Stories from my 14-month study abroad in Buenos Aires, my 16-month post-college move to Miami, and my get-me-the-hell-out-of-Miami move to Denver

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Homestay Experience

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my homestay experience.

When I signed up for IES, I told them that I wanted a homestay with a family and kids. I wanted siblings and hanging out. When I got here, I was somewhat disappointed with my situation. I would be living with a 73 year old women and her 45 year old son. I've had my ups and down here, but I've come to the realization...I couldn't have asked for a more fitting South American homestay experience. I'm living in the epitome of South America. An older women and her son living together. This is exactly what Buenos Aires, and South American in general, is all about.

In the ups and downs, we've had both. Sometimes we don't talk much during the day. I'm constantly coming and going throughout the day, and they're sometimes sleeping or sometimes watching TV. Other times however, we have great conversations. Tonight was a great example.

Carlos, Sylvia, Muki(nickname for Sylvia's daughter who came to eat with us) and I were eating dinner. As usual, I wasn't let down with the food content. Little spinach dumplings, mashed potatos, lentil soup, and some fried chicken.

Carlos saw me eat the piece of fried chicken skin and immediately jokingly called me out for being hypocritical. I don't, and never will, eat the pieces of fat on steak. Carlos loves them. He claimed that there was no difference between chicken skin fat and steak fat. A hearty discussion/fun argument ensued. Slyvia and I on one side saying that they are VERY different, and Carlos debating the entire time.

I'm coming to realize that I've had many great experiences in this current situation. Studying abroad is about experiencing new things, and I can say that this was DEFINITELY a unique experience. I had become so accustomed to having my personal freedom in Minneapolis that moving into a house where my meals are cooked and my room cleaned was quite a shock. I'm absorbing these last two weeks with the family and I can happily that I've learned a lot this semester.

ps- For you spanish speakers out there. In Argentina, I'm not sure about other spanish-speaking countries, they use the phrase "Algo + Adjective" a lot. "Ella esta algo loca!" "She is something crazy!" I've found myself using it in english writing/talking quite a bit now. It's like when Holly and Lindsay say something that has such backwards syntax, you know it has to be a direct spanish translation.

Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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