Hasta Luego Buenos Aires
Hola Ireland , Argentina Calling . . .
I happy to report that my incredibly large bags and I made it here in one piece.
This is my first blog from the other side of the world and I write this from Chilecito where I have just arrived .
I was in the capital for 2 days and it has been a roller coaster of a trip here with some major ups and downs. I arrived here with very few words of Spanish but a phrasebook in hand.
I was met by a driver who brought me to my hotel and all of a sudden it hit me where I was and how very far away from my family and home I was. The very first thing I wanted to do was call home and not being able to let to quite a number of tears being shed I must admit. I soon received a call however from the lovely Wanda in the EIL office here in Buenos Aires and she geve me directions on how to get there for my orietentation.
When I did get there I was greeted with kisses and hugs from Wanda who then began with my orientation and prepared some delicious empanandas for our lunch . Soon after the lights went out nd due to the strike we left the office early and Wanda showed me aroud some of the city. We then met up with 2 groups of American students also takign part in a cultural exchange here in Argentina and we all went to an English language centre where we spent 2 hours talking to some Argentian students learing English. IT was really great to get to chat with young people who live in the city about quite ordinary things and the diferences betweenall 3 cultures. The American students were also fascinated by my Irish accent and I spend quite a while entertaining them by just speaking. I then travled home with thoe students and headed straiht to bed as having been on my first lo
ng haul flight until early that morning I was exahusted .
Day 2 in Buenos Airies I was on my own , I decided to take my map and myself on an adventure round the city . I took the subway to the Japanese gardens and back again and visited many of the gonverment buildings by foot, I have the blisters to show for it !
I ended up tucked up in bed ith my Spanish CD´s by 8pm that night, as i is winter here in Argentina it gets dark quite early.
And then my final day in the city arrived and I was quite ready to be moving on. I checked out of the hotel after breakfast and headed down to the EIL offices again where I met Carola and Jean this time . We enjoyed a lunch together and Jean told me lots about La Cassita here in Chilecito which I was gateful for. Carola then kindly accompanied me to the bus station and ensured I was on the right one. And so I settled down with my Spanish CD`s ready for the very long journey ahead, 18 hours in fact , and I thought the flght was long , funnily enough the buses here are incredubly comforable , even more so than the ariplane here was so there was no reason to complain. Buenos Aires is a HUGE city , I have never been anywhere so busy and crowded and after spending a day alone in such a mssive place I was happy to be going to a much smaller community. I don't think I will ever really be a city girl.
And today I arrived in Chilecito I was met by 2 members of my host family Maria Paz and Silvia my host mother and Betty the local coordinator here in Chilecito at the bus station. After hugs and kisses were exchanged we soon realised that my host family had very little English and I have very little Spanish and I have to say I was worried. That feeling however lasted all of 15 minutes . As soon as we arrived home, out came the dicitonaries and on went the computer to use google translate and the hand gestures began and although communication is slow I know that in but week or two and myself and the whole family will be flying. After only a few short hours in Chilecito I feel so very welcomed despite the laguage barrier.
Am off for tea my fellow volunteers and Betty quite soon but I will be starting at the project this coming Monday I think and so I will be sure to update you all when I get going there
Chau for now . . .