Que onda! Welcome back to the blog, thanks for checking in 🙂 I am feeling quite daunted by the blank page ahead of me, so I’ve decided to break down my updates by topic this week, starting with…
Last Thursday began another round of doula training led by my host mom, and this time I am functioning as an active participant in the course. If you recall from my earlier posts, I attended the second half of the June-July group meetings, mostly as an observer, but at that point I was comprehending maybe just 40% of the conversation, as opposed to ~90% this past week (plus contributing my thoughts!) It has been so difficult for me to measure my growth in Spanish the past few months, in the hospital each week, talking with my host family, even in Spanish classes, I think because I continue to feel that the more I learn, the more aware I am of how little I know. Having these doula meetings as tangible markers of my growth provided much gratification and relief to me this week. I came away from the group beaming, simply from being able to understand what was being said! Language is crazy!!! (ok, I’m the first person to ever say that out loud). So once a week through the end of October, our doula group will work through various texts/teachings/discussions/activities. We are a small group of 3, plus Ana and another seasoned doula, Belu, which provides a very safe environment for me to feel comfortable sharing my ideas and speaking up if I don’t understand.
You may have seen this in the news, but two Fridays ago Argentina’s Vice President survived an assassination attempt, prompting a national holiday for the country and creating much heated political debate around the city. Argentina became a democracy in 1983 after the fall of the military dictatorship that led to the disappearance of nearly 30,000 people. I had many conversations with my Argentinian friends, host family, and even strangers that week and saw directly just how divided the people of this country are politically (not unlike our situation in the States). Some people believed that the assasination attempt was staged to win the favor of their Vice President, a very politically divisive figure here. Other people felt very strongly that no matter where you fall on the political scale, if you remember the previous dictatorship, this act was a threat to the country’s relatively new democratic society, and something to be taken very seriously. Most of my Argentine friends are very politically engaged and learning from them, as well as my teachers at school, my doula coworkers, and my host family, has given me a much deeper understand of the history and culture here.
Having SO mUch Fun:
I mentioned in my last post that I was going to visit one of the seven natural wonders of the world (Iguazú Falls), and let me just say it Did Not Disappoint (obviously). My friend Lucas and I spent the weekend alternating between eating incredible local produce (#HighRawVegans) and stuffing ourselves with cheese, french fries, and chipa (Argentina’s version of a breadstick). When we got to the peak of the falls we stopped speaking entirely for what must have been 20 minutes, overwhelmed by the enormity and power of the water. We spent the nights dancing and eating at local markets and exploring the less-touristy streets in town. Please take a moment to appreciate this enormous avocado we ate while standing over las cataratas:
A friend of mine won tickets to a ballet at Teatro Colon a few weeks back, which is one of the most famous theaters in the world for it’s acoustics. Here is a classic ceiling pic:
One of my very best friends (s/o Rachel Wozniak, Belmont Marketing School 2021 Grad) came to visit me last week! Nobody here could understand why someone would come so far just to visit their friend, but it was basically the greatest honeymoon anyone could ask for (wine tastings, botanical gardens, jazz bars, sightseeing, neighborhood exploring, bike riding, pool-side happy hours—how divine!) Needless to say, we were either laughing or walking for 8 days straight. We also checked off so many restaurants, cafes, tourist spots, activities on my must-see list. It’s going to take me awhile to mourn her leaving, and to come to the realization that I have roughly only 5 weeks left in this city. In an attempt to ignore that, here are photos from our week:
And with that, some sentences:
September 5: I found a real bagel in this city!!!!!
September 7: Today I ran into a guy playing ping pong that grew up 30 minutes from me in Illinois, el mundo es un pañuelo as they say.
September 13: Rachel and I traveled far and wide to obtain an ice cream cone the size of a small armchair and it was easily the greatest witchery I’ve ever seen. ~don’t worry, here is a pic:
That is all for now, y’all (trying to get back into saying things like “y’all” to soften the blow of October 25th). Same time, same place next week (or two).