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2006-2007 Rotary International Argentina

a travel blog by BellaSorella28

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Argentina Begins

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hola! Como andan? Well hello everybody. Most of you have been waiting with intense anticipation for this email, others may not know what exactly it's about. I said I was going to send a montly newsletter to everyone explaining what I'm up to, and how I'm doing. Well, here it is. The debut of Mi Buenos Aires Vida.

It wasn't until the last week or so of vacation that I realized what I had gotten myself into. I woke up one day and I realized that I was leaving- not for summer camp, or on a road trip, but actually uprooting my life and establishing a whole new one (not to mention a whole new identity in a different culture). My last night in my bed was surprisingly peaceful and restful. No tossing or turning, just...rest. I felt comfortable. I think I needed to because I was going to be uncomfortable for a while, which I could sense, but didn't exactly know what sort of uncomfort it was going to be. Next thing I knew, my parents were reluctantly saying goodbye to me at the airport. I felt so close to them- I had to- because I was going so far away. I'll never forget when my mom kept squeezing my hands, and naturally as a rebellious offspring I asked why all the touching. Her reply was 'I need to hold your little hands because I won't be able to anymore.'

That day I felt strong and proud. After making a friend on the airplane down to Washington, the two of us roamed around until his flight. I met up with the other Rotary exchange students going to various parents of Argentina and we had a pretty good time for what you can do in a 9 hour lay over in Washington Dulles. Everyone was very calm, but anxiety was in the air and over anticipation wouldn't let me sleep on the overly air-conditioned airplane. I sat next to a girl named Meg from Keene, United States, so she hit home. Some of the people I met I'd really like to meet up with again. (Awesome, right off the bat I was making connections and friends).

As we flew into Buenos Aires, I looked at the world the way you always do when you land in a different place. You expect it to look so different, distinct, unordinary..I don't know. You expect something striking perhaps. As we waited in line through customs, the existence of the language barrier hit me immediately. But it's not just the language itself, there is a human barrier. There is no communication between you and the other side. It's almost a war, of the minds...

I had seen a picture of two of my host sisters so as I pushed my cartload of belongings through the doors to the terminal, I searched for quasi familiar faces. It wasn't a fake smile, it was a 'oh man, here we go' smile. My family greeted me and I tried to converse but it was basically a fatal attempt. As my host sister, Magui looked at me sweetly in confusion, I realized I had mistaken 'pruebas'(quizzes) for the word 'palabras' (which means words). Oh Sarah. I looked up at the glass globe of a ceiling in the airport and said, 'Argentina, estoy aqui.' (Corny, but seemingly appropriate)

I arrived at my new apartment and started to unpack. 'Tengo muchas cosas' (I have a lot of stuff), I tried to joke. It was lunch time and I kicked off my Argentine diet with some mean empanadas. Mmmm. I showed my family pictures, which is basically all that saved me because at that point, the most I could dowas point and use basic SIGN language. Forget Spanish. Luckily, my family speaks English because they're part Norwegian. Not fluently, but very well. So I used an incredible mixture of sign-spanglish and tried to get by. OOFA.

That night I just wanted to sleep. I didn't really know what to do with myself. I remembered the words of a girl who went to India. When she woke up the next day, all she could think was 'What have I done.' My line was something similiar. Your posessions can't give you a hug and tell you it's ok. All you're stuck with is yourself, which at that point isn't much.

Yet, the first few days were pleasant. I started to get to know my siste

permalink written by  BellaSorella28 on September 20, 2006 from Buenos Aires, Argentina
from the travel blog: 2006-2007 Rotary International Argentina
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