Wednesday, November 7, 2007

here and there and everywhere

hey everyone! i´ve been travelling all over the place here in argentina and i figured it was about time to fill you all in! the map above has my city in a box and the cities nearby i´ve been to underlined. to give you a concept of distance, from my town (9 de Julio) to Bragado, it´s 100 km, or an hour in a car.
let´s see..
the first trip i took here was my first week to buenos aires or i went with my host mom for three days. the night day we arrived, and walked around recoleta. recoleta is a barrio (neighborhood) that is famous for it´s caf├ęs, galleries, and the famous Recoleta Cemetary (which houses Evita, among other notable folks). We got to go to a random expo about Les Luthiers (great band to google if you´re bored) and some shoppings that were filled with arty stuff. the next morning we took a citytour all around the city. The barrios I remember visiting are La Boca, Palermo, Retiro, and Puerto Madero. We ate lunch in Puerto Madero, which has the best food in the city. We later explored a lot of the shopping district and ate a lot of food.

the second trip outside of 9 de julio that i took was to bragado. bragado is a town that´s nearby and there is an exchange student from wyoming there. i took my first bus ride there with a couple of my friends. we just hung out there for an afternoon, but experiencing public transport was really fun!
the next weekend there was a rotary conference in mariapolis. this city isn´t on the map i made. it´s a ¨perfect society¨type place where people live for one year. they make everything they use organically and hang out and spread the perfect society love. i think there´s also something religious hanging out there behind the scenes, and i´m not sure what´s up with that. we were there for two days in a retreat type center.

later, i got the opportunity to go to mar del plata with dani from wyoming and her host mom. it´s a town on the shore, and known as the best beach spot in argentina. unfortunately i went in the winter and it was freeeeeeeezing. we walked a TON and got to see the atlantic ocean. the reason we went to was to see my friend´s host sister in a swimming competition. we took the bus there and arrived at 7 am, spent the whole day there, left at midnight for home and arrived at 7 am. it was a pretty nuts trip. there was a cool port area though. and good cake that night.

that weekend, i went to the horse festival in bragado. it was really super argentine and emphasized a lot of argentine traditions. i also got to go out in a new town and meet a bunch of college kids who were home for the horse festival and hang out with them, which was refreshing.

soon after, my mom and i went to la plata to go get my host brother. he studies engineering there. we spent the day there and got to go to the cathedral which was a really cool experience. i got to use a lot of my humanities knowledge. we also walked around a lot and got to see university students celebrating their reception to whatever profession they were preparing for. it was a long drive -- 5 hours, but on the way home i got to talk to my host mom and brother and his girlfriend so it was fun anyways.

this past weekend i had a really great trip with three other exchange students (aileen from hawaii, maggie from pennsylvania, and dani from wyoming) all centered around the ryla conference. we drove to buenos aires, but because our driver (maggie´s host dad) had meetings we got to make some stops along the way. we stopped in chivilcoy which is a little bit bigger than 9 de julio and got to walk around there for a bit, and compare it to our respective towns. after we stopped in mercedes, but only for a little bit. then we drove to buenos aires and met up with my friend juan who lived in windsor, canada with rotary last year! we walked around bsas with him and his friend and got to spend a bunch of time in a feria artesania (like an art fair? but it´s there permanently) and buy cute earrings and stuff. i got earrings and a necklace thing to hang on a chain made of flower petals in plastic. then we went back to his place and got our stuff and went to meet my friend hernan (who i also met in the states haha) at the Casa Rosada, which is basically the white house of argentina. we went out to dinner at puerto madero and drove back to his country house outside of buenos aires. the next morning we picked up a girl from nevada from her town and went to the ryla conference. it was really cool! we got to meet a bunch of kids from all over gran buenos aires. that night we had a Halloween dance party where everyone dressed up! then to get home we went to lujan where we hung out for a couple hours waiting for the bus. we went to the super famous Lujan Basilica and also hung out in sweet arty stores where i found a belt and a ring! hurrah!

overall, i´ve been having a great time travelling and seeing great places and meeting interesting people!

From RYLA weekend

take care everyone!