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¡Bienvenidos a Buenos Aires!

July 1st, 2012 kfrile14

I can’t believe I’ve already been living in Buenos Aires for a week! It’s weird because I simultaneously feel like I just got here and that I’ve been here for so much longer. Either way, the past week has been a blur. I moved in with my host mom, toured the city, and started school. The most challenging part of the experience thus far (besides communicating constantly in Spanish) has been adjusting to life in a city that is so different from any I’ve ever lived in. Before I came here I heard people compare Buenos Aires to other cities like Paris or New York, but really it can’t be compared because it is just so different. There is so much to see that I don’t think I can get to it all in just one year. I’m going to try to do my best though!

While I am here I am trying to balance exploring the city like a tourist and living like a local. As far as touring goes, I have been to the obelisk (the iconic monument in the center of the city), walked down Calle Florida (the seemingly endless main shopping street), experienced a protest at the Plaza de Mayo (the historic plaza commemorating the May revolution that led to Argentina’s independence), and seen the Casa Rosada (where the President works) among other things.  As far as living like a local, I’ve gone to the grocery store, joined a gym, and bought a cell phone. Trying to adapt to life in Buenos Aires has been made so much easier thanks to another Holy Cross student, Cynthia, who lives in the same apartment with me. She has lived with my host mom for the past five months and she has been an amazing source of information on everything from places to eat, things to see, and how to not spend money like a tourist. Even though she will only be here for a few more weeks it’s great to have another person in the house to help with the adjustment period. I can’t imagine coming here and being one-on-one all the time with my host mom. I also can’t imagine trying to figure out the neighborhood and daily activities without Cynthia.

Now that I have started school I am on a schedule, but it is so different from the one I have at Holy Cross. Usually at Holy Cross, I get up early in the morning, go to the gym, have breakfast, and then spend the rest of the day going to classes and meetings and doing work. I usually eat dinner around 6:00pm and then I go to bed early. Here, however, I am on Argentine time. I get up later and have a tiny breakfast before I meet up with other Holy Cross students and we walk about an hour to get to the Academia, which is where we have class from 9:30am until 1:30pm. After school, we walk together to get a cheap lunch nearby and then we all head back to our houses via the Subte (their version of the subway or metro). I get home around 3:30pm and then I have the rest of the afternoon to myself. Usually I am so exhausted from my day that I can’t do much more than the little bit of homework we get and maybe work out at the gym. My host mom gets back from work around 7:00pm and we sit down to dinner around 8:30pm. Here, that is an early dinner—some of the other HC students don’t eat dinner until after 10pm! My schedule this week will be a little different because all the Holy Cross students are taking a trip together to Iguazú Falls, which is on the Brazil border, north of Buenos Aires. I hear it is breathtaking and I can’t wait to see it!

the Holy Cross group at the River soccer stadium (the two rival teams in Buenos Aires are River and Boca)

The obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires. It sits in the middle of the widest avenue in the world!

The Casa Rosada

Puente de la mujer in Puerto Madero (the city's newest and most expensive neighborhood)

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Katie Riley '14

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Former Blogger