Where to begin?!
This has been one very long, very eventful, and very exhausting week. Tomorrow morning is the official 1 week mark, and I feel like I’ve been here for months. It’s been amazing, but also a bit overwhelming.
I started school this week, on Monday. We took our placement tests and to my surprise I was placed in intermediate 2, which is the class one level under advanced. I was expecting to be put in intermediate 1, but after just three days of classes I’m realizing that I really do know more than I realize.
The first actual day of classes was Tuesday, and that was pretty rough. It was just really overwhelming because our classes are 100% taught in Spanish, my entire house speaks Spanish, and even some of the American students speak Spanish to each other. It was overload. My brain was so exhausted and I got down on myself pretty quickly, which I tend to do. I was wondering if I was in the right class, and if I was ever going to be able to speak Spanish. At that moment I felt like I was in over my head, and that it was going to be a really difficult and possibly unfulfilling process. After school I really just wanted to sleep, but instead I forced myself to walk around Buenos Aires and find a music school where they offer guitar lessons. Two hours later, I found one. Naturally, the people there couldn’t speak a word of English, further adding to my frustration and exhaustion. I got home and passed out until one of my housemates woke me up to go to a tango class!
Tango was amazing! It was so much fun, and so captivating. Watching the teacher demonstrate the moves made me really want to pursue classes and be able to actually tango well. I can’t believe that people come to Argentina and don’t learn to tango; it’s so much fun and so much a part of the culture. It’s an absolute must. I’ll be going every week, possibly twice a week, so when I get back to America I’ll be a pro and can grace you all with tango lessons… or something like that!
Since Tuesday class has been getting so much better. Basically, we laugh the entire time, and the professor is constantly making fun of me (in the most loving way possible). Every time I say anything he just looks at me and bursts out laughing. Before coming to Argentina I wasn’t aware that I was a comical person, but evidently people here think that is so! Kudos to me! We play games every day in class, and chat a lot about tons of different subjects. We’ve been doing grammar mostly, but it’s all grammar that I already know so I’m glad that it’s something that I don’t have to struggle with. Vocabulary is my main issue with Spanish. I understand the grammar, sentence structure, and all that pretty well, but I’m just lacking the words to say what I want. Room for improvement!
Nightlife here is QUITE the experience, to say the least. Basically Argentines don’t go out to the bars until 12:30/1:00AM, and don’t go to the clubs until 2:00/3:00AM, and don’t go home until 5:00AM ish. It is wild. The first night we went out we went with a huge group of like 15 of us. (All of the students here with AIFS, since the 2 boys who live here are with AIFS and I’m the only CCIS person so I stick with them). We had so much fun, and danced the whole night. We met two Argentine girls who were the sweetest and danced with us all night!
But last night was seriously memorable. Manuel (one of my housemates who, along with the other one, Nico, I call “mi hermano!”) and I went to this bar that was having an event that they hold each week. Basically you go in and get stickers with the flag of your home country on it, along with flags of the countries which languages you speak, or want to practice. So you go around and mingle and talk to people with flags that you want to speak the language or, or just ones that you find interesting. It was awesome! We talked to so many interesting people, and there were even Dutch people there! [Which as a side note, there are a ton of here anyways]. Afterwards we went to this club where people were all dancing tango, so Manuel and I, in our most obvious American fashion, sadly attempted the same. I’m sure it wasn’t pretty, but it was so much fun. We got home at like 4:30 and had to be at school this morning at 10:00. The life of study abroad.
Speaking of mis hermanos, they totally deserve a shout out here. Nico and Manuel are seriously like two big brothers here. We pretty much stick together and they’re protective of me when we go out and such just like brothers are. They’re seriously amazing, and I feel so lucky to have two people like them in my life here. It just furthermore adds to my feeling of home, and my love of this experience.
Dinner every night is something I seriously look forward to. With all of us sitting around our kitchen table, having a billion different conversations in Spanish with our host parents, it’s evident that this is home. My host dad is always telling mis hermanos to make sure that they take care of me and make sure that I’m okay when we go out—it’s pretty hilarious and adorable. My host dad is HILARIOUS. He is constantly making jokes, and although I can only understand 50% of them, I’m constantly laughing around him. A few days ago when I woke up and was walking to the bathroom I saw him by the stairs so I was like, “Hola!” and he stepped back like he was completely surprised, threw both of his hands in the air and said, “BUEN DIA!” so loud and enthusiastic you would have thought that I was the pope.
Everything about this house, and this family, is so homey and so comfortable, that after only a week I feel so at home and like I’ve already gained another family.
I love this country so much, and am so excited to explore and learn more about it. Last night, on the bus to the bar there were two street performers, one with a guitar, and one who sang. They were so good, but after they played I was unsure whether people were going to ignore them or acknowledge their presence. To my surprise, the whole bus started clapping, and in that moment I so much about the culture here became clear. If something is enjoyable, enjoy it, appreciate it, and just live your life. There’s no need to stress over little things, or become irritated over different lifestyles and different people. Embrace it, and relax.
That’s all for now! This weekend I’m going to a zoo, and to a Jesus amusement park—there’s no way that can’t be interesting. Oh and tomorrow I have my first soccer game! I seriously can't wait!
All of the love!