September Wrap-UpBuenos Aires, Fall 2010
A short summary of a few things I took away from September…
Last month I celebrated my 22nd birthday. It was the first time I had celebrated a birthday outside the United States. It was definitely a moment of reflection for me. If you had told me just last year this time that I would be celebrating my 22nd birthday in Argentina I wouldn’t have believed you. Young people who come from where I do don’t often have opportunities like this – much less entertain the possibility of traveling abroad at all. It’s definitely a blessing to be able to bring in a new year in a new country. In that regard I’ve truly been blessed.
My birthday dinner was great. While at first they put on a bit of a performance acting as if it were any other evening, my host family eventually brought out a cake for me and sang the Spanish version of the birthday song at dinner that night:
“¡Que los cumplan feliz!
¡Que los cumplan feliz!
¡Que los cumplan a Jonathan!
¡Que los cumplan feliz!” (… I think, haha)
I went out with friends that weekend club hopping and had a great time. It’s strange though – every year as I get older it feels like birthdays are becoming less and less important to me overall. To be honest I would have been content staying in my room watching movies. Nonetheless, I’m glad I went out and enjoyed myself.
School Starts Back Home
My first wave of homesickness came when school started back in the U.S. the first week of September. Many of my friends began posting Facebook albums and Tweeting about certain things they were doing now that everyone was back in town for school, and it was definitely tough to read it all and not be close enough to participate in any of it. Feelings of homesickness were the strongest whenever I was bored, because more than likely I would log on to Facebook and Twitter to pass the time – both the main sources of information from which I found out what everyone was up to. I’ve discovered that social communication tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Skype have been a gift and a curse to my study abroad experience. Obviously they have all made it much easier to stay in touch with my friends and family without having to spend any money. But they have also brought everything that I left behind in the U.S. front and center in my consciousness – allowing me to dwell on what I could be doing or wish I were doing with my friends and family.
Developing a Routine
Last month I also finally developed a routine that ushers in a little more order to my life here. I’m working for Hecho en Buenos Aires (a magazine that offers the homeless in Buenos Aires a chance to have articles published and sold for profit), taking classes, and also enjoying the city in a much more structured way now. It also doesn’t hurt that I finally know my way around either. In a sense, it has added some stability to a place that at one point I was completely unfamiliar with and apprehensive about. Every day I pretty much know what to expect and I’ve been able to keep everything in front of me. The only bad part about this is that it’s been a little boring lately. My days are much longer and I have less time or energy for exploring the city during the week. What time I do have on the weekends I tend to catch up on sleep and do the typical club/bar hop at night – which gets very repetitive after a while. Luckily I will be going on several trips in the near future, which should spice things up a bit.
While it seems like everything is becoming more routine, it has also been going incredibly fast. I’ve already been here more than two months and I have less than two months left before it’ll be time to leave. With Spring break coming next week and other short breaks these next two months, I’ll be writing my October wrap-up and farewell blog before you know it…
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