Hola todos que está leyendo! Bienvenidos a Buenos Aires! (Hello to all that are reading this and welcome to Buenos Aires)
After our arrival on Sunday night our group has been busy adjusting to the city of Buenos Aires and brushing up on our Spanish skills. On Monday morning we began our classes at ECELA. Each of us is taking a conversational and a grammar class, both lasting for an hour and forty minutes a piece and meet everyday Monday through Friday. Within these classes we are completely immersed in the language. The professors focus on improving our ability to use proper grammar and tenses when speaking. These classes last throughout the morning. Afterwards we break for lunch before beginning an afternoon activity or allowing us to explore Buenos Aires. This week our class has explored the city and has taken part in three different activities throughout the city.
During our free afternoon, our class visited the bank to get pesos for different foods and gifts and went to a cafe. In Buenos Aires, all restaurants are also cafes. This means that you can get a submarino (hot chocolate) to empanadas at one restaurant. We experienced our first time ordering in Spanish and then each maneuvered our way back to our respective host family's house. Since we are all spread out, public transportation and walking have been two significant modes of transportation for getting to and from school, home and throughout the city.
Our first activity that we participated in was a visit to the Cemeterio de la Recoleta. Contrary to cemeteries the United States, all of the tombs are above ground. Some of these include exquisite details and others simple yet elegant. In this cemetery Eva Peron, a.k.a. Evita, is buried along with other notable presidents, founders, and Nobel Prize winners. Students went walking around the cemetery viewing all the different architectural designs of the tombs.
La Boca, a famous "barrio" (neighborhood), was another place we had the opportunity to visit. This area, first inhabited by Italians is home to street vendors, tango dancing, live music and many colorful buildings. We took this time to explore the "caminito." This is the main alley of the neighborhood. We snapped some fun pictures near all the brightly colored buildings.
Our last excursion was to the Espacio de la Memoria, an academic facility. It was later discovered to be a part in the detention of thousands of individuals during the Dirty War. Our tour offered us a more in-depth understanding of the use of the buildings on the property during this time in history.
With sun-kissed (or burnt) faces, our first week of class is almost complete, but our exploration of Buenos Aires is just beginning! Stay tuned within coming days to hear more about our adventures throughout this bustling and beautiful city!
Hasta la próxima vez! (Until next time)