Rose Cahalan rss Buenos Aires, Spring 2009

Rose Cahalan is a junior studying English and Cognitive Neuroscience at Rice University in Houston, TX and participating in the IES Buenos Aires program. The fantastical stories of Jorge Luis Borges first sparked her interest in Argentine literature. In Buenos Aires she hopes to learn Spanish and drink lots of mate.

Rose's Posts

  • Argentina Reflections – A Year Later

    To anyone considering study abroad, I give the typical advice – just go! It will not always be easy, but that’s the point – to challenge yourself by doing something off the beaten path. You are incredibly privileged to have this opportunity, so make the most of it.

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  • Hello, reverse culture shock

    I just moved in with my friend Vani, and she’s taken in a stray dog that wandered up to her house. A majestic white Husky, he seems very well cared for, but she hasn’t been able to find an owner yet. We think that maybe he was abandoned. He’s very sweet and gentle, grumbles and [...]

  • One fine day in Peru: Electric Quechua Blues and Interspecies Friendship

    The monkey would alternate between peacefully riding the dog and play-fighting with him, the two biting and swatting at each other in a flurry of jaws and tails. The little girl watched on in glee, shouting to the monkey, “Kill the dog! Kill the dog!”


  • No hay monedas, por Dios: the Argentine coin shortage

    This morning I logged on to my daily reading addiction, The New Yorker, to see a front-page piece on the Argentine coin shortage, which Slate has called “the world’s most annoying economic crisis.” Both articles provide some excellent insights into a bizarre problem.

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  • My Love Affair with Argentine Food (Or: Peanut Butter vs. Dulce de Leche)

    “¿Que rico, no?” (It’s delicious, right?)

    Maria smiled at me as I bit into a piece of toast with dulce de leche, the national dessert of Argentina. It was my first breakfast in Buenos Aires, and my host sister couldn’t believe I had never tasted the sweet that Argentines worship with a fervor equaled only by their devotion to fútbol and the Catholic church.

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  • 28 Hours on a Bus in Patagonia

    Some thoughts from the longest and most scenic bus ride of my life.

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  • Tips for future students

    This post will probably be utterly boring unless you are planning to study or travel in Argentina. I tried to think back to the questions I had when getting ready to go abroad and came up with this scattered list. Homestay vs. Apartment: I do wish I had researched this more, although I’m happy with [...]

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  • El piropo

    “Te quiero, ¿casarte conmigo?” (I love you, want to get married?): a guy working in a bakery. “You have broken his heart for all time” (in hilariously bad English): his coworker, after I politely declined the proposal. “¿Que tal, guapa?” (What’s up, cutie?): a policeman. “¡Oy, nena, pelirroja!” (Hey, girl, redhead!): a high school student [...]

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  • Santas populares: Where piety meets pop culture

    I’ve been learning a lot recently about santas populares (popular saints), and I think it’s a good example of how study abroad allows you to combine academics with real-world experience. It all started a few weeks ago when I visited the Difunta Correa, the largest religious shrine in South America. What began in 1940 as [...]

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  • Getting stranded in San Juan

    I’m sitting on a tree stump next to a dirt road surrounded by acres of lush grapevines. We’re only about half an hour from the city bustle of San Juan, but this area is so tranquil you’d never know it. The lazy evening light that photographers call “magic hour” casts a golden sheen on everything [...]

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  • Maruja

    Maruja is the maid in my homestay. She has worked there for several decades. I don’t know how old she is, but her hair is silver and the skin around her eyes wrinkles when she smiles, which is often, especially when she watches old Westerns on TV. Every night she sits in the blue glow [...]


  • Snapshots from a weekend in Buenos Aires

    Friday Morning – Course registration. My classes are Spanish Language, Creative Writing, and Documentary Filmmaking at IES, and Intro Painting and Argentine Literature at UMSA. Afternoon – Paperchase to get documents for UMSA registration. On the way, I eat the best meal of my trip so far, a $4 US bowl of ravioli in a [...]

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  • Four Surprises

    Today was my fourth day in Argentina – so here are four of the many surprises those days have brought. I hope they’ll be helpful for potential IES students. 1: Leaving is the hardest part The first big surprise was that leaving home was much more overwhelming than getting my bearings in Argentina. There was [...]

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  • Esperando

    I leave for Buenos Aires in less than a month. To me it feels, as most impending major changes usually do, at once very far away and very immediate. A giant new suitcase lurks in my closet, Spanish textbooks are stacked on my desk, my parents have been trained in the use of Skype, and [...]

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