Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Despite my mixed feelings, I am surprised and happy to say with confident that I am leaving Argentina on a high note. In the end, I found many people who I will miss and also a few special locations that will remain dear to my heart. I think it is best said in German that "ich verlasse Argentinien mit einem lachenden und einem weinenden Auge." (Translation: I'm leaving Argentina with a tear in one eye and a smile in the other. Fun Fact: Science shows that we truly smile with our eyes!) With packing, the approaching holidays, and a few blog posts that I have yet to post, I will need some time to further develop and reflect on my thoughts about this semester in a concluding post (some time before New Year's). My reactions to these types of transition are unexpected and heartfelt. So as I land in New York, I anticipate an emotional mess of excitement, fear, nostalgia, and joy - you know, once again, it has been a life-changing time for me.
Friday, December 14th:
- Up early after a two-week trip, I scurried over to the Teatro Colón to obtain tickets for Sunday's performance - the final show of the year.
- Visit to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Art Museum) during the final day of the Caravaggio exhibition. It is obvious that the artistic ability and precision of each painting was thought-provoking and brillant...however, the artwork did not "speak to me," per se.
- Return to the Recoleta Cemetery. I went with the sole intention of seeing Evita Perón's mausoleum. It was a peaceful scavenger hunt, which ended in success, finding the resting site of this Argentine icon.
- My final grades were posted. I finished the semester with a B+ average (8 out of 10). I could not be more excited!
- Fiesta de egresados de UdeSA - End of semester celebrations with the Universidad de San Andrés. We partied from dusk to dawn - it was a energizing, yet exhausting to dance with the sunrise.
- I realized my "photographer's dream of Buenos Aires" when I photographed the sunset and nighttime skyline of Puerto Madero, kindly accompanied by Germain.
- My acceptance letter to Universität Leipzig (Germany) arrived. It's finally official after a 13-month application process! :)
- Puerto Madero
- Presentation of the Buenos Aires Instrumental Orchestra. I acquired two, FREE tickets to this performance at the Teatro Colón, acoustically considered one of the top five theaters in the world. It was purely magical! The sounds enveloped me as I listened to the music with closed eyes. My imagination flew to the music of Mozart and other composers.
- My farewell asado with the swim team was cancelled. Although I did not find out until I arrived at the house, I turned lemons into lemonade by enjoying some ice cream with Germain at our favorite ice cream shop in Martínez (in San Isidro).
- Arnaldo Ice Cream Shop - Martínez, Provincia of Buenos Aires
- I finalized my Christmas shopping. (Yay presents!)
- A wonderful, reflective farewell lunch with Julia (fellow exchange student from the first family) that extended into dinner time.
- Visit to Museo Evita Perón (Evita Perón Museum). This opportunity offered an insightful glimpse into the live of this dynamic woman, who moved a population and perished at the young of 33. I went with my cultural partner, Santi, who provided some background information to provide a better context.
- Following the museum, we made our way to Avenida Corrientes for some typical, Argentine pizza. It was delicious! And I saw how the Argentines treat pizza as fast food.
- Pizzería Güerrin - established in 1932
- Lastly, we strolled through Recoleta. I have come to love this neighborhood with its French archictecture and old Buenos Aires charm.
- I returned to Arnaldo's (favorite ice cream joint in Martínez) with Carla - friend from my gender course. We laughed until our final farewell.
- Happy Hour at Kansas Restaurant. To make up for the cancelled asado, a few swimmers met up for one last meeting. We laughed and I continued to learn more Argentine slang. I am sad to be leaving the swim team so soon, but the thought of them still puts an automatic smile on my face.
- I spent my final day as I wished: in Puerto Madero (my favorite place in Buenos Aires). Germain and I had lunch overlooking the water.
- We got ice cream in San Telmo and drinks in Cafe Tortoni.
- I had the opportunity to enjoy one last time walking through the main sites of Buenos Aires that interested me in the city to begin with...I guess, I went full circle in a way.
- A relaxing evening with Martin and a few other students, during which we shared our recent travel stories and adventures.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Once you get accustomed to this hustle and bustle, the train does not have many more surprises. A few tricks are to be sure you know when your stop is coming up, to hold onto your bag or items you are carrying with you, and to avoid eye contact or staring at any certain individual - simple train etiquette.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Saturday morning was bright and blue. It was a great day for biking. We walked through the downtown center in search of the Tourist Information Office, who led us to an inexpensive bike rental place. The bikes were 20 UYU (20 Uruguayen pesos = $1 USD) per hour. Such a deal, Germain and I did a 20 kilometer bike ride along the coast to the beachy part of Montevideo. That is where we foudn all the people, who were missing from the Old City and Downtown area. There was a nice breeze that coasted me along the bike path, and we assured for a few breaks along the way to enjoy the gorgeous day.