Where to begin! So much has happened in the last few days but here is my attempt to sum it up…
Since my last entry, I have gotten the hang of my studies. Most indefinitely upon arriving, I was struggling with the “study” part of study abroad. When you are overseas, it’s easy to get distracted by the many things there are to do here.
On our outings thus far I have gone to El Cerro de la Gloria, Plaza de la Independencia, and Parque General San Martin where I saw the Portones del Parque and the Fuente de los Continentes. I attended my first Tango Show called Con Vino Tango that had free wine tasting included (I can get used to this). Last week we went to el Museo Area Fundacional to learn about how Mendoza came to be founded, the history of the city and its major earthquake in 1861.
I have been to the best “boliche” (nightclub) yet. A big group of us consisting of my friends from the program and Mason and I’s host siblings’ friends (we were easily 30) went to Runner last weekend. There was huge inflatable beach balls that were thrown around the crowd, fireworks and awesome music and lights. Best part is we got into VIP for free thanks to one of our Argentine friends. My friends and I were all blown away by how late the nightlife begins here. The norm is for it to start poppin’ around 2am so we went around that time. I got home at 7am! I can’t say I’ve ever gone to bed when the sun has already come up and birds are chirping! Not surprisingly, the following day was not very productive for me.
This weekend we had our first excursion. The program coordinators took us to Uspallata where we did hikes with breathtaking views (including Parque de la Aconcagua) and were also able to zip line, rappel and rock climb. (My pathetic fear of heights only permitted me to rock climb). We stayed in a hostel that had a cabin feel and had green and trees all around. It was the first time I was able to get to know the other girls from the program that I have not had the opportunity to speak with at school. I felt that it was a great bonding experience for all of us. And I was able to take some great pictures!
Considering it is already week three, I feel like I have gotten a feel for most things by now. I load my phone with minutes (when I remember), know where to charge my bus pass, move around on the micro, taxi and by foot, and have established an awesome group of friends both from Davis and locals from Mendoza. I feel very comfortable with my Argentine family and already feel that 10 weeks won’t be nearly enough time here. Maybe they’ll adopt me?
Tomorrow we will be going to our first winery! I am very excited for this because as a lover of red wine, I can’t wait to experience wine tasting in Mendoza, Argentina’s main hub for wine exportation.
Random side notes:
(1) While I am here I am trying to stick to Fernet and Coca Cola (since we don’t have Fernet in the States) and take advantage of the cheap, high quality wine.
(2) When in Argentina and addressing your most esteemed friends, it is typical to insult them the whole while you talk to them! It’s hilarious to watch and listen to, but that’s love for them.
(3) Lastly, people here seriously love their dulce de leche! It’s like peanut butter for Americans. They put it on just about everything!
Hasta la proxima!