May 6, 2018
I think this last week has been one of the best of my study abroad experience. Last weekend, I took a trip to Santiago, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, Chile. It was the first time I had really gone somewhere completely solo, but it wasn’t too bad because I was able to visit two of my friends from my hometown that are currently living in Chile. I had such an incredible trip!
The first place I went was Valparaiso, and this was the view of the sunset from my hostel! It was amazing, I physically couldn’t stop taking photos. I was lucky to be able to find a free walking tour while I was there, so I was really able to explore and get to know the city.
The next place I went was Viña del Mar, where one of my friends have been living since August. It was such a beautiful city, and I couldn’t believe how beautiful the beaches were there.
I was so lucky to have a friend that was able to show me around Viña. One of my favorite parts was when I went to watch the sunset on the beach. While the sun was going down, we came across a guy selling chocolate covered strawberries on a stick on the pier where we were sitting. They were so delicious!
Another great part of my trip was the few days I spent in Santiago. My friend and I went on a hike called Cerro Manquehue where, at the top, you can look out over all of Santiago. I had never seen anything like it!
It was such a great opportunity to be able to compare two Latin American countries that are so close to each other yet are still so different. Chileans use so much slang and speak so quickly, I could barely understand their Spanish! I really enjoyed discussing with my friends the differences in culture between Chile and Argentina. I feel like many times in the US we group all the nations in Latin America into one category, but they are truly so distinct. My trip to Chile really gave me some perspective and definitely broadened my worldview.
See you next week!
April 25, 2018
Hola from BA! Since we loved our tango lesson a few weeks back, this week my friend and I decided to take a salsa/bachata dance class. It was being offered for just $1 for international students! Honestly, neither of us are the most coordinated dancers, but we had so much fun trying out the dances and laughing with the other international students.
Every weekend there are little fairs (ferias) around the city selling gifts, souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, and practically anything else you can think of! My friends and I spent a lot of time walking around this one in Palermo, and I loved the little paper cranes that this person had hanging throughout her stand. The funniest thing I saw being sold were tshirts for small dogs! I was so tempted to buy one to bring home for my dog.
After walking around the feria for a while, we wandered around Palermo a bit, taking in all the beautiful sights. I feel like Palermo is known for its street art and giant walls covered in all sorts of painting and graffiti. Here was one wall that we thought was really cool.
Also this week, I came across a juice bar/açaí bowl place called Be Juice. The bowl I ordered was absolutely amazing and I pretty much inhaled it. I think I had really been craving a meal like this since I eat this type of food so often back home! Be Juice was the closest thing I could find to RVA’s Ginger Juice, one of my all time favorite restaurants.
Chau for now!
April 18, 2018
Wow. What an beautiful week it has been in Buenos Aires! The weather was absolutely perfect; around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny with a nice breeze every day.
This week, I went to a food truck festival in Palermo, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in BA. There were all different kinds of food, from argentine comida parrilla, to middle eastern cuisine, to trendy mediterranean and even Vegan trucks! I was so overwhelmed, I wanted to try everything.
The festival included live music, which was super cool. The lady singing had a great voice, and the band was doing covers of a lot of old American music (the Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.). The crowd was loving it, clapping and singing along to the songs they knew. I always think it’s so funny to listen to Argentines sing the words to American music in their accents.
This weekend, I went roller blading in the rose gardens in BA. It was incredible, I’m definitely going to be coming back during my time here. People can rent roller blades or bikes for only around $150 argentine pesos an hour ($7.50 USD), which is plenty of time to blade around. My friends and I went right around sunset, so the gardens were absolutely beautiful.
Lastly, I wanted to show my typical BA breakfast. Most people here drink coffee, tea, or orange juice and have toast or a croissant with jelly, cream, or dulce de leche for breakfast. I’m not a huge toast person, but since it’s the custom here I’ve been adapting. Usually in the morning I make myself either toast with peanut butter and banana, or avocado toast!
Chau for now!
April 9, 2018
Hola from BA! I’ve had to get a lot of homework done this week since I accidentally didn’t get any work done during the long Easter break. It seems like the more time I have to complete assignments, the less productive I am!
So, I’ve taken this opportunity to explore the different cafes and coffee shops around the city and find the best places to do some school work as well as enjoy a coffee. I forgot the name of this one, but it is located in the San Telmo neighborhood, and I loved how it had two levels of seating!
The Lobo Cafe is definitely my favorite cafe to study/get a snack/grab a coffee in Puerto Madero. This is in the same neighborhood as my University, UCA, so I am somewhat of a frequent flyer.
This was a new place I tried today in Recoleta near my host mom’s apartment. It’s called La Casa de Gretha, and it has the best pastries I think I’ve ever had. Even better, when you order a coffee it comes out with free mini cookies! The tables are super cute, they have dried leaves and flowers in all of them.
Well this isn’t a cafe, but I wanted to feature my favorite ice cream spot, Rapanui, and its adorable back patio. Their dulce de leche helado is seriously addicting!
Chauuuu for now!
April 2, 2018
Felices Pascuas from BA! This weekend was extra long because we had Thursday, Friday, and Monday off of classes. I was so surprised because at UR we don’t have any sort of break for Easter. I was hoping to run errands this weekend, but I felt like I couldn’t get anything done since so many businesses were closed for the holiday!
It seemed like everywhere I went this weekend places were selling conejos de chocolate (chocolate bunnies) such and chocolate eggs such as these!
This year, I was my own Easter Bunny! Here were some chocolate treats I bought myself from my favorite chocolate/ice cream place Rapanui. The chocolate eggs were filled with m&m’s and smaller chocolate eggs which I thought was amazing.
Families filled the parks this holiday weekend. I saw so many parents relaxing on picnic blankets while kids ran around with a soccer ball or played with their dogs. Even though we’re a few weeks into fall, the warm weather makes it still feel like summer.
Earlier this week, my friend and I went to an exchange student celebration! It included a ton of different activities such as bubble soccer, slacklining, soccer tennis, live music, and a polo match to watch! We had a great time meeting a bunch of other exchange students from all over the world.
Ciao for now!
March 26, 2018
This week, my classes officially started up and I finally have a concrete schedule. All the UCA buildings are brick, so they really remind me of UR. So far I really like the classes I chose, my favorite one is called “Diseño y Creatividad.” It focuses on the history of Argentine artists and art in Buenos Aires. As students in the class, we get to try to imitate different artists in our own way. We spent about 30 minutes of the 3-hour class just drawing which I thought was pretty fun even though I am terrible at art!
Also this week, I discovered a way to play pick-up soccer with Argentine kids! I had a great time doing this because it really challenged my soccer skills. We were supposed to be playing 6v6, but only ten people showed up so we had to play 5v5! It was still fun, just a little bit more of a workout on the decently big field we were playing on.
These huge walls with barbed wire line the soccer fields where we play for some reason, so when I first arrived at the address I was told, I was convinced that I was in the wrong place. But, I ended up just following other people wearing soccer gear through the entrance and into the hidden complex with more than 10 soccer fields! It was incredible that these fields fit in the middle of a bustling city.These are my all-time favorite cleats. They fit so well and I’m sure they bring me good luck on the soccer field. I’m so glad I brought them to Argentina so I was prepared to play pick-up soccer!
See you next week!
March 19, 2018
This past week, my new Canadian friend and I took off to go hiking in Argentinian Patagonia. This is the most southern part of Argentina, the Santa Cruz province. We decided to visit the city of El Calafate, located right next to the Lago Argentino and the village of El Chaltén within El Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.
This was the first place we went in El Calafate. This glacier is called Glaciar Perito Moreno and is one of the world’s only glaciers that is actually getting bigger, not shrinking. It was incredible to see the pieces falling off of it– each one made a huge booming sound as it crashed into the water. It was absolutely breathtaking, the photo doesn’t do it justice!
Here was the best breakfasts we had at one of our hostels. It really hit the spot and helped recover us from long hours of hiking the previous day.
As we arrived in El Chaltén, it was super rainy. We didn’t have the greatest weather, but we made the best of it! This village lies at the base of so many hiking trails up to and around the mountains Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy.
One hike that we did lasted 8 hours. It was incredibly difficult towards the end and our legs were shaking as we came down the mountain, but it was definitely worth it! We saw the most incredible views.
This was at the top of our longest hike, called the Laguna de los Tres. The mountain was a little obscured at the top, but it was still so spectacular to see up close. We hiked through water, mud, and snow to get there!
This coming week my classes are officially starting, and I’m so excited to finally have a concrete schedule.
See you next week!