life is an amalgamation of so many different things i am slightly baffled as where to begin. maybe the best place to start would be the main intention of this trip: the learning of spanish. its not going half bad if i do say so myself 🙂 i have a wonderful professor here who i love! her name is Graciella, and she is hilarious and speaks 5 (yes 5) different languages. normally in school we do one level/packet every two weeks, at the end of which we take a test and move on up to the next level. this week we did one level in one week (Gracialla enjoys challenging us americans). successfully! i am at the point where, if the person im talking to speaks in spanish slowly and clearly i can grasp almost any conversation. now comes the part where i need to be disciplined in memorizing vocabulary and using proper grammer when i speak. a friend here told me its best if you just stop trying to think so hard about speaking “correctly” and just kinda go for it, mistakes and all. sounds so simple, right? well, im trying, and have four more weeks to get this down, i have faith in me!
so my mornings start with a cup of tea (oh how i miss coffee), toast and fruit if i have time, and class. i really love walking to school (well really, walking anywhere here) because it is so amazingly beautiful, when its not pouring rain. but ill be honest, im even pretty partial to the rain as well.
so after school, everyday we hop on the collie (bus) out to “Gotitas de Exfuerzo” our place of work. its essentially the back room of the house of a generous and loving soul who feeds the kids in a very poor local community four times a week. we go help her serve the young-ins some warm milk and cereal, and attempt to entertain the lot of them…which actually is more along the lines of kayla and richie wrestling forty kids to the ground (or do they wrestle us to the ground…its debatable) and then after they eat, we run around like crazy people playing soccer with them. to put it nicely, five year old boys completely own me in soccer 🙂 sports involving athletic equipment have never been my strong suit, but i enjoy it none the less. working there has been a great, fulfilling way to spend my afternoons. however, unavoidably, it is always tinged with humbling heaviness. because i cant (and shouldn’t) ignore that fact that, the little boy who wont stop hugging me has no parents who will hug him back at home, the darling little girl who asks for thirds and fourths on her snack may not be eating anything else that day, the guy who wears the same sweater ever day in fact has nothing else to keep him warm, and the hooligans who wont stop pestering us about the definitions of english swear words probably heard them from less than impressive role models at home. i continually find myself coming back to the fact that there is nothing more heartbreaking to me than children in poverty. they are so helpless, and so dependent, so needy. it can get a little overwhelming, but i am grateful that im not naive to extreme poverty, it helps me keep my selfishness in check.
(our soccer field)
after our time here, we tromp back home (usually filthy, freezing, and really happy) to eat dinner with our families. other than class and work, there are lots of other fun things that have been happening here. tango classes, hanging out with new friends, card games, reading, movies (toy story 3 in spanish?? indeed.), hiking, playing at the lake, coffee shop searching, visiting our favorite bakery, naps, picture taking, world cup games, talking to friends and family back at home, discussions on what we love about argentina, discussions about what we miss back at home (good breakfast seems to be #1 on the list at the moment), country music sing along hours, and of course, the occasional party. which leads me to the funniest event of the week, quit possibly one of the funniest nights of the trip….
richies “moms” 50th birthday party last night. longest.night.of.my.life. it started at 10pm…only to conclude at 4am. 4AM. yes 50 year olds here party till 4am. richie and i, being the only people our age at the shindig, did what we have both been very well trained in the art of – playing grown up. we chatted up (in spanish) many of the adults there, but did not get fed (much to our dismay) till about midnight. and then proceded to sit through about four hours of singing and speeches in spanish (a language we do not understand at 3am). it was ok though, because after about two hours of pure anger that we were not sound asleep in bed, we turned to delirious laughter, cracking each other up. at one point i do believe a plan was devised that involved richie smashing all the guitars while i ran to open the door for our quick get away. the night then most defiantly concluded with richie singing “hey jude” and “susie q” with a few sixty year old argentinian men (in front of about 30 people), he brought down the house, i was ever so proud of my friend.
so theres snippet of life. lots of reflecting happened this week (refer to the previous blog), and i miss my friends and family, but im really happy. its going to be hard to leave this place 🙂
also, some other random closing points : i just ran out of my deodorant, and really should invest in a new stick, i bought a bright red/orange retro puffy jacket to keep me warm (it matches nothing and so it’s perfect), and i have lost my cell phone, glasses, 200 pesos, my house key, and a pair of earrings. all have which have eventually been found, except for my cell phone 😦
alright bed time!!! night all