What's new Buenos Aires?

Sos un blooper!

(you are a blooper!)

my homestay sister

a picture of me in San Martín de los Andes in Patagonia. I will upload more photos later!

a picture of me in San Martín de los Andes in Patagonia. I will upload more photos later!

These are pictures from when I made delicious empanadas with my home-stay mother last week!

MATE: Apparently I’m the only one who has never heard of mate/yerba before. Mate is very Argentine and everyone drinks it! My home stay madre was telling me that if you see someone drinking in the street or on the subway that they are Uruguayan. People here drink it every day for merienda (tea time). My home stay mom drinks it every day and I see people in parks or in cualquier place drinking it. I’ve only had it once but my program gave me a mate kit with my name engraved on it. The yerba is the actual leaves and the mate is the cup you drink out of.

MATE: Apparently I’m the only one who has never heard of mate/yerba before. Mate is very Argentine and everyone drinks it! My home stay madre was telling me that if you see someone drinking in the street or on the subway that they are Uruguayan. People here drink it every day for merienda (tea time). My home stay mom drinks it every day and I see people in parks or in cualquier place drinking it. I’ve only had it once but my program gave me a mate kit with my name engraved on it. The yerba is the actual leaves and the mate is the cup you drink out of.

ESMA y Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo

I realize that I haven’t posted very many substantial posts. I’m very sensitive to the fact that you probably don’t want to know what I had for lunch or how long it took me to get home today. However, maybe you want to know what I’m up to in general.

This has been an intense week with many educational and emotional field trips. Yesterday we went to ESMA (Escuela de Suboficiales de Mecánica de la Armada/Navy Petty-Officers School of Mechanics). By the name you can tell that it was a Navy school for young boys. However, at the same time, during the military dictatorship that began in 1976, it was also a clandestine/detention center for the detenidos-desparaceidos. For those of you not up on your Argentine dictator history, from 1976-1978 between 9,000-30,000 (numbers are vague because no one really knows) people were kidnapped and (most of them) killed. Many were anti-communists, leftists, or were affiliated with some organization that the government didn’t approve of. But many other were randomly kidnapped and killed. They were taken to clandestine centers in Buenos Aires where they were kept for anywhere between one night and 4 years. Here they were tortured, interrogated, abused, and eventually killed. Many were taken on vuelas de la muerte where they were drugged and dropped out of planes into the middle of Rio de la Plata. Some bodies were found on the shores of Argentina and Uruguay and others were found in mass graves. Thousands are gone. 

ESMA is one of the detention/clandestine centers. It is estimated that 5,000 detenidos-desaparecidos passed through here.  While these people were being interrogated and tortured, the military officials were living on the floors below them. They only used one building on the whole campus because the rest was being used for schooling. Young boys were paid to guard the detention center. My tour was incredibly interesting especially because there were about 25 people from all over the world. People began arguing about world issues and having in depth arguments about what had happened. The varied points of views were really interesting and my group later discussed how there is no forum for people to discuss these issues.

El Ateneo libreria

El Ateneo libreria

A little more substantial update

Last weekend was Carnaval so we had Monday and Tuesday off. It was an awesome weekend. My friends and I explored different barrios (neighborhoods) during the day and went out at night. The weather is incredible, about 80 degrees and sunny during the day. So we’ve had beautiful long days and really fun, long nights.

I started classes on Wednesday and they are going well so far! We have really long days because the classes are a few hours long each and we have to commute between two buildings. I like the classes so far and the workload isn’t too bad.

I love my homestay still! My homestay sister María Jose (Majo) is in the north of Argentina visiting family until Monday. I’m excited for her to get back because she left just a few days after I got here. My homestay mom, María Julia, is great and cooks me yummy food and is very hospitable. I truly feel at home here and they have made me very comfortable.

Argentine words

- che: means absolutely nothing but is said often. The equivalent to “um”, used to buy time. It is also used to get someone’s attention.

- acá: used instead of aqui (means here). 

- Porteño: an Argentine person.

- una manzana: a manzana is an apple but they also use it to describe the area enclosed by the four blocks forming a square.

- boliche: night club.

- chau: goodbye or see you later.

- buena onda: good vibe