BA ReflectionsBuenos Aires, Spring 2011
Today marks the two week point since I’ve been back home in America. I’m slowly returning to my normal routine and enjoying all of the comforts that come with being back in my own house. Looking back at the ten goals I set for myself in my first post in this blog, I can proudly say I accomplished eight out of ten of the goals, nine if you include the honorable mention.
As a reminder here are the goals I posted again:
1. Play soccer with the locals, keep up when playing with the locals, go crazy at a local soccer stadium
I was able to practice two days a week with a local university soccer team, went to a local Racing Club game and also saw the Argentina vs Albania friendly.
2. Become close with my host family (Recently found out that I will be staying with a 37 year old lawyer in his home in the neighborhood of Barrio Norte)
My living situation turned out to be great. My host dad’s name was Juan and he was always there for a good conversation and laugh.
3. Make it to Patagonia in Southern Argentina
This turned out to be one of my favorite trips out of the entire four months where I was able to trek on glaciers and go on some awesome hikes.
4. Go to Chile (Attend Sensation White in Santiago, try surfing on the coast there)
I never made it to Chile and will hold a grudge against this country for a while after a volcanic eruption there forced me to take a 40 hour bus ride back to Buenos Aires from Patagonia.
5. Visit Iguazu Falls (One of the Seven Natural Wonders of South America)
Iguazu Falls put Niagara Falls to shame and is something I think everyone should try to see in their lifetime.
6. Dramatically improve my Spanish (at least to the conversational level)
My friends gave me a hard time with my Spanish for the first month or two, but by the end of the trip I can say I was able to hold conversations and pretty much understand everything people were saying.
7. Experience all the nightlife has to offer (Rumored 1-2 am club start times?)
The nightlife was wild to say the least. 1 or 2 am was was an early night out to make it to the boliche (what they called their clubs). There were nights where we shut down the clubs at 6 am and then grabbed breakfast after.
8. Try as much local food as possible: Bring on el carne
After four months I had a good taste of what Argentinan cuisine had to offer. From the delicious steaks, tasty empanadas and amazing sweets the food is definitely one of the things I miss the most out of Argentina.
9. Learn how to Tango (might be the toughest to achieve on this list)
I never took Tango lessons, but did go to a Tango show when my family was here to visit and saw on many occasions people dancing Tango on the streets. The steps were a lot more complicated than I thought.
10. Make the most of my weekends traveling and exploring South America
South America has so much to offer and I never would have known this if I had not traveled as much as I did. Throughout the trip I went to 4 countries (all over Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, and Uruguay) seeing all different types of landscapes including mountains, waterfalls, and glaciers.
***Honorable Mention: Learn something meaningful and interesting in my classes, the whole reason everyone goes to study abroad right?
I took four classes at IES and although they were taught in a much different style than my classes at Penn State, they were all interesting and gave me a good understanding of the history and daily life in Argentina.
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