Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I promise to catch you up later!

Hey all,

Yea, yea my blog has been a little neglected as of late, but here are the highlights.

School, felt a little sick, then BATMAN with my host mom, michelle, and her host mom monica. we got back suuuuuuper late.
Discovery of the day: batman is amazing

School, then reading and essay. Oh joy.
Discovery of the day: they don´t have squirrels here!

Lots of essay writing, have a paper due tomorrow. Still recovering from not feeling great the last two days. Despite that... I stayed up til 4 in the morning playing video games with my host brother and his friend.
Discovery of the day: lemmings should never have been popular.

School and then goodbye lunch. It was fun (and tasty! pizza, empenadas, and chocolate stuff), hung out with everyone and said goodbye to some. Bummed around afterwards with Martin and Majo... good times. Talked to Martin forever then headed home to work on my paper. Afterwards, I went out to Acabar with people from the program and Martin. Acabar is a sweet resturaunt with boardgames. Fun fun! You know I enjoy my boardgames...
Discovery of the day: supersized janga is a baaaaaad idea...it gets dangerous fast

No school! I woke up suuuuper late and then magically ended up in a car on the way to the beach with Mono! Yay! I didn´t think that i was going to get to travel after the program was over, but i was wrong!
After a very, very, very long car ride we got to the house which was FREEZING.
Discovery of the day: Mar del Plata is a big city! And is beautiful!

Saturday, very early morning:
The robbery. Most of you have details by now, if not I will give them to you later... I don´t have time to type it all up right now. However, here are the highlights...
At Mar del Plata, Mono, his 3 friends, and I were all staying in Monos cabin. At 3 am 2 men broke in to the house and threw us all in Monos room. They then shut us in the bathroom for 2 hrs, checking in on us occasionally. At first we thought they just had big knives, but they ended up pulling a gun and threatening one of our group several times. After robbing us very, very thurougly, they tied us up at knife point (i dont think ive ever seen a bigger knife) and left. We all untied ourselves with ease and went to the police(no one had phones, they were all taken, but por suerte they left the car). The police werent there...great, so we went to get coffee THEN went to the police. All in all, I lost my computer (all my pictures, my essay that i was working on, my music etc) my ipod, my new camera, 400 pesos and monos cell phone.
Discovery of the morning: People here really are serious about socks...the robbers gave me SOCKS when they saw i was barefoot... They were shocked that I wouldn´t be wearing socks.

Saturday afternoon:
The police came to the house and looked around. I went to nap...shocking, I know. A while later mono came in and said that we had to go to the police to leave statements. We did that, it took forever, and was HILLARIOUS. I was soooooo tired and my spanish was NOT working. I essentially played scherades with the police officer who didn´t understand ANYTHING that I said. We then went back to the cabin and met up with other friends that were at there too. We all ate and hung out. Mono and the other 3 in our group wanted to head back, but I didn´t want to leave without seeing the OCEAN, so I stayed behind with the other group of friends. We went back to the house to dump my stuff then went out to surf and skate.
We hung out at the cabin (the friends cabin, mono and the others were gone) and cooked dinner, talked, etc. It was quite fun, then we all went to sleep early.
Discovery of the afternoon: Apparently police stations arent always open here....cool...

They told us it was late, but it was early...liars. We got up and saw ice outside...but surfing was still on. We went out to the beach and I sat in the car doing homework while others surfed. It was FREEZING. I had like 5 layers on (im not kidding) and i was still cold. On the bright side, i finished my essay. We then went out for lunch..dinner...stuff. It was tasty and the guy who owned the place was incredibly friendly. We then went BACK out to surf. I sat in the car, watching, and talking to those of the group who were smart enough to stay warm. They surfed until after dark, until they saw a seal and got scared out of the water (hahahaha). We then headed back to the cabin to pack up. On to the bus, on to the train, on to home.
Discovery of the day: If there is ice, surfing is still an acceptable option.

Woke up waaaaaay late and then went to San Isidro because the house was empty and I wanted something to do. I wandered around then came back home ( i had to jump the fence as i forgot my keys). Finally got access to a computer, then went out to American food with my host family. It was a blast. Mono didnt know about milkshakes, that was entertaining. It was AMAZING to finally eat a burger again, though the food here made me forget that I missed them.
Discovery of the day: My family here is wonderful and I am going to miss them!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Time Flies!

School was boring...as usual. I hung out around the house for the rest of the day doing homework etc. Chatted with family and life was good.
Discovery of the day: They eat bone marrow here!

Today was very much a repeat of yesterday, with one exception. When I got home, Vale came over and we hung out for a while. We enjoyed the amazingly warm weather and chowed down on dulce de leche and bon bons. Down side: The siphon attacked me while I was trying to open it. Bubbly water EVERYWHERE... then it happened to Mono. I went to bed at 7:30 pm.
Discovery of the day: They don't use/have frozen fruit here because a bag costs 100 pesos (33$)

Walking tour of death. I got up at 7, took a remis to the train, then the crowded train to downtown. We then walked around town looking at places that had to do with Eva Peron. It was actually pretty cool, and not really the tour of death...but my knee was KILLING me. It was all swollen and bruised and I don't know why. After the tour we ate lunch and I traveled home to meet Martin who had mistaken our meeting point and was waiting for me at the college rather than downtown :) On the way home Nate was dive bombed by some mutant bird that dropped and unbelievable amount of green bird droppings all over his back. By the time that I got to Martin (after getting moderately lost on my way back) I had walked/stood for 7 hours. My knee was very resentful of that fact. I hung out with Martin, then went home and took a nap. I was supposed to go to a tango show, but I didn't because I was exhausted. I stayed home and read for class.
Other random facts that fit in to the day: The group that I intended to stay with downtown was robbed at knife point. Everything is okay, but it was a mess. Poor them!
On a brighter note, I have decided to bake a cake w/ my sister Lulu. Their concept of cake here is very different from ours. So I am going to show them what cake is all about.
Discovery of the day: They dont use/have measuring spoons here! They think that it is a strange concept.

Went to class, came home. I then spent the rest of the day lounging around the house. I was hoping something interesting would happen near by (I couldn't really make the trip down to the Jazz club to watch Clarke...sorry!) but nothing was really going on. I kept pestering Mono, but apparently Saturday is Friends Day, which is as celebrated as the 4th of July at home, so everyone was building up energy for the excitement. At about midnight, Mono gave in and we went to a restaurant by the river and ate fries/ looked for the southern cross which we could not find/ looked at the city skyline which is less pretty than Seattle's but a WHOLE lot bigger. We rocked out to 80's music and spoke in Spanish, it was quite fun.
Discovery of the day: They dont know what frosting is! No, really...its true. Feel free to be as horrified as I was.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quite the weekend

I got a migraine and left class early. After sleeping forever I got up and spent the day sitting around the house. I hung out with my host brother and cousins at night and life was good.
Discovery of the day: The puppy is coming back!

Hung out around the house today and then ran errands with my host mom. We went around to drop my host brother off at work, went to pick up the PUPPY, then went for tea at my host grandparents house. Afterwards, we picked up Lulu from work and her boyfriend from the boat (he came in from Uruguay). Afterwards, I spent a long time talking to Lulu and her boyfriend, and then we made dinner together. Lulu is a chef and was babying Gonzalo and me as we tried to chop peppers (I am a pro pepper chopper now), make guacamole, etc. The three of us and Mono then ate dinner then I went to hang out w/ my host Mono and cousins again. We were out until 7:30 in the morning - it was absurd. My cousins tried to pop popcorn by putting it in the middle of a cellphone circle and making all the cells ring...it didn't work... shocking. I met a bunch of new people and had a blast!
Discovery of the day: Popping popcorn in a convection oven starts fires.

After getting up at 10:00 (yes 10, i really did get NO sleep), I spent they day laying in the sun. The weather was AMAZING. I napped outside, I napped inside, it was a nap-filled day. Taylor got in from Washington (we both went to Capital, and now to UW), and found his way (amazingly) to my house. We hung out and my family fell in love with him. After tea time, and dinner (eating leftover Mexican food (mmmmm)) we watched part of King Kong with my host mom before leaving with Mono. We went to his frirends house for empenadas to celebrate a birthday. Taylor and I then left to go to Martin's birthday! We danced FOREVER then left and danced FOREVER elsewhere with my host cousin again. Everywhere closed at around 5:30 and we parted ways. I went with Mono and two friends to eat breakfast because by that time it was 7:00. Then I got home...exhausted...again.
Discovery of the day: King Kong is a HORRIBLE film.

Sunday is bbq day. Oh what a good day. 16 of us (host parents, cousins, aunt, uncle, sibblings, bfs/gfs of fam, and taylor) sat around in the AMAZING weather and ate huge amounts of meat and wonderful food. We were given hats to wear because it was so sunny, I even got a bit burnt. It was wonderfully fun. Many of the younger crowd stayed late and played playstation soccer, had tea time, dinner etc. I had to do homework, but I had several human dictionaries sitting all around me, so it wasn't bad. Wonderful weekend.
Discovery of the day: Juggling is contagious... when one person starts, anyone who can juggle instinctively joins them.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meat party!

School, food, quality time.
Discovery of the day: meals here can last forever, you can talk over dinner for hours.

watching movies with my host cousin, host cousins gf, and host brother. However, I was lameHad class today, but no class tomorrow. To celebrate the lack of class, I intended to stay up late and fell asleep part way through the first movie...and slept all the way through the second.
Discovery of the day: Airplane is a good movie...at least the part that I saw was.

Happy Argentine Independence Day! I woke up and went to my host cousins' house for a bbq/birthday party/independence day celebration. It was wonderful. Sooooo much meat, soooooooo many pastires, soooooooo much family time. It was great. First we had lots of meat, then it was coffee time, then it was dessert time, then it was tea time, then it was dinner time. There was lots of skateboarding/video games/etc. mixed in. They tried to convince me to eat blood sausage again, but I wouldn't do it. They are cruel cruel people, but they make a WONDERFUL dulce de leche mouse.
After dinner, Vale and I had to do our absurd amount of difficult reading. My host brother was our human dictionary, but he didn't know all of it because a lot of the words were outdated and NEVER used. When an argentine college grad can't understand my homework, how should I??
Discovery of the day: My host brother makes a very convenient human dictionary

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A wonderful break

Uruguay was wonderful. The 3 hour ferry ride over was easy. The boat was beautiful and had really comfy chairs, so most of us slept almost the whole way (as we had to get up early, go to the train station, take the train, get to the dock etc all quite early in the morning).
When we got to Colonia, it was chilly (which gave me a nice excuse to wear my new jacket) but not cold by any measure. We wandered to our hostel which was adorable. We had 3 rooms in a really cute house-turned-hostel.


After dropping off our stuff, we began to explore. We ate lunch (really good pizza) and meandered through the old part of town with super old streets and buildings.
We hung out on a windy beach for a while, and enjoyed the scenery before heading to the lighthouse.

Beach & Lighthouse

Back at the hostel we rested and chatted for a while. We discovered our rooms were FREEZING. We watched The Negotiator before going out to a late, long, relaxed dinner.
After dinner we came back and hung out. We sang the national anthem just to be somewhat patriotic on the 4th of July.
Then we slept.
Discovery of the day: You can lock people IN rooms in our hostel... heh...Ben.

We woke up to wind. It was quite loud, but when we got outside the weather was INCREDIBLE. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. Perfect. After a long, relaxed breakfast, we wandered through parts of Colonia that we hadn't seen then headed to a beach.

The Beach

We hung out in the sun and the sand for quite a while. It was lovely. After picking up our stuff from the hostel we headed once again to the center of Colonia to get ice cream! So good. You don't even know. Yum.
Two of our eleven went to catch a boat while the rest of us headed to watch the sunset. It was absolutely amazing.

7/11 of us

We killed time before catching our boat by shopping around. After the 1 hr ferry ride, we were back in Argentina and in taxis on our way home. We were exhausted.
I got home and my host brother had a bunch of friends over for a bbq, so we all hung out until very, very late...because it is Argentina, and people here NEVER go to bed.
Discovery of the day: They have mosquitoes here year-round...

Woke up at like 3. Apparently my family had knocked on my door to get me up for a fancy lunch, but I didn't wake up. I did, however, get up in time for lunch. It was delicious. Spent the rest of my day doing homework, oh joy. Now I am about to go to bed.
Discovery of the day: When you sleep in until 3, there is a lot less time in the day for there to be a discovery of the day.

Love to all, family!
Feel free to email me, I love hearing from you!
Aunt Wendy, As you can see, I have been quite busy, but I will respond to your email soon! Thank you for keeping in touch!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm bad at blogs

Hey family and friends, sorry I haven't been keeping up. Life has been busy.
Note to all others: I am not a blog freak! I promise! This obsessive detail is just to keep my wonderful family and friends up to date on my adventures since I can't talk to them!
Love to all!

My host cousin came over and he was TONS of fun to talk to. I hope he comes back, he was a blast. He is 15 and knows very little English.
Homework is slowly killing me
Discovery of the day: According to my host cousin the 3 best things to come out of the US are: Rock and roll, Coca-cola, and Star Wars.

I spent most of the day reading/talking to my host cousin who was still here. I have started the second book in a series I am reading. The books are horrible, but so addictive. So much reading! Between two lit classes and my book, if nothing else, my reading will certainly improve.
Discovery of the day: Puppies are less cute when they bite.

Read, sleep, eat.
Discovery of the day: I will never take 2 lit classes at once...ever again.

In an attempt to do ANYTHING but my presentation, I went on a very, very, very long run today. It was nice. Then I did homework. Lots and lots of homework. We had to read Los Mensu which was SOOOO confusing! My host mom helped me, she is wonderful!
Discovery of the day: I run a lot further when I am avoiding homework.

Went to the Tigre Museum of Fine arts. The building is AMAZING and gorgeous and wonderful and everything good and lovely in this world. I can't tell you that I was blown away by the art. Some of it was good, some of it was just sketches. My legs hurt all day from the run yesterday. Ouch.
Discovery of the day: Here, the price of 5 liters of beer is the same as the price of 1 bag of Skittles...

Did my presentation and it went pretty well. I then went to San Isidro with my host mom trying to get money out of the bank to pay for my housing here. While in San Isidro, I got a knee length black jacket and I LOVE it. Under 100$ US here, amazing. Then went to coffee with Martin and sabotaged his study efforts. EVERY coffee place here is a million times fancier and nicer than in the US. I had a 'submarine' which means hot milk that you melt a chocolate bar in to make hot chocolate. It was wonderful.
Off to Uruguay tomorrow, I'll be back with many pictures!
Discovery of the day: I can only take money from ATMs, banks won't give it to me.... that is irritating.
(Sorry Martin, you didn't let me take another picture, and the fam wants to see who you are! Besides, its a wonderful picture!)