Classes again… This time a gauncho came into class and showed us his musical instruments and some of the native dances from around the area and to top things off I got a nice pan flute out of it.
After the class I went to my grandparents house in the suburbs near Phil for my little sister (Juliana´s) birthday party. It was great and there was a lot of good food. The best part is that there was another celebration on Friday with more of the family… so more food!
Around six, Phil and I went to the city to meet up with some of our group so that we could go out and watch the Argentina game in Copa America. We went to a resturant downtown and hung out there and watched Argentina tie the scoreless game. It was a great night that only would have been better if we would have won…
On Friday we went to San Lorenzo and hiked the trails there. This mountain is very beautiful with a creek in the middle of two large hills. The valley was beautiful and the sight from the top of the mountain was even more so. After we hiked to the top we went to the zip line which went across the valley. This was one of the most frightening and exciting experiences of my life and I´m going to do zip lines when ever I get the chance from now on…
When we returned I went to Juliana´s second birthday party and there were even more people here with even more food. I was in heaven. However after a long day of hiking I was ready to pass out so as soon as someone was heading home I joined and fell into a deep sleep.
This deep sleep was interupted early when I had to get up for Rafting. We had to be at ELITE at 8AM so it was an early morning after a long day, however rafting turned out to be the funnest thing that I have done all trip.
It was a little nerve wrecking at first because of the large rocks and the huge rapids but then we got used to it and the water was warm so the trip to the Juramento River turned out to be one of the best trips of the homestay.
The lunch that we had afterwards was amazing well. BBQed beef and sausage with warm bread… Mmmmmmmm…
Then after we arrived home and slept for a little my group went bowling and exploring the city late into the night… It was a blast… My group rocks.
Slept in. Woke up. Did summer homework. Went to sleep. Terrible day.
After a long and terrible day of doing Pride and Prejudice homework I got to relax by doing some community service. We helped out at this place called ALPI which is a place where kids with cerebral palsy can go for assistance in learning and being kids. We repaired walls and painted them and we continued this all week.
After ALPI we all went home so that we could rest up for another Argentianean soccer game. This time we went to Zoe`s house and had pizza with chips and pop. It felt like I was home again. And to top it all of we won the game which is sending us to the next round of Copa America.
I arrived home around 1230 and went to bed and ten minutes later my family came home. They were nice and quiet and soon I was asleep again. Then 4AM came around and I was pleasently awoken by my little brother throwing up on the floor next to my bed. Needless to say it was a long night… But now it is just something to laugh about… BLAH
Went to ALPI again and continued to repair walls and do other odd jobs.
Talked to my parents and brother (Sam) on the phone… Gosh I miss them a lot…
Went home and continued my summer homework… and then went to sleep.
We finished our work at ALPI early so we were able to take Thursday off.
After ALPI I went home and finished my AP World book and paper and then went with some of my friends to the Gondola in Salta. This Gondola took us to the top of the mountain in Salta and from there we were able to see the entire city. At sunset. So we got to watch the lights of the city turn on and we got to watch the beginning of the soccer match between Venezuela and Paraguay (one of the stadiums is in Salta). It was a great night.
But by far the best part about the night was seeing Harry Potter 7 Part II. It feels like my childhood is officially over now… I´m so sad… but it has been a long good run and I feel that there is no better way to have gone out.
Since we didn´t have ALPI today I relaxed in my house and decided that I needed to finish my summer homework and catch up on some blogging… So I did just that. And after a long hour and a half I think that I finally have finally finished.
Tonight we are going to our family farewell dinner with all the families in our group and then tomorrow we are leaving for the next part of our adventure…
I´m not normally very good at spelling… and all of the spell checkers in Tumblr are in Spanish here… So forgive the spelling. I`m doing my best.
When we arrived in the other part of town I was able to meet with kids that were learning English at a school in BA. There we learned about how they live and what they do everyday and how much it differs from our daily lives. For example: they stay up till 2AM on school nights and 4-5AM on normal days. Its a crazy life that doesn’t seem to end… Although I think I could get used to it…
The next morning I went for a run along the river in BA (Rio de la Plata) and it was absolutely beautiful (although it was pretty cold). When I returned I showered, had a large breakfast, and set off for a river delta called El Tigre. There we ate and shopped and when we finished we took a 2 hour boat ride around the beautiful delta. I want a house there when I´m older because everything is green and open with beautiful water surrounding it… We took the train back into BA and went out for our last dinner in the huge city. We ate amazing Argentinian hamburgers and returned to the hotel to pack and watch the Argentina vs. Bolivia Copa America game. It was about this time that we learned that our plane had been pushed back from 6AM to 10AM so we got to sleep some more… It was the icing on the cake and we watched the game and hung out till 1AM. It was a great night before one of the most nervous days of my life… Meeting my new Argentinian family…
We woke up around 7AM went down and had breakfast and headed to the airport. It took us 3 and a half hours to get through security and finally board the plane late… It was hectic. Once we got on we were all able to relax but it soon hit us all that we would be seperated from everyone in our group in about another three hours… We started getting more and more nervous and finally when the plane landed we were all freaking out a little. We went and got our baggage… and there our families were. Waiting. It was a little spooky. I finally spotted someone with my name on a piece of paper and met who I thought was my young mother… It wasn´t. It was a friend of the family named Rut however I didn´t learn this until about an hour after she took me to my home… Awkward… Anyway I met my brothers and sister and we got off to a good start playing soccer and hanging out. My American friend Phil was a block away so we were able to hang out with the kids for the day but at the end of the day I found out that this wasn´t my parent`s house but my mother´s parent`s house. My house was in the middle of Salta and we were heading there now. I was excited to sleep and the minute that I got there I passed out. Day one. Done.
Day two arrived faster than I would have thought. However it was the same as day one. We hung out at the house in the subberbs and played some soccer and relaxed. Nothing special happened. My parents were still at a religious retreat and Rut was still taking care of me. I found out after a few hours of hanging out with her that Rut is very good at english and with her help she has been teaching me Spanish. One of the biggest differences that I have found with the families here is that they eat. A lot. (Except breakfast, its rather small) They have a midmorning tea, Lunch (which is huge), mirenda (afternoon tea), and dinner. Lots of food for me. =) I´m a happy boy here. After the day ended we went back to the house in the city to prepare for the dinner that I was going to have with the families of the rest of the members of my group. Dinner was wonderful and I have come to find that I love Argentinian food (especially Beef). We came home and I fell asleep quickly once again but this time I had to get up early for classes… I was finally slightly oriented in Salta.
What I did during the week:
Woke up around 630 to get to class at 8 so we could have a proper tour of the city
Came home and relaxed still nervous to talk to anyone much…
Slept nervously because in the morning my parents were coming home from the retreat.
Met my parents for the first time in the morning… They seemed really nice (and they were)
Went to class at nine and just practiced our spanish and learned some of the tradicions that we would be expected to know in the household (there are a lot)
Returned home and had my first lunch with my entire family. I talked with my mother and father and they seemed really nice and I finally got over my nervousness. I was a pretty good feeling.
Relaxed most of the day and went out with my brother to a small shop later to buy a nice pair of gloves and a warm hat.
Came home, ate dinner, and slept only to be woken by my alarm for class the next day
On Wednesday we went to class but instead of learning anything we went to a museum of Argentinan history. It was very intersting and I took a ton of pictures. My friend Mason and I decided to meet up later around three and after we were going to head to Zoe`s house.
When I returned from classes I told my parents that I was heading out later and they were fine with it. After a delish lunch I left to meet Mason.
We met at ELITE and walked to his house. His house is amazing. It is set in the side of the mountain and its warm. Which was a nice change of pace. Afterwards we went to meet Zoe, Tayna, and Maggie at ELITE where we walked to Zoe`s house. She also has and amazing house and we went to her room and hung out there for a while. It is good having friends that I can talk to here and understand the dificulties that we are all facing. I returned to the house around 8 and had dinner and went to sleep after a long day. It was around this time that I finally began to get settled into the rhythem here in Salta.
On the 30th of June we continued our tour of Buenos Aires. In the morning we visited a neighborhood called Recoleta and there we went to one of the oldest graveyards in the country with presidents and others buried there. (Eva Peron)(Legit) Then we went to another neighborhood where we had lunch and then had a scavenger hunt where we had to find different things and make our way to a different part of town with two other kids. It was a really cool way to throw us into the country and get us to work on our own. During the scavenger hunt I found something amazing. A new Argentinian pair of cleats. I haven´t used them yet… But I´m so pumped to put them on in the states… =D
Time crunch again… Type later!
After arriving in Buenos Aires my group and I met up with Martin and Wanda. Our guides for Buenos Aires. We took a bus back to the hotel (Hotel Reina) and we unpacked and got used to our rooms. After that we were off!!! We went to dinner at a resturant called La Clac and there I had a dish called Milanesas. (probably spelled wrong) After dinner we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.
The next day I woke up and talked to the other group leader named Nafisa. She is very interesting and speaks very good Spanish. They had a lot to eat and it was very good. The only problem was that I began to realize that the weather was getting cold. Very cold. I began layering up and wearing the warm clothes that I had… It was a sad feeling knowing that I was leaving the warmth of the States.
After breakfast we took a tour of the city. It is a very beautiful place and we saw some of the most important buildings in Buenos Aires. (Casa Rosada, the widest street in the world, and many others) By no means did we get the chance to see the entire city but we were able to get a handle of the road system, the bus system, and the subway system. At the end of the tour we went to the office of the program in Buenos Aires. Here we got some information about our homestay and how to act in the homestay. It was intersting and after that we went back to the hotel. Had some dinner. And went to and early bed.
… More later when I have more time I promise. Talk to everyone later. Hasta Luego!!
PS sorry for the spelling. The computer is spell checked for spanish… Not english
Well… We made it. It was a stressful trip full of delays but in the end we arrived in Buenos Aires. I don´t have much time now but I´ll be sure to talk more later about the wonderful things that we have been doing.
For all that are wondering I have been safe (mother and father)(other members of the family). Darius (our group leader) has been amazing and knows sooo much about the city. He speaks fantastic spanish and it helps out the group more than I could ever have imagined. My spanish is getting better and better by the day and I am now an able bodied, but still stick out.
We are heading to Salta tomorrow!! Plane leaves at 6:55AM so it will be an early start. I´d get sleep but the Argentinian soccer match for Copa Americana is on… I´m not going to sleep for a few hours =D
Hasta Luego Estados Unidos!!
The trip to Chicago went well… An easy flight into another timezone (although it was REALLY cramped). Then I had a 3 hour layover in Chicago only to leave on a kick butt 777 to Miami. But then we hit some problems…
There appearantly was a volcanic eruption in Chile and this is causing a massive problem with our flight. So our plane to Buenos Aires got delayed until tomorrow morning and is departing at 6:40. This means that we are spending the night at a hotel and have to get up around 4 to get to the airport and get through customs.
Wish me luck tomorrow… Time for sleep =P
Its a depressing feeling knowing that you are leaving everything behind but hell, its going to be one of the coolest experiences of my life so I’m going rolling with it. I have everything packed and ready to go. Shout out to my Uncle Mike Connolly who sent me my camping backpack and it is now COMPLETELY full. (I’m going to come back with a strained back. If anyone knows a good chiropractor let me know now so I can book him).
I have began talking to my Argentinian father via e-mail… Its making me worried about the amount of Spanish I know… =/ I hope that Spanish IV has prepared me (I’m sure that it has Mrs. Poth/Holot)
Well my plane leaves at 9:35 in the morning, and its getting late. I’m heading to Chicago then Miami and this time tomorrow night I’ll be taking off from Miama for Buenos Aires. =D
To Everyone I Know: I’ll talk to you all when I get back!
I’m setting this up so that I can post and share my experience in Argentina with everyone that wants to follow. I can’t promise that it will be good. But I’ll do my best to keep it updated and full of interesting stuff. John
I’m setting this up so that I can post and share my experience in Argentina with everyone that wants to follow. I can’t promise that it will be good. But I’ll do my best to keep it updated and full of interesting stuff.