Post-election Thoughts and Short Update
So sorry this is about a week late!
I struggled to decide what to write about for this week’s post – should I just write a happy update and leave politics out of it? Or should I address how I’m feeling in Argentina after the results of the 2016 presidential election? I’ve decided to share a little bit about my feelings on the election, as well as an update of what I’ve been up to for the past three weeks.
Pretty incohesive post-election thoughts:
It’s hard to write a happy update post about my study abroad experience on a day like today, the day after the election of Donald Trump for president. A day when students from my study abroad program came to class crying because they were scared for the future of the United States of America.
Two of my friends and I watched the election coverage on my laptop, a CNN live stream, all three of us piled onto one twin-sized bed. We were up until two in the morning, but ultimately went to sleep because the election was not going to be decided for hours. We were optimistic (although the poll predictions were telling us to think otherwise).
I woke up to a CNN notification that the unthinkable had happened.
When the news broke, many people in the United States joked about or even seriously considered moving to Canada. Some people here have joked about staying in Argentina.
But what this election has made more clear to me than ever is that I want to go home. I want to be with my family and friends. I want to be with my community at Macalester.
It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind experience being abroad for a presidential election. Although there was support and discussion among other students on my study abroad program, it obviously did not feel the same as it would have if I were in the United States. I had to rely a lot on Facebook posts and articles from media outlets to grieve and rally and find community. Especially because for Argentines, the results of the US elections are not as acute. The results do not affect their lives in a tangible, every day way.
I think it’s different in every host family, but my host mom only briefly asked me which candidate I supported two nights before the election. At lunch the morning after the election, she asked me what type of onda (vibe) there was in the US surrounding Trump’s win. That’s about it.
Post-election, I am trying my best to read and watch everything I can, to be the most informed that I can so that when I return home, I know better how to talk about the issues at stake come Trump’s inauguration, know better how to use my privilege for the greater good, know better how to love and support.
In other news:
- At the end of October, my friend, Caroline (who I visited in Chile), came to visit me in Mendoza! I discovered quickly that there isn’t a ton to do attraction-wise here, so we ended up just doing a lot of homework in my bedroom. But overall, I am so glad she came and got to see how the other half lives (on the other side of the Andes mountains) and so grateful that I got to spend time with her!
- Summer has finally arrived in Mendoza. The daily high temperature nowadays is between 80 and 90 degrees. So glad that I ended up packing shorts even though blogs that I read before coming said that Argentines frowned upon bare legs (due to their conservative culture). In my experience, this is not true. Although Argentines may not break out their shorts at the first sign of heat (like me), shorts exist and are worn frequently!
- Two of my classes are already finished! This Wednesday, I turned in my final paper and presented my final powerpoint for my Spanish class. That same day, I learned that the exchange students in my anthropology class don’t have to take the final exam – so now that class is over too!
- For any Downton Abbey fans out there, I finally finished the last episode of the last season and couldn’t stop smiling.