Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

T-minus 3 days!

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Are there really only 3 days until I leave America to go to Buenos Aires? It hasn’t really hit me yet, despite the fact that my suitcase is spilling over with “you-never-know-what-could-happen” clothes, or the fact that I’ve been up at odd hours of the night reading through the best travel guides mapping out all the “must see” sights. However, I am both excited and nervous to see what this experience has in store for me.

Buenos Aires is a beautiful city that has much to offer and I plan to take advantage of every opportunity I have to explore. I look forward to going out to see a Tango, visiting the famous monuments and memorials, and eating the rich food (although unfortunately because I do not eat red meat I’ll be missing out on the prominent bife). And I’m especially looking forward to shopping!

As much excitement as I have towards leaving home to go on this journey, I also have some qualms. First of all, I am not very confident in my Spanish speaking skills and am nervous about getting along in a big city. I recognize that through my academic courses, and the simple fact of living there for several months, my Spanish will improve to a level where I feel confident holding a conversation with a stranger. And from what I’ve read about the people of Argentina, they are very sociable, so finding people around to help me with my conversational skills should be no problem.

But I am also a bit anxious as to what my experience as a Black woman will be like there. The vast majority of people in Buenos Aires have ancestors from Europe and there are very few Black people in the area. I have been warned that I will most likely receive stares and be referred to as negrita. This does not bother me much, as living in America I have faced my share of encounters being the only Black woman in the room, school, meeting, etc.  Although the Afro Argentine population is very well hidden, and basically made invisible, I have done some brief research to learn that they do exist! (Two Afro Argentines to check out are reggae artist Fidel Nadal and Professor of literature Miriam Gomes!!) Because race and gender play such a pivotal role in my life, which follow me even outside of the US, I hope that I can do some personal research about the Afro-Latin@ population of Argentina while there.

The time is quickly approaching and my journey will soon begin. I have a whirlwind of emotions, that I know will culminate into a magnificent story. Ari in Argi, you’ll hear from me soon again!

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