The Other Side of Life in Argentina
Hey everyone, Joe here. It’s officially day 75 down in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2 and a half months already! And I now have less days left than have passed thus far. It’s amazing how quickly the time goes.
The past few weeks have been great, for many reasons. I love my group of friends from the IFSA Buenos Aires Intermediate Program, and my host family is great. I have met a couple of Argentines who are good people and are great references when I need advice.
However, these last few weeks have been great for another reason. While the daily student life, visitation of famous sites, picture-taking, andnocturnal nightlife of Buenos Aires are very entertaining, I have really gotten a chance to see life outside of the downtown area.
While I have become very comfortable with the area in which I live, there are so many other parts of such an amazing city. I started my exploration by venturing up to Nunez, which is still in the federal capital but feels like a different place altogether. Instead of the dizzying, jumbled stacks of high-rises and apartments, Nunez features single-family houses, more green space and an easier way to appreciate nature. Plus, it’s cleaner than the bus-packed downtown avenues.
What was up in Nunez that attracted me? The friendly soccer match between Spain, defenders of the World Cup, and Argentina. It was an amazing night. I really got to see the Argentines in their environment, and learned a few songs and friendly curse words along the way, like everyone needs to. If you saw it in the news, you’ll know that Argentina kicked Spain’s butts! Go Albicelestes!
Along with the soccer match, IFSA took us on a day trip Tigre, a suburb North of the city, to go kayaking. I had never gone kayaking before and it was definitely more of a workout than I expected, but it was wonderful. The scenery was great and it beautiful day out. Given that it was an Argentine river, the water wasn’t very clean, but that was a minor speed in an otherwise great day.
Finally, IFSA took us again (they really do give the Intermediate kids a lot of events!) to San Isidro, another Northern suburb. There, we saw a live rugby match. Many people don’t know it (especially if you only spend time downtown), but rugby is a huge sport here. It is all amateur, but that doesn’t motivate the players any less. It’s an interesting sport to watch, and after a little while I was finally able to understand what was going on. I have to say, that is one tough sport that makes American football look like a walk in the park.
On the classes front, I had my first midterm exam today. I think it went well, but it was another reminder that while studying abroad is all about the culture, not all of the classes are especially easy. I still had to do quite a bit of studying for this test, but it paid off.
The adventures continue tomorrow with a trip to Colonia, Uruguay that IFSA is taking us on. It should be exciting!
Here is the web addresses to my personal blog, which has many more useful details and anecdotes about Buenos Aires.