April 1, 2017
It’s been one week since I have moved to my new homestay, and I have to admit, I’m really loving the city life. Last weekend, I left the tranquility of my old homestay (where I lived for a little bit over a month) to move to a different residence smack dab in the city of Córdoba, Argentina. (Read it’s not an easy road part 1 first if you haven’t already) I woke up early that Saturday morning to finish last minute packing, ate breakfast and waited expectantly for the resident director in Argentina to pick me up and drive me to my new home. When she arrived, I was holding back tears as I hugged my old host mom, thanking her for accommodating me to the best of her ability. I told her that I would come back to visit her soon and since her birthday is two days before mine, we even agreed on having a conjoined birthday party on my last day in Argentina. ( July 8, which is actually my birthday!) So, it definitely wasn’t a final goodbye.
As soon as the resident director pulled up in front of the apartment in the city, my new host mom (Nenina) welcomed me with open arms. She helped me grab my bags and when she opened the door to her apartment, I immediately felt at home. The brightness of the living room along with the balcony that I saw attached to it made me smile and say to myself, “This is it.” She showed me around her residence and then gave me some space to get settled and unpack. For the time being, I have a room all to myself and two other girls in the same program as I am share another room. Nenina’s daughter is currently studying abroad in Europe until around June so I’m occupying her room for now. I found out that she also has a gluten intolerance which means my host mom has more experience in serving those with dietary restrictions. This past week, she has gone above and beyond making sure that I am well accommodated and comfortable. After about two hours of settling in, I went with her to a natural foods store to pick up some gluten/dairy free food and after arriving back home, she filled a box just for me with my very own snacks and other goodies.She even allowed me help her cook dinner my very first night here!
The place where I’m living now is nowhere close to what I’m used to back in the states, but thankfully, I’m really enjoying it a lot! Although I live in a city back in the states, I don’t hear the sound of cars and buses 24/7. At first, the idea of hearing horns and engines of cars and buses all the time bothered me. Seeing that I am a very light sleeper, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to sleep well at night. And although I woke up twice my first night here (due to people partying at a nearby bar), the amount of sleep I have been getting has improved for the past couple of days. I enjoy waking up early in the morning, going outside on the balcony and watching the city come alive. Would I be able to live in a noisy city like this for the rest of my life? To be honest, I don’t think so. But for now, I’m really learning to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city life. I always look forward to running errands or walking around the city, just so I can observe and take in the culture around me.
Since I’m right in the middle of the metropolis, I’m exposed to a lot more sights and sounds. Every Sunday night, right across from Patio Olmos (the mall in the center of the city), couples get together to dance the Tango, a common partner dance in Argentina. Although this vibrant dance is more common in Buenos Aires, people here in Córdoba still enjoy its rhythm and tune. My host mother invited us to accompany her on Sunday night to go see it and since it was two minutes away from the apartment, as we walked, we could already here the playful music. It was a wonder seeing how closely connected the partners were as they danced. That’s what the Tango is truly about. It’s about forgetting all of your worries and just focusing on your partner and the rhythm of the music. Once again, as I witnessed this phenomenon, I had my “Wow, I’m really in Argentina” moment. I’ve observed other cultural occurrences in the city within the past week as well such as juggling in the streets in order to entertain people who wait in the all so common traffic, and someone playing musical instruments to inspire the people around them. All in all, I’ve had an awesome week getting accustomed to the city of Córdoba and my beautiful new homestay and I love witnessing the culture right before my eyes. I can say without a doubt, that I’m truly happy.