Friday, March 12, 2010

Homestay, Classes, and New Friends

It's the end of the first full week of classes. I've settled into my homestay and am starting to get to know the group and kids from B.A.

I met my homestay mom exactly a week ago. My study abroad program had a little welcome event at the school and then we hauled my suitcases to a taxi. My host stay mom is about 65, she is tall and slender with shoulder-length graying blond hair. She has a son, 26, and daughter, 29. Her son lives at home while he finishes his industrial design degree. He works and has a nice girl friend, so I don't see him too much, but we went and got icecream the other day, so that was fun . Her daughter lives in town and is an English teacher in an elementary school. I met her the night of the welcome event and she was exhausted as it was the first week of classes for her.

Last Saturday I met up with a girl who goes to the University of Buenos Aires. I met her in the airport in Kansas City as we were on the same flight to Buenos Aries. Her name is Antonella, and her grandmother is good friends with a teacher from my elementary school. Small world. I went out to her house and met her friends and did my best to understand all the slang terms. In Buenos Aires the night starts very late, so we didn't even go out until 2:30am. I had to have a cup of coffee before we went because I was yawning so much. We went out to what are called "boliches" or dance clubs. The next day Antonella's grandmothers came over and one of them gnocchi, an italian pasta dish. It was delicious. After Antonella and I caught a train back into town and went to the small Chinatown.

In the morning I have a seminar class and in the afternoons a Spanish class. The morning classes on the history and economics of the region have been very interesting. We learned this week about how the increased production of soy in Argentina and other South American countries has been causing both health and economic problems. The Spanish class has been frustrating as it involves a lot of busy work. I've talked to the program director, so hopefully I won't get stuck with that for the rest of the semester.

Today a girl from my group and I went to the MALBA, the Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires. I really enjoyed it. It is a manageable size and despite the sort serious name of the museum, the art is all modern or contemporary. I got to see a Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera piece. The muesum is not too far from my school, so I hope to return. I also walked down to the Law School which is very elegant with huge columns. Right next to it is a nice park that has a sculpture of a flower that is really tall and done out of shinny metal.

Tonight the study abroad group is trying to go out. Tomorrow night I am meeting back up with Antonella, the girl from Buenos Aires. Hopefully I'll have had a nap to prepare for the night!

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