Thursday, June 4, 2009

You had me at Parquet floors

Dear Chicago,

My new home is perfect. Cristina is the friend of another woman who takes in students and I´m the first recipient of her generousity. She´s lovely and says ¡Que barbaro! a million times a day (it means ´how wonderful´). She has an adorable 2 bedroom apartment 2 blocks from the subway. I get to the 14th floor in a tiny little elevator that has 2 doors to close before it lifts. I´m the youngest person in the building by 45 years and my newest level of fluency is an ability to chat with flirty old men about the weather while on the elevator. The building is very secure - I have to use an electronic key card to get in the lobby door and have 2 keys for the door.

This morning I took a long run through Palermo park around a large duck pond. It was chilly but warmed up to be a mild day, no jacket needed. After class I was looking forward to my first day of volunteering, but the program has yet to get in contact with me to set up a safe schedule. I´ll be volunteering in various slums around Buenos Aires - here they´re called ´villas´. We´ll tutor and run activities for kids who would otherwise be on the streets. In order to stay safe, I have to go to the site with the group, which is proving difficult to organize. Hopefully I´ll get out soon!

Class is three hours each day but I really am in the perfect level for what I need to be learning. It´s dry but the teachers are nice and I am getting to know my 5 classmates very well. After class today I took a long walk in the Palermo neighborhood. The city is flooded with people after office hours! I also visited a pair of black boots I´ve been admiring since Tuesday... if I can´t find a better deal by Saturday, I think I´ve got my first souvenier from this trip.

Dinner tonight was very, very good. Cristina´s daughter joined us for lentils and rice with chorizo. For dessert I had a cup of dulce-de-leche pudding to which Cristina added... Bailey´s!! Delicious. Had a great chat with Maria Eugenia, her daughter. She is hooking me up with the best places to get sushi, asado, and dessert. She´s gorgeous and really patient with my Spanish.

I can´t believe I´ve already been in Argentina for almost 10 days! This weekend I plan to visit the museums and famous Recoleta cemetery of Buenos Aires and I´m planning a trip to Mendoza for next weekend. A girl from my class and I are booking first class bus tickets for a long weekend. The following weekend, maybe Uruguay! I will upload photos when I can get internet access on my laptop.

Te amo Chicago!


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