First Night in Argentina

I got off the plane to Buenos Aires, and at first it seemed like no one was there. That might have had to do with the fact that the flight landed at 8 in the morning. Well, as soon as I got through the international check there were people everywhere. Swarms of people just talking and laughing, getting their bags, walking into stores. Being surrounded by that much Spanish was overwhelming, I forgot everything I knew and just stood there for a solid minute before moving on.

Baggage pickup was very nice, in a completely unexpected way. There were just lines of people waiting, some for baggage, some for customs, some I didn’t even know why they were there. All my bags came through which is always a relief and I met someone in line in the same situation.

Relaxing in Atlanta before my ten hour flight.

Relaxing in Atlanta before my ten hour flight.

Her name was Ashley, and she was studying in Cordoba, Argentina for the summer. We quickly bonded as being the only two people who did not speak fluent Spanish in the near vicinity (she is from Scotland, and I am from the U.S. in case that was apparent already). We both enjoyed knowing there was one other person who had no idea what was happening around them.

Customs gave me no problems, they let me go pretty quickly. And then I entered the horde. I thought the international terminal was bad in EZE, but when I left it the rest of the airport was just packed with people. Once again, the shock of that many people just made me shut down a little before I got help.

This help came in the form of a taxi company. The woman who booked my cab (which was only 20 dollars in US dollars) wrote out directions to the money exchange. She then waited for me at the booth the entire time it took to complete the transaction before escorting me to my cab driver. That’s what really struck me in the airport, how wonderful and nice everyone was. Everyone was so pleasant and it was great. If they had all been super cranky I’m not sure what I would have done, especially at the hotel I’m staying at. They were all so wonderful, putting up with my mangled Spanish and helping get me checked in for my flight tomorrow. This poor guy, one of the concierges, had to help me for two hours because I couldn’t figure out how to work their computers.

I loved the ride over from the hotel. I spent the entire time looking out the windows and just studying how different the trees around me were. They are similar enough to California trees to be comforting, but just different enough to draw attention. I haven’t seen any birds yet, but they are loud out there. Another thing I didn’t realize was how humid it is here, it just feels like it should be raining at any second.

What really struck me though, and what is going to stick with me, was the strange mash of buildings on the drive. There were some ancient churches we drove past that were absolutely gorgeous tucked right up against state of the art soccer stadiums. Ranches sit right next to golf courses, a stunning white cathedral sits across from my hotel right next to an actual hovel. One of the walls was caving in, chickens and horses were running around it, and standing above it is this display of wealth. This striking mismatch shocked me. From my window, there’s a perfect example of this. A brand new soccer stadium sits proudly, while next to it is a concrete bridge for pedestrians that looks to be slowly falling apart.

One of many such projects I saw on my drive to the hotel.

One of many such projects I saw on my drive to the hotel.

My hotel in Buenos Aires.

My hotel in Buenos Aires.

 

And while I feel that these are important to point out, it was some of the ruins that really had a chilling effect. On the drive to my hotel, I noticed there was a little cute picture of a police man that said 30km. He appeared again at the 20km marker and counted down to something, I just wasn’t sure what. In about thirty seconds though I found out. The remains of a police check point was what I saw, the glass broken and burn marks on the concrete. I don’t know what it is from, and it happened to fast to take a picture of, but it was enough to make me curious about why it was so damaged.

But what really made my night was dinner. So the only restaurant is this really nice fancy one. And it was the only place I could eat tonight so I went. I felt so bad for the manager, here he is trying to keep it all fancy as people are there with their dates and families. I went there directly after getting off the plane. So its been about two days since I showered, my hair is disgusting, and I have no makeup on. I am sitting in his fancy restaurant eating a delicious meal looking disgusting while he tries to deal with it. It should not have been as funny to me as it was. Must be the lack of sleep.

A really nice place where I had dinner.

A really nice place where I had dinner.

Heading Out Tomorrow-Jen Hight

Last post right before I head out, tomorrow I am going to board the plane and head to Buenos Aires. I’ll be sure to keep contact up. I already wrote about what I expected once I went, so I decided to post about who I was leaving behind when I left. The picture on the left is of my and my friend Taylor, we’ve known each other since we were nine. I’ll miss hanging out with her, but am excited to go. The picture on the right is my family. They’ve been amazing dealing with my anxiety about heading out, lucky for them it’s over in about ten hours.

So I’m off soon, but will keep everyone posted at least once a week.

 

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Ready for the Next Chapter

Graduation!! That came out of no where.

I cannot believe I just graduated from Western Oregon University with a Bachelor’s degree this past weekend. It was so refreshing getting to graduate with all my friends, and having my family there to support me. It will definitely one of the best and most memorable days of my life, and I am not saying that just because I graduated, but because it is the beginning of my next chapter, and because I may have tripped on my way to my seat at the beginning of the ceremony. I guess it is nice that even though I walked across the podium to receive my diploma a different person, I still got a little of my clumsy, childish personality that keeps me being me.

I am so blessed for all the opportunities I have had as well as for my experiences throughout my college years, my internship, and my life thus far.

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Class of 2014

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My two younger brothers and I

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My lovely parents

It is amazing, how fast time passes by, I cannot emphasize that enough. It feels like just yesterday, my parents were dropping off, a nervous, insecure, scared, Marlen at Western Oregon University’s campus four years ago. Now, I am a completely different. I am in awe, looking back and seeing how much I have grown and changed over those years. I feel so ready for my next path, my next chapter.photo2

Arrival

On my flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Houston, Texas I could not fall asleep from all the nerves and excitement I had of knowing that I would soon be able to see my family and friends. From my flight from Houston, Texas to Las Vegas, Nevada it all hit me “I am going home.” I could not keep still; I was all shaky and antsy. Then once I got on my last flight from Las Vegas, Nevada to Portland, Oregon all I could think to myself is, “Could this plane fly any faster.” After, the longest flight ever finally I arrived. I was all full of so many emotions that I could not contain myself, especially when I saw my father and mother waiting out for me, I ran right towards them giving them a great big hug. After a few hours of waiting for my lost luggage, I went back to my hometown where I saw other, my two little brothers, who by the way are not so little and other family members.

A picture I took as I was flying over Oregon.

A picture I took as I was flying over Oregon.

To be completely honest it has felt weird coming back, its as if time had stopped. It almost feels like I never left. However, I still feel like I have to readjust especially when I have all these things going through my head and having so many emotions that I do not know how to express.

It is all coming at me, all at once, coming back, finals week, and graduation. I am just lucky enough to have the right people surrounding me who have and continue to support me that will make my transition back much easier.

Saying Goodbye

“Really, is this my last week in Argentina,” I asked myself, at the beginning of my last week.

I felt like my time in Argentina went by too fast. I was just getting to feel like I really belonged. I am one lucky individual to be able to take so much back home, new knowledge, skills, memories, experiences, and of course new friendships. I have been so blessed to be given the opportunity to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina where I never thought I could say, “I discovered myself.” It really is amazing how much you can change in 72 days, I know I have came home as a new person ready to face the world.

Knowing that this was my last week all I wanted was time to slow down, but of course it did just the opposite. I had so much to do in so little time, finish up my internship, finish up last minute projects, spend time with my friends, say my goodbyes, and pack. I felt so rushed.

My first few days I got to help out my BAC coordinator with some work, and volunteered to create a video for her. The rest of my week I got to spend some quality time with my friends and say my goodbyes. My last day, Friday I thanked my internship supervisor, said goodbye to some of the lovely workers I got to be around, and receive my certificate. Then in the afternoon my BAC coordinator organized a goodbye party where I got to enjoy the company of some friends with some delicious food. I got to admit it was very difficult. I really shed some tears just knowing that the next day I was leaving.

Some of the lovely people I got to work with in my internship.

Some of the lovely people I got to work with in my internship.

Some of the amazing people that had joined me in my farewell dinner on Friday.

Some of the amazing people that had joined me in my farewell dinner on Friday.

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Some of the delicious food that my friends and I got to eat during my farewell dinner.

Saturday, I could not believe my time in Argentina was up . I woke up full of all kinds of emotions, all I wanted was time to stop, but of course it continued. So, I ate breakfast with the company of my friend from Switzerland, bought some last minute things, got ready, made sure I had everything, thanked everyone from the BAC residence, then spent my last hours with my BAC coordinator, her mother who has become like family, my friend from Switzerland, and another friend from the BAC residence.

As time got closer to my departure. I got more anxious and nervous, then once it was time, I could not believe my time was over. I said my goodbyes, which I dreaded. Then, off I went in the taxi to the airport with the lovely company of two of my friends who had been with me in my last hours in Argentina.

As we arrived to the airport and got all checked in, my friends joined me on my last meal in Argentina by eating some typical American food McDonalds, while sharing some laughs. Then next thing I knew, it was time, they walked me to security and said goodbye. I got to say my last hours are unforgettable!!

My two wonderful friends, who kept me company my last hours in Argentina and who were willing to take me to the airport.

My two wonderful friends, who kept me company on my last hours in Argentina and who were willing to take me to the airport.

Now, even though I did not get the chance to spend time with everyone or even say goodbye I will always take them with me.

One More Week!!

It really is true when people say time flies when you are having fun. Throughout my internship I have not only had the opportunity to learn many new things, but I also have been able to make new connections with various individuals during my internship. I do not have enough words to describe how fortunate I have been to be given this opportunity, and have been very welcomed with open arms. My internship has given me so much that I will take with me as my journey continues.

Just this week I got to see a little of the pediatric side of things as well as pediatric therapy. I feel like this area drew me more into the health field than the previous medical field sections. I want to become a part of the pediatric community, as a health nurse. I cannot wait to go back with all the new knowledge I have obtained through my experiences here in Buenos Aires.

During this week I was able to visit El Ateneo, a famous library that used to be a theater. It is a place where you can select any book you desire, sit down and enjoy some coffee, or simply buy any books you would like. It was nice being able to sit down and read some books in Spanish. I also got to go to La Viruta once again with some friends, like I said I can’t get enough of it. La Viruta is so much fun, learning new dances, getting to meet people from all around the world, and just simply enjoying yourself.

Some pictures from the El Ateneo, library in Buenos Aires.

Some pictures from the El Ateneo, library in Buenos Aires.

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A picture of some of my friends and I from La Viruta.

Due to my little time left, my coordinator from BAC organized a trip this last weekend for me to go to the seventh wonderful places in the world, Las Cataratas de Iguazu (the waterfalls of Iguazu). It was amazing! I got to be accompanied by one of the sweetest, smartest, lovely Argentinian woman I have ever met, my coordinator’s mother who has become like my second mother and of course my friend from Switzerland. I could not of asked for more amazing people to keep me company. It is a place that I will never forget. It is definitely a place I recommend everyone to visit if they get the chance.

With my BAC coordinator's mother and I heading to Puerto Iguazu.

With my BAC coordinator’s mother and I heading to Puerto Iguazu.

The cabin we stayed at over the weekend in Puerto Iguazu.

The cabin we stayed at over the weekend in Puerto Iguazu.

Signing away our names in a restaurant we ate at everyday in Puerto Iguazu.

Signing away our names in a restaurant we ate at everyday in Puerto Iguazu.

Some pictures of Las Tres Fronteras (the three boarders), Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

Some pictures of Las Tres Fronteras (the three boarders), Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

Here are some animals I ran into while I walked through the trails of the Iguazu falls.

Here are some animals I ran into while I walked through the trails of the Iguazu falls.

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Some pictures from an international festival where more than 800 children from 25 different countries came together to put on a concert in Puerto Iguazu.

Some pictures from an international festival where more than 800 children from 25 different countries came together to put on a concert in Puerto Iguazu.

Just when I feel like Argentina has shown me all, it keeps surprising me with new things to see and new people to meet. I feel like I will be leaving with just a glimpse of Argentina, because it has so much to offer, the culture here is incredible.

Jennifer Hight: Pre-Departure Rosario Argentina

My name is Jennifer Hight, and this is my first blog post before I head to Argentina. I am a student at Western Oregon University, and by the time I go abroad I will be a junior. I am a history major, and a literature minor. I am required for my B.A. to complete two years of Spanish, and decided to go abroad for my second year over the summer.

Quite honestly, I haven’t put a lot of thought into what I am feeling before I go. Mostly I am just trying to get everything taken care of, like tonight I get to pay my tuition to the program. Good news is I have my flight booked and everything else taken care of, so my stress is mostly gone.

Below there is a picture from Buenos Aires, and I must say when looking at the city it was not what Iw as expecting. Every picture I’ve seen from Argentina has been the ranch hands at the ranchos or the cowboys riding out in the desert. There are never any pictures of cities of urban centers so to find out I was going to be living in and urban center was a big adjustment to my view of the country.

I don’t know a lot about Argentinean culture, just that they like soccer and are catholic. I have the catholic part down, so now I get to work on the soccer part. Honestly, I decided to go to Rosario because I don’t know anything about the culture there. I thought it would be amazing to learn a lot about an outside culture that I had never really encountered so I can come in open and ready to learn.

Next week I plan on writing about my life here at Western and back home in California before I head out. I look forward to posting again so soon!

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

It’s the Final Countdown

Wow! I cannot believe my time in Argentina is almost over. I feel like I have so much left to do in so little time. My time in Argentina has been such an incredible experience I know for a fact that I am going to miss it, the culture, my internship, my home, and most importantly the people I have and continue to meet along my trip, in this amazing country.

Since my time is almost over here, I have been trying to do as much as I can with my very good friend from Switzerland, who I met here in Argentina.

Monday, we went to the Café Tortoni where we were able to see some wonderful tango performances while we ate some delicious food.

A few pictures from el Cafe Tortoni with my sweet Switzerland friend.

A few pictures from el Cafe Tortoni with my sweet Switzerland friend.

The next day, Tuesday due to the weather we unfortunately were stuck at home, however; Wednesday we made up for it by meeting up after my internship to go visit the MALBA museum where we saw some incredible art and photography, and due to the cold weather we ended our day with some Havanna coffee.

Some pictures from el museo (museum) MALBA.

Some pictures from el museo (museum) MALBA.

Thursday, I joined some of my friends from the BAC residence to a restaurant to talk and listen to some live rock Argentinian music.

A picture from the restaurant. It was nice being able to listen to live music from Argentina.

A picture from the restaurant. It was nice being able to listen to live music from Argentina.

Friday, I met my friend from Switzerland to take her to learn some tango by going to La Viruta, which we fell so much in love with that we planned to go two more times before I leave.

A picture of the basic tango steps found in front of La Viruta.

A picture of the basic tango steps found in front of La Viruta.

A picture we took before we started our tango classes.

A picture we took before we started our tango classes.

 

Saturday, we decided to take a trip to another town in Buenos Aires province in Argentina, Tigre. Since it is far we had to take a colectivo and then a train to arrive. The first thing we did was take a boat ride through el Rio de Tigre, where we had the boat stop at one of the islands where we ate and walked along a trail to enjoy our surroundings. Then we walked around where we got to see the casino of Tigre, amusement park, and el Puerto de Frutos. We literally spent our entire day and night en Tigre, it is definitely a great place to visit.

Some pictures from Tigre.

Some pictures from Tigre.

This is a picture of us ending our day in Tigre.

This is a picture of us ending our day in Tigre.

Sunday, we planned to visit La Boca, a neighborhood or barrio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In La Boca we were able to enjoy some European flavor. We were able to walk along the colorful houses and streets full of tango artists, art, food, and so much more. Then, we decided to join the rest of Buenos Aires by going to la Plaza de Mayo where everyone was gathered around to celebrate el 25 de Mayo, the Revolution of Argentina. I was glad to be able to be part of that; there was a concert, good food, markets, and performances all night. I got to admit; I had a busy busy week, but it was so worth it.

Some pictures of us in el caminito de La Boca. It was incredible being in such a colorful area.

Some pictures of us in el caminito de La Boca. It was incredible being in such a colorful area.

A picture from el 25 de Mayo. A huge celebration of the Revolution in la Plaza de Mayo.

A picture from el 25 de Mayo. A huge celebration of the Revolution in la Plaza de Mayo.

In my internship this past week I was so fortunate to be able to work in the obstetrical floor where I was able to learn all about the security, regulations, and procedures they have. Additionally, I got to be part of one of the best type of surgeries, birth delivery! I got to say that being able to be part of that was amazing, especially getting to connect with the parents. I was so welcomed in that floor that I was given a surprise my last day on the floor, Friday where all the nurses surprised me with a poster wishing me a safe flight back.

The amazing OB nurses I got to be around with this past week.

The amazing OB nurses I got to be around with this past week.

 

Lucky Number Seven

This week I had the opportunity to continue working on the same floor as last week, where I learned about chemotherapy, laboratory procedures, nutrition, drug administration, therapy, cardiology, and implantation of catheters. I was given the chance to see an implantation of a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), which is a very flexible and thin tube, which is an intravenous line (IV) that is inserted to administer medications to preserve the veins of patients. I was also able to evaluate the roll that the nurses have on the floor, which was very nice, because I got to observe the different responsibilities that they have compared to the other areas I have been in. I feel like being exposed to all the different areas that nurses work in, I am able to learn and see what I am more attracted to. Which is helpful, because I will know what area I would like to work in once I become a nurse. I have to admit that I have a different perspective about cancer and chemotherapy, I always thought negatively about it until now.

These are some of the lovely people I have had the chance to work with these last two weeks.

These are some of the lovely people I have had the chance to work with these last two weeks.

After work on Wednesday, I was invited by some friends to join them for a small, traditional festival that occurs every full moon, which is called, “La Luna Llena.” It is a gathering where people come with their drums to play, where people come to drink some mate, meet with friends, meet new people, and gather around a fire to listen and dance to the sound of drums. It was really fun. Friday, I was able to join one of my co-workers for dinner at her house where I was introduced to the classical dessert of Argentina, batata con queso, which is a sweet potato candy accompanied with cheese. I got to say as weird as it sounded to me I really enjoyed it. On Saturday I was able to join my coordinator from BAC to a birthday dinner where I was fortunate to have met a new friend that is closer to my age and has the same interests as I do, we both cannot wait to hang out again. Then Sunday, I was invited to another birthday, where I accompanied one of my supervisors’ birthday with her family. It was amazing, I was able to join in some lovely conversations and I was able to try some delicious homemade food, dessert, and of course cake! It was nice being able to see and compare the different traditions of birthdays celebrated here compared to the United States’. I love getting to be part of a different culture!

This is the picture I took of the classical desert of Argentina I tried, dulce de batata con queso (sweet potato candy with cheese).

This is the picture I took of the classical desert of Argentina I tried, dulce de batata con queso (sweet potato candy with cheese).

These are some pictures from the "Luna llena festival," where my friends and I gathered around the fire to listen to the sound of the drums and watch some performances while we had some mate.

These are some pictures from the “Luna llena festival,” where my friends and I gathered around the fire to listen to the sound of the drums and watch some performances while we had some mate.

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These are some pictures from Saturday where I joined my coordinator from BAC to her friend’s birthday, which was held in a club called Tazz.

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This is a picture of my supervisor’s birthday on Sunday with her family. It was such an experience.

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