Hello, dear friends! Here I am, posting from my AMAZING home for the next 5 months. I casually live in a house that used to be an old theatre. Need I say more? The answer to that question is YES!
This house is beautiful! There is an enormous main room with a large shiny wooden floor and a main stage-ish area with some tables and chairs. In through another door is the kitchen, which leads back to my host mom’s (Monica) room, the bathroom, and my room. Up another floor is where my siblings’ rooms (Mateo, 16 and Violeta, 18) are. Go up yet ANOTHER floor and you will find the most beautiful rooftop view of the night sky (yes, there were stars in the sky, and they were visible) and a lot of the city. After taking a taxi to the new abode, I unpacked and settled in a bit. Mateo and Violeta were going to their grandfather’s birthday celebration, so Monica and I got some one-on-one time to bond over dinner. Monica cooked chicken with vegetables (FINALLY, some green over here!) and trigo, which literally translates as wheat. It was delicious, complete with fresh fruit for dessert. We were able to chat a bit more about our families, traveling, what I want to do after graduating and in life, etc. It was great! (Don’t worry mom, I warned her about the whole getting married thing and she said to assure you the she is my Argentine mother and would never ever permit that.) Monica and her family used to live in Córdoba (shoutout, Jessie) up until about 5 years ago. She told me all about her oldest daughter, who got married and traveled around with her husband dancing tango all around the world, and decided to settle down a few years ago after becoming pregnant with their second child. Her youngest daughter, Violeta, takes tango classes at IUNA (the arts school in Buenos Aires). Maybe among this family of tango-dancers I can pick up some sweet skills before trying to blend in at a tango club! A quick word about the title of this blog – for those of you who aren’t aware, Argentines are notorious for pronouncing the ll (“y”) and the y as more of a “ssshhhhhjjjj” sound, if that makes any sense. So it goes to show that my name, Genevieve, with a g, would obviously be pronounced “Shenevieve.” Or how my host family has decided to nickname me, “Shenny.”
My room is pretty basic, I’ve got a dresser, an armoire, a desk, a bed, and a chair. This house is just so cool! The doors slide closed, which is so mod, but I’ve also got a heater in my room. It’s a great mix between modernity and a traditional set-up.
Today was the first day of orientation. We woke up and had breakfast in the hotel, and then headed to FLACSO, the institute where our resident director and staff work, and where we’ll be having orientation and various classes. We started off with a written exam (a great whopping load of subjunctive, just what I love – no seriously, I love grammar), after which we had free time for lunch. Some other girls and I explored for a while, and while contemplating a restaurant across the street after wandering for a half hour, were interrupted by a cute little vieja (old lady – non-Spanish speakers, I’m trying to make this blog a vocab lesson every post for you) who proceeded to rave about a delicious and cheap place called Cervantes. She gave us directions and we went there and had some delicious Milanesas (which by now we’ve figured out is a style of cooking meat similar to schnitzel, you Germany lovers), and we each only paid 14 pesos, which is less than $4 USD! After that, we were given a montón (basically, a ton) of information about housing and transportation. Equipped with our little guías (guidebooks), we headed back to the hotel to finish packing up and heading off to the above-mentioned amazing home.
As if I couldn’t fall more in love with the city, I have this amazing house and host mom that I am SO grateful for! Tomorrow, I get to take the Subte (the name of the subway here – pray for me that I may find my way safely there) to the Plaza de Mayo (those of you who know my obsession with the Dirty War, get excited for me!!) for a walking tour! I don’t have to do that until about 3 in the afternoon, so I’m not really sure what I’ll do before that! Hopefully meet up with some girls from my program, otherwise maybe hang out with Monica if she’s around the house.
AH, can’t get enough of Buenos Aires. Day 2, check.
un montón de abrazos (now use montón one more time and you’ll have it down pat),