La Primera Semana…
So concludes my first week of class in Buenos Aires. The most important take-away from this week was that if I do not have my guia, a guide that details the streets of Buenos Aires, I WILL, without exception, become lost. Last night in an ill-fated attempt to find the apartment of a friend from class I ended up winding through the streets of Recoleta hoping that no one wanted to steal my wallet, . I live in an apartment in Recoleta, a very nice neighborhood, with a beautiful mixture of French style and modern buildings. The building also has very clean streets with the exception of the burned out car I saw earlier this evening. While I have mastered the art of of walking to my classes, which require taking approximately one left turn, travelling much farther requires constant consultation with my guia, or what might be more appropriately called my new best friend.
This brings me to the interrelated topic of my human friends. The other students in my program are fantastic and together we are able to converse with the porteños, if not with ease, a semblance of clarity. Over the past week my Spanish has improved significantly due to my long conversations about culture, politics, history, and other topics with my host family. While conversing with my friends is certainly helpful, my host parents knowledge of the Spanish language is a major boon to my learning of Spanish. At this point my main difficulty lies with my accent. The accent in Buenos Aires is rather unique and hard to replicate, but at this point I assume that my style of speech will gradually conform with the locals.
Earlier this week we embarked on another tour of the city, this time of Montserrat, a district which houses the metropolis’ oldest buildings. The churches that we entered on the tour were of many different styles and represented an intersection of the political and the religious history of the city. For example, the neo-classical Cathedral Metropolitan of Buenos houses the remains of Jose de San Martin famed liberator of Chile, Peru, and Argentina, while the Cathedral of Santo Domingo was an important British stronghold in Buenos Aires.
All in all my first few days in Buenos Aires have been both a blast and a challenge. Hopefully this weekend will provide me with an opportunity to venture outside Recoleta and into other parts of this immense city.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires which houses, despite its neo-classical exterior, much baroque statuary