100 Days in Buenos Aires

A hundred days have passed by in Buenos Aires. Now more than ever, I feel that I am on the home stretch. My mindset is changing to accommodate all the things I have yet to do. There are still two more trips that I wish to go on and many museums, markets, and restaurants on my to-do list. I hope to make the most of the remaining third of my semester abroad. I have filled the last ten days with new adventures and experiences, and I am excited to share 10 Days in Buenos Aires: Part 10.

On Wednesday October 19th, I headed out into the city for my normal morning commute to Human Rights class. In the rush out the door, I forgot my lunch. When I arrived at the corner, the 111 bus was waiting. I was not willing to risk waiting 30 minutes for the next bus in order to go back and grab my lunch. Instead, I took a seat on the bus and began my 45 minute commute to school. Once I arrived at FLACSO, human rights and grammar class passed by fairly slowly, which is normal, but my grumbling stomach and lack of understanding of the grammar topic made the day drag on. As soon as class was out, I headed straight home to Palermo Hollywood, where my smoked salmon and spinach salad was waiting for me. I added in a few chocolate cookies to sweeten the gloomy and humid day. I spent the evening with my host family and completed a presentation for my conversation class before bed.

On Thursday October 20th, I watched the final episode of The Good Wife. The end of an era. I began this show a few weeks into my semester, and it has been one of my biggest comforts while abroad. In the afternoon, I headed across the city to conversation class. I left early so that I was able to stop by the post office and mail my ballot to elect the first female President of the United States. I paid an extra 10 dollars in order to track the envelope. Based on my previous experiences with the Argentine mail system, a little confirmation is necessary to trust that my ballot will arrive in Douglas County. After exercising my constitutional rights, I headed to conversation class. As usual, my profesora Lucia was fantastic. We shared great conversation and many colloquial phrases before the six students parted ways. After a very crowded Subte experience, I headed home to eat dinner with my host family.

On Friday October 21st, I slept in and enjoyed an empty house. I did minimal homework in the afternoon and ate my normal pay-by-the-kilo lunch. I also chatted with Anita, and she told me a little about her hour and half commute and what kind of house she lives in on the outskirts of the city. She explained how she has added extra rooms because she originally only had one. She now has space for her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild to live with her. Anita has worked incredibly hard during her life to provide for her son. She even paid to send him to private school in order to keep him out of trouble and provide a route to a higher paying technical job. She did all of this as a single mother working as a housekeeper. Our conversation finished after we discused the constant rain which is apparently not normal of springtime in Buenos Aires. In the evening, I had the honor of babysitting Tony again. I walked a few blocks to pick her up from dance class, where she takes a contemporary jazz class. On the way home, we stopped to grab some ice cream. We both ordered dulce de leche and strawberry; this has become the norm. Once home, I cooked us a dinner of ham and cheese quiche. For dessert (second dessert) we made popcorn on the stove while Tony showed me her dance routine. Then, we headed upstairs to watch a movie. First, we finished El Dorado from the last babysitting movie night, and then we began Little Manhattan. Tony fell asleep fairly quickly after beginning the movie, so I went downstairs to clean up the kitchen. Alexis came home from her work event shortly after, and we both headed to bed.

On Saturday October 22nd, I decided it was time to stop spending money on expensive and mediocre lunches and learn to cook something new for myself. I headed to the fruit stand on the corner and bought a container of fresh cut mixed vegetables. I returned home, washed the vegetables, and threw them into a small skillet. I quickly realized my mountain of veggies was never going to cook, and I messaged my friend Connor for food advice. He advised me to completely restart the meal. I rechopped the veggies, much smaller this time, and threw them all into a wok. About 20 minutes later, I had successfully cooked vegetables on the stove for the first time. Additionally, it was nice to have an activity to fill my afternoon. After a large veggie lunch, I headed to the gym. In the evening, I did a little homework, and hung out with my host family.

On Sunday October 23rd, I continued my lunch experimenting with more veggies and two chicken breasts. I found a quick recipe online to cook the chicken on the stove, as opposed to the oven which I had done before. The meal turned out great, and I saved half for Monday lunch. In the evening, I Skyped most of my family members, including my two little Shih Tzus in need of baths and haircuts before eating dinner with Alexia and Tony. Following the meal, I finally began the homework I had been putting off all week.

On Monday October 24th, I woke up, ate breakfast, and did a load of laundry to prepare for another weekend of travel. At noon, I headed to my volunteer work at the NGO CLAYSS. I picked up the 151 bus about 6 blocks from my house and arrived in the Almagro neighborhood thirty minutes later. Once at CLAYSS, Maggie and I continued to work on our research and translation projects. I learned how to make a Wikipedia page as I ate cookies from the prized cookie drawer. After three hours of work, we packed up and gave our hugs, kisses, and ciaos to the staff. The 151 bus took me back home to Palermo Hollywood, and I fit in a quick trip to the gym before eating spaghetti with Alexia and Tony for dinner.

On Tuesday October 25th, I attended a full day of class at FLACSO. I left my home at 9:00 a.m., and I returned home at 7:30 p.m. after my Service Learning, Gender, and Writing classes. It was another gloomy, rainy day in Buenos Aires. I do enjoy the rain from inside, but it really complicates my commute. In the evening, I ate dinner with my host family and went to bed exhausted.

On Wednesday October 26th, I attended Human Rights and Grammar class in the morning and afternoon. After my short week that felt very long, I treated myself to Freddo ice cream on my way home: Dulce and Strawberry of course. Once home, I began packing for my weekend trip to Ushuaia. Additionally, I had received a free ticket from my program to attend a show called Fuerza Bruta at 8:00 p.m. that night, so I made myself an early dinner and got ready in my normal going out clothes: jean jacket and red lipsick. At 7:40 p.m., I called myself a taxi thinking that I could get across town in 20 minutes to meet my group at 8:00. Boy was I wrong. The taxi moved 5 blocks in 15 minutes. I told my taxi driver sorry and paid, and I ran for the Subte at 7:55 p.m. The Subte was running very slowly, but I arrived at the Pueyrredon station ten minutes later. I was still about 1o blocks away and already 5 minutes late, so I ran to the next street running in the correct direction and flagged a taxi. I ended up only being 15 minutes late, very sweatly, and with one more mile of city running under my belt, but I was still able to see the show! The show was very strange and had aspects like a cirque show. I came home soaking wet at the end of the night. (I suggest looking up a video of Fuerza Bruta because it is impossible to explain.)

On Thursday October 27th, I ate breakfast early before meeting Rosa to take a taxi to the airport. We boarded our flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, a few hours later. The flight was only four hours long, but I felt as though I had arrived in a dream. The ocean, mountains, and everything about the city was surreal. We checked into the hostel in the afternoon where we met our friends: Maggie, Paige, and Brendan. The evening was spent exploring the city, getting a new passport stamp, finding gourmet chocolate shops, and eating cheeseburgers and fries at an irish pub.

On Friday October 28th, the whole group woke up to eat a breakfast of bread and more bread. Once full, we took a taxi to the base of the glacier. The entire morning was spent hiking up to the glacier. The views were spectacular and the incline exhausting. We had a great morning and ended up hiking close to 10 miles. In the afternoon, we boarded a boat for a tour of some nearby islands. We saw many different species of birds, sea lions, penguins, and the lighthouse. The day was the perfect mix of relaxation and demanding exercise. We were definitely fatigued but we enjoyed every minute.

Once again, thank you for tuning in to read about my experience abroad! More to come soon!