This week was full of translating for my parents, showing them around my new city and a exploring a new one with them!
The Best: Okay so I am cheating again. The best was probably just my week in general. This week my parents arrived and having them here was the most fun but also challenging week of my life. My parents don’t really speak any Spanish. They can get by and make do but that’s about it. People in Córdoba don’t speak English. So this week was interesting. My parents really relied on me this week to make sure everything was correct and we were going to the right places. I got to take my parents to Casa Bamba which is this cool place to hike in the Sierrachicas, but sadly we couldn’t cross the river since it was so high so we just had a picnic instead, which was super fun. On Wednesday we took a 9 hour overnight bus to Buenos Aires because Thursday was a national strike in Argentina and so a lot of transportation, such as airplanes, weren’t working. I don’t think my parents appreciated the bus too much but we made it to Buenos Aires safe and sound. Buenos Aires is such a different city then Córdoba is. A lot of people speak English and the architecture is very European. We saw where Evita Peron was buried, the hotel’s driver took us on a city tour in the hotels car which was cool because it was just me and my parents. The man was odd but it was still cool. Friday we went on 7 hours of walking tours which was just exhausting. It was awesome to see the city but so tiring. Saturday we did a biking and kayaking full day tour of Tigre which is like a suburb of Buenos Aires. It was amazing to see that. It was so beautiful and Buenos Aires is full of channels that people live on little islands and boat in everyday. It was so cool. We even had an asado (or a bbq) on an island and it was amazing. Having my parents here was so much fun. I explored new things and got to show them all the Spanish that I have learned.
The Most Challenging: I think the best part of my blog is that I can show everyone that studying abroad isn’t, as my sister Tess says, “the best day ever” every day. It’s challenging with a language barrier and being far away and having to learn a new place. It has been a constant struggle for me. I miss home a lot but then once my parents got here I felt like they were coming into a space that had been all mine for a month and a half and trying to show, explain and share that space for them was difficult. I wanted to show them all the amazing things that I could do and had learned and the new side of myself I am kind of starting to come out. I put a ton of pressure on myself to make sure that it was a week where they saw how I could handle myself and that this study abroad was the experience I was suppose to be having. I put so much pressure on myself that my parents started to notice and even told me not to do so much that they were happy just being with me. I didn’t let it go all week naturally because I am me, but it made me more aware that I can’t control everything (which I really don’t like) and that I just have to let things happen. And I am trying, so we will see how that goes. Regardless it was so fun having my parents here and I even got choked up saying goodbye to them in Buenos Aires. Homesickness still happens even halfway through my semester and I think it is something I will always have to deal with but I think at least acknowledging that will help me cope with it me. I am so grateful to be back in Córdoba again and I am so happy that my parents got to share a bit of what my life is like here in Argentina.
The Weirdest: When I got back to Córdoba on Sunday I grabbed a taxi and the taxi driver started talking to me and he asked where I was from in Argentina (and I almost died). HE THOUGHT I WAS FROM ARGENTINA. Probably the highlight of my life though it was really weird because my accent for sure makes me sound like I am from the United States but regardless it was awesome. I almost laughed when I heard him and told him I was from the United States. He then proceeded to ask me about Trump which is what always happens here, but it was still so awesome.
The rest of the week was amazing. Monday I hung out with my parents after class and we planned the rest of the week. They met one of guys from La Luci that I work with on the street on Monday. Tuesday I had praxis which was fun we were reshelving books in the school room. It reminded me a lot of the library at MU. That night my roommates had me and my parents over for an asado and it was so fun. They hung out at my house and we ate a ton of meat and veggies and bread and I had them try mate and dulce de leche, which to me is heaven. Wednesday I took them to Casa Bamba and I was terrified trying to get there by myself. I had only been there once before and I scared I was going to take my parents to the middle of no where and we were going to be lost forever. Thankfully Michelle helped me write out exactly what to ask and everyone, as usual down here, was so helpful. We got to walk along the river and had some snack and a little picnic in the Sierrachicas. I felt bad because I think my parents really wanted to go to Iguazu Falls but with the national strike happening we couldn’t make it happen so then I wanted to take them to the Sierrachicas and go hiking and we got out there fine but the river was so high we couldn’t cross it so we walked a bit but I still felt horrible because I think they wanted to see more so that was a bummer. That night we took a bus to Buenos Aires and we woke up there on Thursday morning. Thursday the hotels driver picks us up and then we get some breakfast and go see the graveyard that Evita Peron is buried in which was really cool. It was like a little city in the city. Then we went to the Japanese Gardens and the Evita Peron Museum. All of which were awesome. Later that day we had a city tour with the hotels driver. He was a character to say the least but it was still cool to see the city by car. That night we went to a tango and dinner show. All three of us kept falling asleep during the show because it was about 11pm and we were so tired. The food also wasn’t the best which was a bummer but it was still fun. We kept running into this family everywhere we went. They were from California and the parents were visiting their daughter who was taking a gap year. She had been in Africa for the first semester and now was in Buenos Aires. She was volunteering for some program where you could volunteer with kids for any amount of time you wanted from a week to a few months. That sounds kind of weird to me because having people come into your life for a week at a time as a child does not sound like a good idea but who knows. Friday we got up and get some breakfast and then went on 7 hours worth of walking tours. I am pretty sure we also only saw half of Buenos Aires. We saw a lot of the historical part of Buenos Aires but then we also saw the governmental part. We got a lot of history on Argentina, Buenos Aires, the government and why they are the way they are today. It was cool but I was exhausted after. Saturday we had a full day biking and kayaking tour. We biked to the train station and then got on the train for 20 minutes, and some guys were playing rap and folk music on the train which was cool. Then we got off and rode to a cool view of Buenos Aires from the suburbs. Then we biked for a bit, took a break and drank some mate and had a snack , then biked some more. We ended up at a kayaking place and we got in and kayaked up this channel and there was a restaurant and the island and we had an asado. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done. We kayaked some more and then headed back and we took the train into the city. It had looked like it was going to rain all day and they even offered to reschedule but we were leaving the next day so we took the risk. The rain held off all day and it ended up being pretty nice out. As soon as we took a taxi back to our hotel it started to downpour. Thankfully our hotel had a full kitchen in our room and we had bought some snacks. We were all so tired and my mom had to work on her flights for her and my dad the next day so we didn’t even get dinner. Sunday my parents had a flight at 10am and I had one at 11:55am so we scheduled the hotel driver to take us to the airport at 7:15am. So we go downstairs a little before and by 7:30am he still wasn’t there. So we go get the person who lives in the hotel who works for them and he didn’t speak English but he ended up calling the driver and he said he would be there in 20 minutes but we couldn’t wait that long so we ended up hailing a taxi and going to the airport. I got to give mom and papa their birthday presents on the way there and made sure they found their airlines. We said our goodbye and I went to my terminal. My flight was delayed but besides that it was a breeze. They have to take you on a bus to the plane which is always interesting. I got home and was the first one back to the house. Slowly the girls started coming back because they all had home stays this weekend. It was so fun to hear about them. We ordered pizza and just talked like we hadn’t seen each other in years. It was so fun. This week was an awesome week. Chau for now! Patagonia is up next!