School’s Out for Summer!

So far I’ve been enjoying my new found freedom from classes. This Friday, I’m changing host family’s as my amazing host mom here is heading to the US this weekend. I’m a little bummed that I have to leave this apartment early, but it will be really interesting to live with another family for a few weeks to compare and contrast.

The final countdown has begun. After some very hard goodbyes this weekend, it finally hit me that the semester is coming to an end. The city feels a little empty without most of our group back in the US, but there are so many things to do I am keeping myself occupied. This week one of our group members has her family in town, so we went back to el Tigre to go kayaking. The weather was absolutely perfect, and I actually managed to go swimming! Being in the middle of such a huge city, it is easy to forget how tropical this area can be. Palm trees, colorful birds, and beautiful scenery filled out excursion, and I think we all enjoyed Tigre. It was a much smaller group and it felt like a much more intimate experience. Plus, the train to get there only took about 50 minutes and cost only 1.50 Pesos (about 20 cents in US dollars) each way. We will definitely be coming back.

Right now I’m torn between thinking I have no time left in the city and thinking I have a ton of time left. December 7th seems really far away, but 3 weeks and a few days seems really close. I think part of it is the fact that it is so warm here. It does not feel like November in any way, shape, or form. I have definitely been playing Christmas music in my room, and may or may not be listening to it while writing this post.

Before I finish this post, there is one observation that I would like to write about, the contrast you see in this country. I’m certainly familiar with contrasts in neighborhoods; you can see that in just about any major city in the US. There are rich neighborhoods and poor neighborhoods, good parts of town and parts where you lock the car doors as you drive through. In Buenos Aires, the contrast between the rich parts and the poor parts are huge, but they are also pushed right up next to each other. Here are both neighborhoods below, sorry the quality is not great but for obvious reasons I did not go walking through the bad neighborhood, namely for my mother’s heart not to explode.

Some of the other contrasts were also incredible. In a matter of less than an few hours, I can go from the heart of one of the largest cities in the world, to a quiet beach town, or a tropical river delta, or rolling hills and great plains similar to the ones I’m used to seeing in KC. Living in Buenos Aires, it is easy to think that this is how the rest of the country lives, but it is far from it. Of course, you can see the changes in geography in the US as well ranging from Hawaii to Alaska, but it feels much more condensed here. This country can offer almost anything you can imagine for fun, whether you liking dancing at a club until the sun rises or exploring glaciers, you will find some of the most beautiful places you could ever imagine.

Speaking of beautiful places, this weekend I will be going to the Andes Mountains to see the tallest mountain in the Americas. Look for lots of pictures and another post next week!

I will probably have one more post describing my various adventures, and then start talking about the culture in general plus reflections. So, if you have any questions about Argentina please leave them below or message me on Facebook, I would love to answer them. I feel like after 4 months, I have a pretty good grasp of the culture and the people or Argentina, or at least Buenos Aires.

Thanks for reading

Scott

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