro fluvial, and I tried sushi for the first time. I have learned more of Rosario’s history and it’s ties with soccer.
This is my second week here in Rosario and I find myself saddened by the thought that in three weeks I will have to go back home. I am very much enjoying my experience here. I am learning a lot about Argentinian culture, history, food, and its people.
Both the soccer and human rights classes I am taking are teaching me a lot of Argentinian history and culture. It is interesting to see how everything relates. From soccer to human rights to politics, its all connected. And it all helps me understand why politics are so important to people here. It seems that here everyone has a political opinion, unlike the US. Politics and soccer can be seen everywhere, the graffiti, the advertisements, and the passion with which the locals speak of them.
This past week I have learned more of the Argentinian dictatorship that governed during 1976-1983 and of the human rights violations they committed. During the dictatorship the military would “disappear” those people who thought differently. Disappearances are estimated to be 30,000. I visited el Museo de la Memoria. This museum talks about the political violence and injustices committed during the dictatorship as well as the punishments that military officials received after their trials. It was very sad to learn that even pregnant mothers were abducted and tortured. And even more sad to learn that their children were either killed, given up for adoption, kept by military officials, sometimes returned to their grandparents. It is 2014 and they are still reuniting children with their biological families, and las abuelas de plaza de mayo still march in squares demanding justice. This Thursday I hope to attend one of these displays.
Now to a happier topic, soccer!
Yesterday was insanely incredible. After Argentina defeated Belgium and advanced in the World Cup a group of us went to el Monumento de la Bandera where the locals celebrate their wins. I cannot find the words to describe the beautiful chaotic display of national pride. We had been watching the game at a bar close by, so we were there before the crowds started to come in. People, young and old came from all directions. In cars, walking, and in trucks. All waving the Argentinian colors and chanting and dancing. It was an amazing experience and I truly hope Argentina brings the cup home.
I have also visited la casa de tango, el museo experimental de ciencias, and the museo de ciencias naturalez. My visit to la Casa de Tango was a very sweet. There were a lot of older people who sang their favorite tangos. They were all very nice to us and welcoming.
I can’t believe tomorrow will mark one week in this lovely city. This week has been exciting and different. It has been a slight challenge to become accustomed to the different dialect of Spanish spoken here, even considering that I am a native speaker.
I did not post upon arrival because I was having computer issues, so I will describe what my arrival was like. When I landed at the Buenos Aires I was a bit overwhelmed and confused. But everyone was informative and I was able to find the bus I was looking for. There I found 15 other students that were all headed to Rosario and were in the same program that I was. They all seemed to know each other so I was a bit shy at first, but it didn’t take long to make friends. Rosario is a big city with tons of traffic, but it grows on you. It’s funny that I don’t feel like I expected to feel. That is, I wasn’t nervous or afraid, instead I feel like i’m family in a familiar city. I guess this is because people from the program are nice and my host family is awesome.
My host family is an older couple who are possibly the nicest people I have ever met and incredible cooks. Every night at 8 we have dinner and talk. They are very proud to be Argentinian and love their city. Just last night after dinner they showed me pictures of Argentina and told me of all the beautiful places I must see while here. They are also interested in knowing what Salem and Oregon are like.
In my short stay here I have seen beautiful architecture and other sights. I have visited el monumento de la bandera, Parana river, and several plazas (which are very abundant here). I have seen stunning artisan work and have enjoyed delicious local cuisine.
I am excited to learn and explore Argentina and hope that five weeks is enough to fully experience Rosario.
My name is Isamar Aguirre, and tomorrow morning I will be headed to Argentina! I’m very nervous, but i’m also very excited. Currently i’m mostly nervous about riding on a plane, since it has been so long. But I am very excited to interact and be exposed to a different culture.