“No tengas miedo de mostrarte
tal y como eres es mejor así”
(don’t be afraid to show yourself
as you are, it’s better that way)
The blog posts are coming very frequently in the past few days because so much has been going on, but I’ll probably slow down on the number of posts as my routine gets a little more regular.
Since my last post I spent two days in Buenos Aires and then arrived in Mendoza and met my host family! Besides a few bumps along the way, everything has gone very smoothly, and most importantly, I’ve adjusted to all the changes very smoothly, and even when things haven’t gone perfectly, I’ve been able to go with the flow and stay positive.
Speaking of things that haven’t gone smoothly, as I fill you in on my first full day in Buenos Aires, it seems that my camera deleted all my photos from Friday! I’m not quite sure what happened but I didn’t take any masterpieces so I’m not upset, I just hope it doesn’t happen again. If anyone has any suggestions as to what might have happened let me know! (the only thing I can think of is that I accidentally didn’t tell my camera to import all my photos and then told my camera to delete all the photos on my camera?)
So, Friday we played tourist for most of the day. Our tour guide, Alejandro was excellent and answered all our questions about Buenos Aires and Argentine culture, half of the time in English the other half in Spanish. On Friday we visited la plaza de mayo, the main plaza by la casa rosada, the Argentine version of the White House (la casa rosada means, “the pink house”).
Not my photo
La plaza de mayo has been the location of many demonstrations over the past decades, including one that initiated the beginning of Peronism and the weekly demonstration of the mothers of people who were “disappeared” by the government during the dirty war.
Here you can see the plaza and la casa rosada together (Also not my photo)
For lunch we ate at a lovely restaurant outside of the city with a beautiful view of el Río de la Plata, the very large river that lies north of the city. From our viewpoint el río looked more like el mar!
The view of Buenos Aires from near our lunch spot!
In the evening we had more orientation (this time all in Spanish!) in which we covered cultural differences to be aware of, such as less of a sense of punctuality among Argentines and kissing each other in greeting. The presentation was very thorough and I hope will help me be aware of possible causes of culture shock in the next few weeks!
In the evening I went out to dinner with some of the other group members and had my first taste of wine from Mendoza. It was the best wine I’d ever had, I’m super excited to taste more of it!! After dinner we took a cab to Palermo, a downtown area, where we people watched and got some ice cream (they had so many flavors that I’d never heard of, but I got dulce de leche con brownie, a winner!) Navigating the city without a guide in the evening gave me a boost of confidence that I can find my way around Argentina even without someone to hold my hand every step of the way.
Sunday was our final day in Buenos Aires, we packed our suitcases and boarded the bus to go to La Recoleta, which is full of mausoleums of famous and wealthy Argentines and is Evita Perón’s final resting place. While we were there I ran into a family speaking Hebrew so I went up to greet them and tried to speak in Hebrew with them. I did ok, but my brain was totally not ready to be in Hebrew mode and I had trouble thinking of the right words and was left feeling very confused for the next hour or so, even going back to Spanish was difficult! But it was exciting to hear another language familiar to me. Despite my difficulties the family said my hebrew was very good and that if I stayed in Israel for a couple of months I’d pick up the language in no time!
Also, check out this cool tree by the Recoleta!!
After a little more sight seeing we headed to the airport where we got ready to board our flight to Mendoza! The most notable thing about the airport was that the security was much less intense, we just had to put our bags into a screener and walk through a metal detector, no issues with liquids or having to take off shoes. However, I must have let the lax rules go to my head because I forgot to take my cell phone out of my pocket when I went through the metal detector! That certainly caused the machine to go off!
At the airport:
Boarding our flight!
The flight to Mendoza went well, I slept for a fair amount of it. When we arrived in Mendoza we all excitedly filed into baggage claim to retrieve our things before meeting our host families. While most of the members of our group retrieved their luggage quickly, I and several other members of our group as well as a fair amount of other passengers, waited for 20 minutes with no new bags appearing. Finally they told us that the plane had been to heavy to bring all our bags over and that our bags would arrive on the next flight from Buenos Aires in two hours and they would deliver them to our houses. Though under normal circumstances, this information might have freaked me out, I calmed myself by reminding myself that I had all my important items with me (passport, computer wallet) and that if somehow I never got my bags back I would just have to buy new clothes and get toiletries. Next came the part where I had to explain what happened to my host sister in Spanish, that was a little more difficult, but I did it without many problems.
Here’s my first view of Mendoza!
This post is getting long so I’ll stop here, and fill you in on my host family in the next post! For now I’ll leave you with the lyrics from my favorite Julieta Venegas song “No hace falta”
The message of “sin temores”, without fear, is one I’m trying to embody over the course of this experience. Things are new and different but that doesn’t mean that I can’t handle them, and “sin temores es mejor así”, it’s better without fear. So far, I’m proud of how I’ve handled the many new situations I’ve encountered and I’ve realized that I’m capable of more than I thought. Wish me luck as I continue to strive to be lost but not afraid!
“Sin temores es mejor así
Sin palabras es mejor así