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12/14/06 08:33 pm

IM BACK IN GILES!!!

So my journey to the south of argentina was 18 days long, and i swear i was in the freaking bus more often than i was out of it. but it was soooo pretty. i was kinda amazed at how quickly the scenery changed. i would look out the window and it was soooo super flat and boring and then in a few miles it turned into hills with llama things and emu things and then pretty mountains and lakes and such. it was gorgeous.

anyway. we were 29 kids. from the US, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, and Brazil... i think thats all. And it was pretty cool. but we spoke english the whole time because the other kids dont know how to speak spanish very well at all so it just didnt make sense to say something in spanish to them and then have to translate yourself when they gave you a blank stare.

highlights were seeing whales and penguins and climbing a glaciar. i was a little frustrated because taht all happened with in the first 3 days so the rest of the trip was sorta like... huh what are we gonna do now?? but it was still cool. we wandered around the cities we were staying in just sorta looking around. Anyway, it was super fun but im glad im back now because i was getting tired of sleeping on the bus.

the end. chau chau

11/27/06 11:07 am

So Im LEAVING today!! and by that I mean Im headed south. Im so excited.

Anyway, life has been kinda boring here. I didnt go to school last week because they dont go to school anymore because of exams and that resulted in EXTREME boredom. I finished my history assignment, though it was painful, cooked a makeshift thanksgiving dinner, and had a pretty good weekend.

I really want an older brother in real life. I hung out with Gere yesterday and it was fun even though we were watching a soccer game for most of the time. He kept making fun of me and telling me that it was going to rain in Ushuaia and I was gonna have a horrible time. I need to learn comebacks in spanish... thats kinda difficult.

OOH Im staying with the Ferrettos for christmas! Im so excited. Stella was going to make me move out 5 days before christmas and spend christmas with a family that Ive never met, but Gere reasoned with her and I am very happy now.

I have nothing else to say. Byeeeee.

11/19/06 05:45 pm

So pretty much I dont have much to say... My life here has fallen into a nice little schedule that consists of me going to school, coming home and going to hang out at the internet place with the guys Im making friends with. Then during the weekend I hang out with random people that Ive never met before because they are Gere or Fran or someone elses friends. And then its awkward, but then we go to the bar and I hang out with my internet place friends. Its kinda strange but cool. I have so many more guy friends down here than girls. Which kinda frustrates me sometimes but most of the time its cool.

I have homework that consists of me reading a 400 page book of argentine history. I dont understand whats going on at all. Its annoying.

I am also on summer break as of now. I have to go back to school once to hand in the history assignment, but pretty much im just hanging out because they are taking exams. and I dont do that.

I leave for the south in... 8 days? something like that. Im super excited. I get to hang out with all the exchange kids and see pretty things!

Im tired. chau.

11/6/06 08:46 pm

long time no... write? I feel like I have a lot to say.

Lets see... Halloween was the last time I wrote. That night, I had rotary, where we ate roast pig (which was super good) and I played with little kids. There was a fire at some art persons studio and me and the 5 year old girl that decided to attatch herself to my hip decided to watch the firefighters for a while. I ended up staying at the meeting until 2ish in the morning playing card games and hopscotch with an 8 yearold boy. It was suprisingly fun??? Strange way for me to spend Halloween though.

The rest of the week was kinda... meeh. I FINALLY got school work. I guess they got tired of looking at me doing nothing in school all day? So today I finished the report on MLK Jr. and sometime I have to go to the library to get a history book for that report. And I have some sort of lit homework/paper but I have yet to get the details on that.

Tango is going really well. For the last couple of weeks its just been the old man, me, and the teachers. So I get to dance a lot, and most of the time the old guy doesnt know what hes doing, so while Ivan is showing him what hes supposed to do, I get to be the example. Its fun.

Saturday, I hung out with all of the exchange students!! It was so much fun. We went to La Boca, aka the part of Buenos Aires where all of the houses are painted the crazy colors. There were tango dancers in the street, and it was so touristy, but it was still cool. Then we went to Tigre to eat lunch. Tigre is a city completely made up of islands. We had to take a boat for about an hour to get to the restaurant, but it was pretty cool. I can definately see having a good time with these people when I go on the trip to the south. Even the girl I was really iffy about at the beginning is starting to grow on me, so I guess thats good. Im kinda sad because Pedro (guy from Brasil) is going home on Saturday. But I think that a bunch of us are gonna get together on Thursday to fiestar. Which means I get to ride the bus to Lujan by myself and do fun stuff like that. Im excited.

Saturday night, I hung out with the girls from school and went to Aeropuerto for the first time. Aeropuerto is the nightclub outside of town where all of the "negros" (thats their word for the poor, lower class people) go to dance. Its huge, lots of people go, and the music is super loud. The floor is one huge puddle of beer, everyone is drunk, and lots of times there are fights. Needless to say, I did not enjoy myself very much. Like I said, I went with the girls from school who were just a little tipsy. and by a little I mean a lot. By the time we left for the club I had already decided that there was no way that I would ever fit in with them because I am far to innocent. Anyway, we went, and after 20 minutes I was done and ready to go home. I got looked at by old guys, somebody grabbed my hair and said "que chula!" which apparently means "how pretty!" and somebody else tried to grab me by the waist and dance with me. I was grossed out and since Gere didnt go and I couldnt find any of Frans friends or the guys Im friends with from the internet place, I was very uncomfortable. Anyway, I made it out without being harmed so thats a good thing. Lets just say I will not be going back without Fran or Gere to protect me from the weirdos.

SO...... thats my life as of right now. hasta luego.

10/31/06 07:46 pm

Hello and Happy Halloween!!!

Its not Halloween down here. I like that since Im not a fan of Halloween. But I got grilled about it in school today. that was fun. they were asking me the history behind it, so i might have made something up. but its possible that what i said was right. Im rambling.

I went to Buenos Aires this weekend. It was cool, but I kinda wish that I had a friend to go with instead of with Hernans mom. Shes nice, but its awkward. Um... I dont really feel like going into detail. I saw the center, walked across what is supposedly the worlds widest street, and went to an amusement park. and came home completely tired.

and that is all. Ill write more later.

10/25/06 08:00 pm

I have no idea what my last entry was about. I completely forget. I guess Ill tell you about my super fantastic weekend.

Friday, Fran and Ana came home, so I hung out with them for a little bit, we had dinner, and then Frans friend showed up and were randomly like "heeeey, Tori come hang out with us!" so I hung out with 3 21/22 year old guys. It was fun. We went to a bar where transvestites and druggies hang out, and then we went to the more tame bar where we danced a little, and I was educated on the fact that pretty much all argentinian guys are players and they say anything to get with a girl. theres a special word for it too... chamuteando or something like that. Im pretty sure that theres not much difference between the guys here and the guys at home, just that the guys at home arent as good looking. anyway, I feel very out of place in bars. I feel like Im 12 every time I go out. That doesnt stop me, but it just feels very weird.

Hmmm... Saturday was... ehhhh. I had a lot of fun laughing at Fran and his massive hangover. (Stella - you did quite a number on yourself last night! Fran - Noooo, I ate a bad hotdog. Stella - Yea, or you drank a few too many "hotdogs" Fran - No really, Tori, didnt I have a hotdog? (he did have a hotdog) Stella - Fine... one bad hotdog and lots of liquid "hotdogs" i need to stop writing the word hotdog. It looks really weird to me. I like "pancho" better.) Saturday night was sucky cause I was super tired from Friday night, so I just slept.

Sunday... again... I had a fun time laughing at Fran and his hangover. But in the afternoon, I went to the River Plate stadium to see a soccer game. THEY ARE INSANE ABOUT SOCCER. absolutely INSANE. they have these things called hinchas which are pretty much the teams cheering section. and they come in playing drums and waving flags and jumping up and down and singing songs that have lots of curse words in them and pretty much insult the other big team down here (Boca Juniors) in everyway possible. it was crazy. and at the end of the game, the opponents fans had to leave first, and we had to wait for 20 minutes until they were all gone so that there wouldnt be any fights. They people I went with had hamburgers and churizos after the game from some people with a grill outside the stadium, but someone was saying that it was actually made out of dog meat, so i didnt have one. thats kinda random but i felt it was necessary.

In other news, school still sucks. Im doing lit homework, but its impossible. There was a rotary meeting last night and i went and I love the rotary club here. and thats it. I have spent far more time on the computer than I intended so hasta luego!

10/18/06 11:32 pm

Hello.

I went to Cordoba. That was a long bus ride. Overnight. I didnt really sleep. Also, I went with a lady who doesnt really talk. so there was lots of silence.

But its really pretty there. lots of mountains and rivers. also lots of farms. I went to Mina Clavero or something like that, and Villa General Belgrano where the Beer Festival was. The festival was... interesting. lots of drunk argentinians singing cumbia in the middle of the afternoon. also they had sash things with beer mugs attached to them so they could drink whenever they wanted. also a man who wandered around with a keg attached to his back and sprayed beer into peoples mouths. it was interesting.

Um... I dunno what else to say. nothing very interesting has been happening. Im hanging out with a 12 year old. I think Im getting fat. I dont like the smell of cigarrettes and some guy who is very smokey is standing behind me. Im really tired and cant wait til Friday when tango happens and Fran comes. I like having older brothers. Thats about it.

The end.

10/11/06 04:30 pm

So... I figured out the scariest part of being here.

Driving.

No, Ill rephrase that. If you are the one behind the wheel, driving here would probably be fine. If you are sitting in the back seat, you end up praying to God that you just get to your destination in one piece. Holy crap its scary. Last night I went to BA with my counselor and his family. His son Jose is a race car driver, and was also driving last night. does anyone know how many mph 220 kmh is? I dont know, but Im thinking its pretty fast. Apparently the lines on the road are just a suggestion. also, traffic lights. also those little bars that lift up after you pay a toll. also the brake lights on the car in front of you. YEAAAA. I was scared. I did enjoy the "No horse drawn carts on the highway" signs and "watch out for cows crossing the highway" signs.

Anyway. Something not so scary... BA hates me I think. Everytime I go, it rains! But we went to see a photo exhibition that racecar driver guys girlfriend put on. It was pretty cool. I got my picture taken with some famous Argentine actor. Victor de la Platz? maybe thats his name. I had no idea, but Luciana (my counselors daughter) started freaking out when he walked in. So cool... I met someone famous.

OH... maybe Ill tell you about the wedding. Argentinians are crazy. thats pretty much all I need to tell you. But the wedding started at 9:30, and the actual ceremony lasted less than half an hour. After that, we went to the reception. There was so much food, and they kept bring out more as the night went on. I think we ate dinner between midnight and 3 in the morning, and then dessert at 4 and 5 and then at 6 they brought out a flaming pig leg. Between all this food, they danced, and at some point they had something called Carnaval Karioka or something like that where they get these weird hats and rattles and whistles and then dance like crazy people. That part kinda scared me, but thats okay. It was pretty fun, and Gere and Fran taught me how to dance so Ill be good when I finally get to go to Aeropuerto.

anyway... that is all for now. Its really pretty outside because its finally starting to be summer so Im gonna go wandering. hasta luego.

10/7/06 06:04 pm

SOOOOOOO

Im randomly going to Cordoba next weekend with some lady for the beer festival there. Interesting. I have never met this lady. But her son is in Illinois right now. and technically im taking his spot in school. So therefore she is taking me to Cordoba.

The kids are all here this weekend. which means its more fun because its more like home. But the part I didnt think about is the fact that since its more like home, i miss home more. I keep hearing "mom! mom!" and my mother is no where near here. and its weird.

We are going to a wedding tonight. It goes until 8 in the morning. They dance alot. It should be cool. I enjoy dancing.

THERE WAS NO TANGO YESTERDAY!!! I WAS SO SAD!!! I STILL AM!!!

OOOH yesterday I went to EXPO GILES 2006. Pretty much it was a lot of really huge farm machines in the middle of no where. and it smelled like cow poo. and everyone who knew stella came up to us, said hi to stella and then went "OOOOOH YOURE THE GIRL FROM AMERICA" and then stared. kinda awkward. but Im famous. so... cool??

school. still. sucks. sorry. it does. I dont do anything. i sit there for 4 hours everyday doing nothing. except in math class because sometimes shell call on me and ask me to do the problem on the board. they are learning about derivatives. so its really easy for me. the rest of it sucks though because i think that the girls are frustrated with me or something because i dont know what they are saying, and therefore they dont try to include me anymore. im looking for a solution to that one. im thinking chocolate chip cookies... haha.

anyway. thats all. im going home to call my best friend. hasta luego.

10/2/06 08:23 pm

Helloooooo. Happy October! It was very weird when I realized that. Even though I havent always been happy here, it feels like its going by so fast. I still have so long, but it doesnt feel like Ive been here long enough for it to be October. Weeeeeird.

Anyway. I had a fantastic weekend. Friday was boring in school. They had a naming the library ceremony that was long and then after that we just sat. and did nothing. Thats sort of what always happens in school. Ive resigned to it. Im not going to learn much in school and I shouldnt really have any expectations of that sort while in school here. Anyway... tango was good. as usual. There werent a lot of people there, so I got to dance with Ivan for most of the time ( hehe :) ) OHHH you know how in tango they do those kicks through the leg of the partner?? I know how to do that. Its pretty fun. I also like how after the class they are like "for being an american, you can dance argentinian tango pretty well!" thats cool.

Saturday I slept most of the day (im becoming a true argentinian) but Im actually really glad I did because Saturday night was fun. Gere came home in the afternoon therefore I was allowed to go out dancing. He had his birthday party thing, Roco came over and we hung out while waiting for him, and then we went to Sawa (aka bar/club thing) for a while and then Iwoka (one of the boliches). Um... yea it was pretty much a lot of fun. Some of the highlights of the night...

*Geres creepy friend creeping on me... he kept asking me what I thought of him when I first saw him? Instead of answering ("Um... I thought your shirt was ugly and that you were kinda creepy") I took advantage of the whole "Im american" thing and kept saying I dunno! I dont understand!

*There was some random guy who kept coming up to me and asking if I knew him. His name is Manolo and after the first time, I remembered his name, but I didnt know that before. But he must have come up to me 5 times asking me if i knew him. All his friends told me to tell him that I didnt though. I was slightly confused.

There must have been more, but I dont remember. They dance differently here. Its not as gross as the way highschool dances are. And the guys here are a lot nicer than at home. They wanna dance and hold open doors for you and get your coat. or maybe thats just Gere. I dunno. I like having a big brother. I also like how when you walk through the club, anyone that you have ever met will stop you and say hi. It was cool cause Roco and I were walking through trying to find her friends, and the tour guide from the trip to Buenos Aires stopped me and asked me how I was doing. So that was cool.

Anyway... I got home at 6. Gere walked me home and then he left again and stayed out until 8 or 9? Crazy.

Yea... Im gonna go home now. I hope I made sense cause I feel like it was kinda rambling. Hasta luego!

9/28/06 07:35 pm

I want to talk to anyone who doesnt speak Spanish. And who knew me in my past life when I was a normal teenager with friends and things to do. That would be really nice, but alas NO ONE IS ONLINE. and that is very frustrating.

Yesterday I went to Buenos Aires. It was pouring rain and I went with a group of kids who were 12 or something like that. And they screamed the whole time. And the next time I go anywhere with a school group Im gonna need to remember to bring tylenol. But thats okay. Because after god knows how long of knowing about and wanting to go to Buenos Aires, I have actually been. I saw the Casa Rosada which is only pink on the front because they used to make it pink with cow blood so painting the whole thing would be a waste of cows. I saw the Cathedral where San Martin is (aka the guy who liberated Argentina and several other countries down here from spain) and the place where they declared independence. I saw some of Palermo which is where all the parks are, and it is gorgeous there. And we saw a play. which was weird and I could not tell you what it was about at all. all i know is that at random intervals people ran around pretending to be cars, and when they were talking to one another they hit eachother alot. I dunno.

Im kinda getting frustrated here. I feel like Im just here... not really doing anything. I dont really have friends yet, I dont have to do any work, and it just seems useless. I feel like Im a burden on the girls that I hang out with in school. I dont know what they are talking about pretty much all the time (therefore I cant contribute to anything) but they still watch out for me. Its weird. and I feel like Im failing foreign exchange student-dom. meeeeeeeh. Suggestions? I dont wanna fail but I dont know how Im supposed to fix it if I dont know what they are talking about!

9/24/06 04:23 pm

Okay, when I last updated, I was really excited to be sleeping over at Lus house and hanging out with the girls... yea that was sorta not what I hoped it would be. I still have no idea what they are talking about when they are together. I get a few words and then they start talking really fast and I get really lost. Oh. and I LOVE it when they say "Vicky, Do you have any idea what we are talking about?" and then I say no and they say "Oh. Okay. Thats probably good." and then continue talking. Thats like my favorite thing that they do in the world. -saaaarrcaaaassssmmmmm- so that was pretty much my night. We went to a bar, where 1/2 of them danced, but not really and I hung out with the girls who werent dancing but you cant hear anything because the cumbia music is so loud. So I was getting really frustrated. It was okay for a little bit because flamboyant boy from school found me and yelled in my ear so i could hear what he was saying and we talked for a little bit with some other boy who is the boyfriend of one of the girls in my class? I dunno... it was weird. We finally went back to the house (walking around the town at three in the morning with girls singing really loud is a new experience...) and I wanted desperately to sleep because the whole comprehension thing gets worse the more tired I am. Anyway... Im getting tired of giving a blow by blow of this very uncomfortable night, so lets just say I went home the next morning, slept for forever, and didnt bother going out with the girls that afternoon because I didnt feel like I could handle it.

Thats something I dont get about here... they are ALWAYS tired. Like today for example. Stella woke up at 11... she is taking a nap right now. I dont get it! I came home at 130 last night and they were both asleep and I dont need a nap. But I guarantee you that more than 1/2 of this town is currently sleeping or waking up.

Anyway. Friday we didnt really have school. We were supposed to but out of the six classes, only 2 showed up and out of those two, only 1/2 of the kids showed up. Pretty much we sat around playing cards, listening to music, talking, and at some point the girls sent one of the teachers out to buy them facturas (pastry things... like danishes but 20 times better). Friday night I didnt do anything, but last night was kinda... interesting. I thought trying to understand spanish was hard... trying to understand drunken spanish is a lot harder. I didnt drink, I promise, but it was really funny watching them dance around and sing songs really loudly. I have no idea what they said though. I was lost.

Thats pretty much all thats been going on. I still LOVE tango. sooooo muuuch fuuuuun. Im getting better, I can actually remember steps and do them without Ivan. so thats cool. I kinda lead the old guy who is learning too because he cant remember them as well.

Hmmm... Im bored and dont wanna go home yet, so I will tell you about something I think is kinda weird here. THEY SHARE EVERYTHING. They share the same drink (mate is poured, and then passed around... everyone drinks with the same straw and theres no second thoughts) and sandwiches? Thats the one that I was kinda suprised by at first. Some of the kids at school buy sandwiches, eat 1/2 of it, and then decide to wave it in front of your face and say "heeeey do you want some of this??" but its a 1/2 eaten sandwich! why?

yea. thats all. hasta luego!

9/20/06 07:10 pm

HEEEEEEY.

Im kinda sleepy. Everyone here is always tired. Thats cause they go out late, stay out late, and then have to wake up early to work or go to school. Either that or they are like me and are super tired anyway, take a nap during the day, and then arent able to sleep at night. Its an interesting sleep pattern.

Anyway... update?

Friday I hung out with Rocio. It was just Rocio and I, so I actually got to talk, but it was kinda awkward cause I dont really know her (or anyone here) yet. But I found out that Santa wears the same thing here even though its hot (we were watching the Grinch. And my weird sister asked me that earlier) and that you cannot ride a cow (another question from my weird sister). It was cool.

Saturday I had to wake up early to catch the bus to Mariapolis. That whole weekend was... different. It was fun, but I met a lot of people who I will never see again, so I dunno. It was orientation not only for the Inbounds (aka me, four other girls from the US, 2 germans, and a brasilian girl) but for the kids who are going out in august or january, the kids who might go out but have no idea whats going on, and the kids who already went on an exchange and came back. I thought that was really useful because the inbounds could answer questions for the outbounds, the ones who had already come back could answer questions for the inbounds, and there were just a lot of people there so it was fun.

We talked a lot, stayed up until three (this was not my choice. two girls came into my room, sat down on my bed to talk to the other girls that were awake in my room and then slid back on the bed while they were talking so that i had 2 inches of space in which to live. it was kinda uncomfortable), drank a lot of coffee the next morning, and danced to some little kids game about a sticky spaghetti that needs oil and salt (dont ask... just know that 28 teenagers were dancing around to a spanish song for 5 year olds.)

OOOH we had a tango/folklore/gaucho dance/singing show saturday night too. The tango dancers were good, but I think the people who teach in San Andres are better. They gave a lesson, and we were all stepping on eachothers feet and running into eachother. Then some of the kids who live in Mariapolis sang some songs, a swiss woman played the broom, the spoons, and yodeled for us (i dont understand this one but oooookay), and some guy from paraguay danced the lone gaucho dance. That involves a drum, and lots of stomping. It was kinda like tap dancing but for cowboys.

That was pretty much for the weekend. I came home in a good mood because I was actually able to communicate, so Im doing a lot better now. I met a girl named Zara who is from Minnesota and we might hang out sometime. I dunno... she lives an hour away so who knows.

Today in school we celebrated the first day of spring/students day. So pretty much we wandered around the school doing nothing for an hour and then we walked to the park and hung out there until noon when school was over. We went for a collective school walk around the park (i was told that thats just a time killer since they didnt really have anything else for us to do), then we played soccer. WOW. the girls that im hanging out with are probably the worst soccer players ever. I fit in well with them. they were trying to head the ball and then they would hold onto their head because it hurt so much, they would try to kick the ball and completely miss it, it was rather humorous to watch.

Tonight, since we dont have school tomorrow (they NEVER have school. Im a huge fan of that) we are going to sleep over at Lus house and I have no idea what we are doing. Watching a movie, going to a bar, and dancing were all brought up but im not sure which one we are doing. maybe all three. haha... should be fun.

anyway I hope you have a wonderful first day of fall(haha)!

9/15/06 06:58 pm

Hello USA!

I miss you!

They keep telling me that the homesickness stops after the first month.

Im gonna say that it gets worse after the first month because then what you are experiencing is somewhat routine and it stops being a vacation.

I really miss my siblings. Thats very weird to say, but I miss fighting with them, pulling them off one another (coughABBYANDSAMcough) and then laughing about it later.

Im alone all the time here. I go to school, and since I dont understand what they are talking about, I get shut out. Im fighting it, but its hard. And when I get home from school its Stella and I awkwardly sitting through lunch. and then I take a nap or go for a walk. and then more time alone. and then dinner. and then bed.

I know this isnt what Im supposed to be telling you all, but I figure Ill be honest about it.

Im working on it still though. Im hanging out with the "chicos" tonight (if they end up calling).

This is a very hard experience. After having all 4 exchange students in my house, I figured I knew what they were going through and I figured it wasnt actually going to be that hard. That I would automatically adapt to what was going on, pick up the language in a week and be comfortable talking, and automatically shed my shy personality. Thats not exactly how it works though.

ANYWAY, beyond being depressing and homesick, IM TAKING TANGO LESSONS! I think I left that out about last Friday. Tango is SO much fun. I love it. The teacher is fun she calls everyone "mi vida" or "mi amor" and I think I know 8 steps so far. But I can only really dance with the guy teacher because he knows what hes doing and the old guys who are taking lessons dont really know what they are doing. Today the guy and I wanna say the ladys daughter but Im really not sure who she is, danced two songs and they are AMAZING. They do all the lifts and kicks and spins and its so cool to watch. And I really wanna be able to do that by the time I go home.

Hmmm what else. Yesterday I went to Buenos Aires. But it kinda sucked because instead of seeing any of the city, we went to a college fair (which by the way are just as boring in spanish as they are in english) and were in a building all day. But I did see this flower sculpture that apparently used to open during the day and close at night. and a lot of park because the building was in Palermo (i think) which is where all the park in the city is.

Alright. Thats all for now. Im going to orientation tomorrow so thats cool.

9/12/06 07:59 pm

Bonjour!

Wrong language. Im just tired of spanish today.

Anyway, I dont remember anything that happened before Friday, so we are gonna start there. Everyone in this town hangs out all of the time, so Friday everyone went to Coto s house (I have no idea why Coto is called Coto, her real name is Estefania) and we ate pizza and played karioke (sp?), which is the rummy game. they pretty much play that every time they get together. Therefore Im getting pretty good at it. I stayed out until a little bit after 2 because Stella is getting more comfortable with the kids that Im hanging out with and therefore letting me stay out with them.

Saturday at night, I went to the Fiesta Nacional del Salame or something like that. Pretty much its a huge festival celebrating salami. They had a band playing typical music from some province here. I forget which one, but theyre music involves lots of guitars, an accordian, and a random guy who screams like a girl at random intervals. Im not kidding. There was a guy whose sole purpose in this band was to scream. Something about calling to the pigs? I dont really remember. Lots of people were dancing too, and theyre dancing is pretty much a guy and a girl hopping from one foot to the other to the beat of the music. Its kinda strange.

Sunday, Rocio called and we went and hung out in the plaza for a while. Its kinda amazing to me because the entire town shows up in the plaza at around 6 or 7 during the weekends and apparently during the whole summer. they listen to cumbia (kinda like the screaming guy band, but minus the screaming guy and adding drums? i cant really tell the difference between some of their music) and everyone just hangs out and talks and eats potato chips with lemon juice on them. or maybe thats just Rocio. but actually thats a suprisingly good combo.

Sunday night was my birthday party, which again was interesting. They rented a room, and we had pizza and hot dogs (panchos? i think thats what they called them) and dulce de leche cake. mmmmm dulce de leche is the most amazing thing in the world and im going to come home fat. except not because when im bored i walk from one end of the town to the other. (it takes 20 minutes one way. its kinda small) We danced (again, the weird hopping dance) and played a game where i ended up dancing with a broom because i wasnt quick enough switching partners. After the party, I went out with the girls to some bar and we played cards (again). Got home at 3, and I have to tell you I really like that freedom. (Dont worry Mom, Im not being stupid about it or anything)

Monday was my birthday. The english teacher at the school brought me a cake, Fran and Gere sent me flowers, my friends from school got me a cellphone, i got earrings from Stella and Carlos, and a shirt from my councellor (and i cant figure out how to spell that word correctly). It was really nice, but for most of the day I just felt bad because they were being so nice and i kinda just wanted to be at home with my own family and friends. but whateveeeer. I went out with the girls and we drank mate and played cards in the plazoleta (sp?) which is pretty much a median strip on steroids. And then my family was supposed to call and they did but my mother talked to Stella for 10 minutes and then the line cut and then I was sad. end of story.

And today was boring. So Im not gonna say anything about today. Thursday Im going to Buenos Aires for a college expo (not like Im going to college down here, but itll be better than staying home, and at least ill be able to see some of BA) and then on Saturday and Sunday Ill be in Marianopolis for the Orientation weekend that I thought didnt exsist. Im excited for that because there are other kids there who are doing the same exact thing as me and also Marianopolis is supposed to be really pretty.

Anyway, that is all i have for now. A bientot!

9/6/06 06:20 pm

Alright... Apparently a lot of people are reading this thing, so I guess I should update sometime. I apologize for not using apostrophes etc... I cant find them on this keyboard. Its all spanish-y and I dont think they use apostrophes very much.

Okay, so pretty much its really cold here. And my school doesnt have heating. So thats cool.

School is really different from Archmere. I think Ive probably already said that, but it keeps suprising me. The kids yell all the time, never pay attention (okay, THAT doesnt suprise me), the desk formations morph alot (instead of being in rows or anything logical like that, they are just clumps of random desks), there are no school books, just photocopies, and Im not sure if they ever get taught, or just get read notes to out of a lesson book that they have to copy (this, is by far the most frustrating part of the whole school experience. I cant write quickly in English, so having to do it in Spanish is VERY difficult. Im using it as practice for being a translator though... I dont take the notes, I just translate the sentences into English.)

Ummm... right now in Literature class, they are learning about Gaucho literature. Which is actually really interesting, albeit really hard. Gauchos speak very strangely, apparently adding lots of "ao" sounds to the end of their words. So pretty much I have to translate the Gaucho Spanish into normal Spanish, and then in to "something Tori will understand" Spanish, and then English. Thats a lot of steps.

The kids are really nice, I just wish they didnt talk so fast. AHHHH! But yea... Friday and Saturday, I hung out with them at night. They start doing stuff really late here. They dont eat dinner until 11 on the weekend, and then they hang out until 4 or 5 in the morning either just running around the town, or going to the Aeropuerto which is the dance club/boliche thing. Tuesday we didnt have school (teachers meetings or something like that) so we hung out from lunch time to 6. That was fun... they taught me card games ( alot of different solitare games, and one that is very similar to that rummy game that you like, Mom), and talked about a lot of stuff that i didnt understand until they got to the end of the conversation.

This weekend, I went with Stella and Carlos to Mercedes and Lujan. They are both cities about 20 minutes from SA de Giles, but they are actually considered cities. Its kinda amazing to leave SA de Giles, because as soon as you leave the last block, theres the highway cutting through lots and lots of farm land. Its such a dramatic change! They have lots of cows, pigs, sheep, and horses, and instead of having them fenced in, they just sorta wander around the country side, so thats cool. Anyway, Mercedes and Lujan are cities. There are several thousand more people living in them than SA. Mercedes has a really pretty park thing. They have bike trails, playgrounds, asado bbq pits, athletic fields etc. Lujan is the home of this huge basilica that JP2 visited in the early 80s. Also in Lujan, we went to a museum with lots of carriages and randomly the history of mate. (Mate is this drink, kinda like green tea but with a bitter taste, that they drink in a special cup and out of a metal straw. Its interesting) Anyway, the history of mate also relates to the gauchos. Apparently the gauchos would drink it, or would get sent it by girls they were courting and depending on how it was served, the gaucho could tell what the girl was feeling. I thought it was interesting.

Thats all I have for now. Hasta Luego!

8/28/06 07:59 pm

Alright. I was bored in school on friday, so i started a list of differences. i dont remember all of them, but heres the beginning of it.

1. Sandwichitos = sandwiches but they are made with reaaaaally thin slices of bread. bread --> cheese--> bread --> ham --> bread. its interesting.
2. They have radio and tv stations throughout the city, and they deal with stuff that goes on in the town. its crazy because i had to go on the radio twice, and the tv people showed up yesterday afternoon and asked me questions. weeeeird.
3. they eat late! the earliest they eat is 10. they have a semi big lunch, and eat the same amount for dinner.
4. They always wear shoes. i walk around in my socks, and they look at me funny.
5. they are always tired. i dont know how many times ive been wandering around the house bored because they are sleeping. maybe they shouldnt eat so late... or maybe something should happen in this town. (i actually do like it here, so dont take that the wrong way)
6. they eat a lot of meat (really good meat) and tartas. which are like giant empanadas. yummmm.


ehh. im tired. im gonna go play with the cat and ill finish this later.

hasta luego!

8/24/06 03:43 pm

So I went to school today.

That was frustrating.

This "lots of loud kids speaking in spanish all day while the teacher tries to talk" was very... stressful.

though i think i got invited to go have lunch with a whole group of kids tomorrow, and then go dancing in the bailiche(sp? word?) with all of them. they were veeeeery suprised that we dont have clubs to go to up there.

anyway. Tomas, my best friend, and i are hanging out all afternoon because everyone has school but im not going in the afternoon right now. their schedule is funny. they go from 730 to 1 today and then 230 to 530 (i think) but tomorrow they just go from 730 to 12. and they stay in the same class room all day. and im was having major ADD problems with that.

hasta luego.

8/23/06 01:35 pm

HELLO!

IM IN ARGENTINA! ISNT THAT FANTASTIC!

Okay, so I guess ill start at the beginning.

I got on the plane at 500 on saturday. met 2 other people who are also in Argentina with me, though they are HOURS away from where i am right now. Eric and Eileen. from Willowgrove and Cherryhill respectively. Theyre both really nice. I sat next to Eric both plane rides, so we semi bonded. We had a 4 hour layover in DC with 20 other kids who are also in this country (also hours away) and then got on the plane ride from hell. 10 hours overnight while i was sleepy and anxious = no fun.

anyway. i got here. stella found me. we got to the house. its cute. reeeeealllly tiny, but cute. all the doors are like closet doors because its too small to have regular doors. We ate asado which is super awesome. its like ribs, but bigger. and tastier. then i took a nap. and we drove around the city. its kinda like Media, but more run down?

Ummmm... I slept alot. because i didn{t sleep on the plane. Fran Gere and Ana Liz were still there on monday because it was a holiday so they didn{t have to work, so i showed fran pictures. and we listened to music. it was pretty simple.

Stella taught me how to make empanadas. they have this little press and premade dough. its soooo simple. not like how we made them for my party.

im keeping stella pretty happy because i do the dishes and cook with her and stuff. pretty much it keeps me occupied. because when im not doing that, im hanging out with Tomas, Frans cat who has decided to adopt me. he follows me around and sleeps on my bed.

Its kinda boring because theres nothing to do during the day. Stella said im allowed to go to school tomorrow. so thats cool. im excited about that.

anyway. i have to finish here because every 15 minutes = 50 centavos ( 1 dollar american = three pesos argentinian... you do the math) so yea... i can get online here, but i can{t add people to my buddylist. so if you are online, you should probably add my sn amorylibertad88 and talk to me when im on!

everyone have a great time starting college!!!!

6/30/06 09:44 pm - Let's start from the very beginning...

Hola!

Bueno voy a empezar esta diario porque yo quiero recordar todo que pasa cuando estoy en Argentina. Entonces este va a ser publico pero no va a ser tan personal. Si quieres saber algo que no digo aqui... preguntame en email o aim o por telefono si es importante.

English now!

I'm starting this journal because i want to remember everything that happens while I am in Argentina. Therefore, this is going to be public all the time but not very personal. If you want to know something that I don't say here... ask me in an email or via aim or on the phone if its really important.

I don't really know if I'm going to keep up my other one... no se no se.

Enough of the intro crap.

I'M GOING TO ARGENTINA!!! I leave hopefully on the 19th of August. Which is 49 days from now. Which is really freaking soon.

I'm going to San Andres de Giles. Which is 60 miles outside of Buenos Aires. annnnd it kinda sounds like a dinky little town but its still really cool. I think i get to go to a really tiny little catholic school (Nuestra Señora de Luján) and according to the papers they sent me, I don't start school until March??? That has to be wrong. Though their school year is backwards from ours... I get three summers in a row!

My family sounds incredibly nice. I can't decide whether or not to post the emails that they sent me or not.

I have a mom named Stella who works at the school library in the mornings, and a dad named Juan Carlos (but he goes by Carlos I think) who is pretty much a cowboy. (aka he takes care of cows and plants things... sounds cowboy-ish to me)

I have a sister named Ana Liz. She's 25 soon to be 26. She lives by herself in Buenos Aires and works as an accountant. She has a boyfriend named Franco and shes gorgeous.

I have two brothers, Geremias (23) and Francisco (aka Fran - 21) who live together in Buenos Aires. Gere works for Sony, and Fran works for an accounting firm like Ana Liz.

And this is probably really boring for the rest of the world.

I'll wrap it up now for a while. aka until I get there.

Hasta luego!
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