Sabado el 5 de noviembre – día 111
I woke up at 7:15 (ew) and had some breakfast before heading out to the subte station to meet the rest of the IFSA group for our trip to Rosario. We boarded our omnibus and I did a little reading before deciding I needed a nap. I slept for about 2 hours, then did some reading.
We arrived in Rosario around 13:00 and checked into our hotel (Holiday Inn Express). I was supposed to room with Ludi and Alicia but we somehow got mixed up so I was in a room with a different girl, but the rooms were huge so I ended up just moving my stuff into Ludi and Alicia’s room.
We asked Esteban (who works at IFSA) for suggestions for a place to eat lunch, and he ended up going with us. We got pizza especial, which had ham, hardboiled eggs, and olives on top.
After lunch we went back to the hotel to go on a walking tour of the city (which was very hot and humid), which ended at the memorial de la bandera (flag). We got to go up into the monument and see the city, which was really neat!
|Pilar, our tour guide|
|Plaza San Martin|
|They used to torture people in this building during the military dictatorship|
|Museo de la memoria|
|Gelato I never got to eat :(|
|Culo al norte|
|Bolsa de comercio... really important building dealing with money|
|Che Guevara was born here|
|El Cairo, a cafe where famous Argentine writers would write|
|Jocky Club, no girls allowed|
|Monumento nacional a la bandera|
|The dog who thought attacking cars was a fun game|
After our walking tour we took a bus (which was just a waste of money, we could have walked) back to el museo de la memoria. The museum was dedicated to la guerra sucia and the disaparecidos, and there was also a temporary exhibit on Guatemala’s civil war. While the museum was interesting, it was also extremely sad, particularly the puzzle piece room, which shows the children (some of whom were killed when they were between the ages of 1-5) of the disappeared persons, or blank spaces for the children that still haven’t been found, and there is the sound of children’s laughter and playing in the room. For those of you who don’t know, during Argentina’s last military dictatorship in the 1970s thousands of people were kidnapped, tortured, and killed. What is arguably worse, is that when pregnant women were kidnapped, they were often held until they gave birth and were then killed. The dictatorship would then give the babies to military leaders, politicians, or other people who supported the dictatorship, who then raised the children as their own. Here’s a depressing article about one woman’s story http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/world/americas/argentinas-daughter-of-dirty-war-raised-by-man-who-killed-her-parents.html?_r=1&hp.
At 19:00 we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We met in the lobby, split into two groups, and walked to the restaurant. It was interesting to talk to everyone in the program, some of the people I had never talked to before, or hadn’t talked to since orientation. Mario (our program director) ordered Malbec for the table, and Alicia, Devon, and I split an appetizer, torre de bereneja (eggplant tower), eggplant, tomato, and goat cheese, which was decent, but not the best. For dinner Alicia and I decided to split two entrees. I got a steak with grilled vegetables and she got a steak with mashed potatoes and a mushroom cream sauce, both were good, and my steak and vegetables were especially delicious! For dessert Alicia, Devon, and I shared two desserts, Lola, which was apples, nuts, and spices in puff pastry topped with forest fruit ice cream (the ice cream was good but the dessert as a whole was extremely disappointing), and an ice chocolate mousse with a thick rum whipped cream.
After almost 3 hours at the restaurant we were all feeling full, tired, and slightly tipsy, so Alicia, Ludi, and I went back to our hotel room and took a half an hour nap. We got up around 1:00, and Devon came over. We all had some mate, and got ready to go out. Earlier in the day we had asked the receptionist what some good places to go out were, and she told us the second best club in Latin America was located about 15 blocks from us. We set out in that direction, and met some other IFSA kids along the way. We got to the boliche, and unfortunately for us the line was ridiculous, and I missed the memo that you were supposed to wear a dress that barely covers your ass and sky-high heels. We decided not to wait in the line, and went in search of a different place instead. Alicia, Ludi, Devon, Alex, Leila, and I ended up going to a bar with a small dance floor. Ludi and I split a Heineken, and we all danced for a little while. We headed home around 3:30 and went to bed.
Domingo el 6 de noviembre
Sunday we woke up at 9:00, got ready, packed our stuff, and went down to the lobby for breakfast. I can’t tell you how much I miss American breakfast, medialunas and pastries are good and all, but I CAN’T WAIT to have bacon, fried potatoes, omelettes, and pancakes again. Anyway, after breakfast, we turned in our keys, and checked our bags with the lobby then Alicia, Ludi, and I decided to take a walk around Rosario. We headed out in a random direction, and happened upon a really beautiful area by the river.
We headed back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the group. We all headed to lunch, even though I wasn’t hungry at all since we had just finished breakfast an hour and a half earlier. Unfortunately we weren’t given the option of what we wanted to eat, and were served pizza (which wasn’t even good). For dessert we had the choice between fruit salad and flan, and since I hate flan, I chose fruit salad (which was too sugary). The waitress also hated our table, and we had to beg for drink refills.
After lunch we walked to the boat, which was a ridiculous distance, and half of the group got separated, and we had to keep calling to ask if we were going in the right direction. We finally arrived, and boarded the boat, which was not at all what I had pictured. Alicia and I sat on the deck in the sun with another girl from our program named Christina (who I went to Iguazu with) for a while, which had some nice views, but after about an hour I was ridiculously hot and thought I was going to get burnt (regardless of the fact that I put on sunscreen), so we went down below and sat with some of the other IFSA kids. The boat tour was nice, but by the end of the 2 hours we were all ready to get off.
We met our omnibus and went back to the hotel to pick up our bags and get a quick snack. Alicia, Ludi, and I headed in the direction of the gelato place we had seen on our walking tour the day before, only to discover it was closed due to electrical problems. Very disspointed, we walked back to the hotel, got our bags, and stopped at a kiosco. Unfortunately they were sold out of every good kind of ice cream, so I got a granola bar and rockletes (which were all orange this time… I’m starting to wonder if I’m jinxed) instead. We all loaded onto the bus and headed home. I started to do some reading but was really tired so slept instead.
I woke up around 22:00, back in Buenos Aires. I took the subte home (along with Alicia, Ludi, and a ton of other IFSA kids) then walked from the stop to my house. I got home, showered, got ready for bed, and skyped with Kevin for a little. I was really from the weekend, and from my two and a half hour nap, so I went to bed around 23:30.
Lunes el 7 de noviembre
Today I woke up around 9:00 and had some breakfast. I worked a little on my presentation for castellano then had some lunch. After I ate I went to my volunteer work at the elementary school. Our director wasn’t there (apparently she didn’t come last week either) so Julia, Devon, and I worked with the second graders for about half an hour. They weren’t behaving, and we didn’t have any of our teaching books, so we gave up and decided to go home. This volunteer program has been so frustrating because it’s unorganized, and we’re not allowed to speak in Spanish. The kids say rude things, thinking we can’t hear them, or don’t listen, because they don’t understand what we’re saying. It would be so much easier and more productive if we were allowed to speak to the kids in English, especially when we’re working with second graders. It’s just ridiculous and really disappointing, because I was looking forward to this particular volunteer job.
After I left the school I set out to find some cheap sunglasses (mission accomplished, I bought fake ray bans for $20 pesos - $5) then headed home. I had a snack, then worked a little more on my presentation for castellano.
I had to meet my two partners at the UBA library to finish up our trabajo practico, so I took a colectivo to UBA at around 18:30.
When I came home Clarisa had dinner (pasta with olive oil and spices and lima beans) waiting for me. She went to her friend Cristina’s house to watch a movie so I ate and watched “Salven el millon.”
After dinner I showered, finished preparing my presentation, and now I’m off to bed.