argentina

Learning to Tango in Tucson

ice rink

[Photo Courtesy of Google Images]

Leading with your chest, you decide where to take your partner. Imagine you’re standing on an ice rink but without skates. You lead your partner across the ice by taking steps followed sliding your feet while keeping your chests at the same distance as you move. Your partner follows your every move and you glide to the beat as one.

Last night, I learned how to tango. The basics, to be specific and it was my first time every.

From what I’ve learned in my classes, Tango originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina before the 19th century. Depressed men wrote tango songs about their misery, melancholy, loss of dreams, loneliness, love for their mothers and other related topics. The dance itself is a ton of fun and today, exists all around the world.

I had witnessed tango live in Argentina many times and in one of my classes at my university but this was the first I was actually learning it.

I went with a few friends from U of A to a place called Maker House, which is, “a new collaborative artisan, maker, education, tech, and gathering space that opened in the Downtown Tucson Arts District Tech Corridor in the fall of 2013.” It’s super cool! The advisor for the Honors College Ambassadors invited us because he was guest leading the tango lesson and it was free! I brought mate and it was almost like we were back in Buenos Aires. 

I wanted to share this experience because I enjoyed learning to tango and thought you would too! It’s a prominent aspect of Argentine culture and anyone can learn it! Here’s a video teaching the basics, the same basics we learned last night!

Have you ever tangoed before? If not, are there any dances you have learned and would recommend? 🙂

Post-Study Abroad: Observations after one week in Phoenix

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve been back and I’m really enjoying it. A few things have stuck out to me after having been gone for almost half of the year and I thought I’d share those observations:

Car is my main transportation

I was so accustomed to taking the bus and riding the subway everywhere that it felt weird being in a car at first. Now, I can’t imagine how I would get around without a car!

I can pay with cards and leave cash in the bank

Something I definitely feel grateful is being able to pay with a debit card or credit card. Of course there were many stores that accepted debit and credit cards but I didn’t think it was worth it to sign up since I was only there for a short period of time.

It’s easier to talk to people

WOW! While I did feel comfortable speaking Spanish in Argentina everyday for a long period of time, I can’t explain how easy it feels to speak in English now that I’m back. It’s amazing.

I appreciate my dogs more

I have never realized how much I don’t appreciate my dogs until being in Argentina for almost 6 months. It’s such a happy feeling to walk in the door every day and have two over-excited dogs jump up on you because they love you. Now I certainly don’t take them for granted and feel happy to see their fuzzy faces everyday

Christmas spirit in the air

While there are many people in Argentina who celebrate Christmas, it’s nothing like it is in the States. There in Buenos Aires, I noticed some decorations in various stores for Christmas but not like here. Here, you walk into the mall and there is Christmas music playing and there are decorations everywhere. You see Christmas trees for sale around the city and houses are decorated with Christmas lights. It’s wonderful.

Even though I loved Buenos Aires and plan on going back after I graduate, I’m happy to be home and to be able to celebrate the holidays with my friends and family. Well, that’s all. Until next week! Merry Christmas and happy holidays! 🙂

Reflection on Study Abroad in Buenos Aires: Lessons Learned

joe previte sitting on a mountani in mendoza argentinaI am finally back in Arizona and couldn’t be happier to see my family and friends. I’ve really missed the beautiful desert and the amazing scenery that surrounds me here in Phoenix. After living in the metropolis Buenos Aires for almost six months, I appreciate the suburbs and the proximity to mountains and desert more than ever. Now that I’m back, I’ve had a chance to look over my journal and review a few of the lessons I’ve learned from studying abroad and living in Buenos Aires for the semester. I’ve highlighted the most important ones I’ve taken away from my trip below:

Focus on the now

I didn’t realize it before but I’m the type of the person who is always thinking about the future. I’m always planning what I’m going to do next weekend, next semester, next summer, etc. I like to plan because it’s fun. It’s exciting to pump myself up of the fact that I’m spending the weekend in California with my family or visiting my friends but what I didn’t realize was that thinking about the future can and does take away from the present. If I’m constantly thinking about what I’m going to do next, how can I enjoy what I’m doing now? What I’ve learned to do is to plan whatever I need to plan and then push that thought away so that it can’t consume the attention I should be paying on the present. It can be difficult at times but I think it’s important and I’m trying focusing on the now, now and the later when it comes.

There is no need to rush

I learned that I sometimes put myself in situations where I rush myself to complete 500 tasks in one sitting. This kind of has to do with “having too much on my plate,” which I’ll explain more later but the idea is to slow down sometimes. I think I’ve taken the idea of relaxing a little and not rushing from being immersed in the Argentine culture while abroad. I mentioned this in a blog post but I’ll say it again- from my experience, Argentinians don’t rush. They don’t know when the bus is coming or the subway, it’s okay if someone isn’t right on time, and lunch/dinner/dates/meeting up with friends may last three hours. I realized this last semester when I completed a course assignment where I tracked how I spent my time during the week and learned that I rushed myself every time I ate breakfast, lunch or dinner.  There is no need to rush though. I don’t need to be watching a movie for homework, or reading an article or doing SOMETHING every time I’m eating. Instead, I’ve learned to hit the brakes and take my time when eating a meal, having a conversation with a friend or simply getting ready in the morning.  There’s a Chinese proverb I read in a book I’m reading called The Three Pillers of Zen that says, “Eat when you eat. Walk when you walk.” I try to always remind myself of it when I feel the desire to multitask or speed up things. It’s true. No one ever said you had to rush yourself. However, I try to do too many things at once or put much on my plate, I’m going to find myself scrambling and stressing out, which simply isn’t necessary nor healthy for me.

It’s not always good to have a “full plate”

I mentioned this idea earlier but I wanted to touch back on it because it’s an important lesson I’ve learned. It’s not always the best idea to have several commitments in your life. This didn’t hit me until I realized that I simply didn’t have time to work, study, volunteer and invest in the culture and language in Argentina. Yes, I needed to work because I needed money. Yes, my main priority was to study but I didn’t have a balance at first. I wanted to practice my Spanish all day, every day but also work and have money to spend while abroad but I felt overwhelmed. I’ve realized that if I do all of these things, then I have to sacrifice other areas- like spending time with friends and investing in friendships. If I’m spending 90% of my time studying and working and only 10% with my friends, then I’m not going to be able to become close with my friends. I now know that I shouldn’t try and cover my plate without first thinking about how it will affect the rest of the time I have and how else I’d like to spend my time. Overall, I’ve learned to not commit to more activities than I can handle while still being able to maintain and invest in friendships.

It’s better to have 1 close friend than 10 acquaintances

I had never really considered this until this trip. I’ve always had acquaintances and friends who I’ve hung out with a few times but I never thought about the level of friendship I have with people. I met really amazing people in Argentina but didn’t spend as much time with them as I wish I would have. Yes, I was busy but of course I could have made time- I just didn’t. I realized at the end of the trip that I can meet people once or hangout with them a few times but if I don’t invest into the friendship and make sacrifices to see them and get to know them that they won’t last. For me, I’d rather have a close group of friends that I know well who I enjoy spending time with and who enjoy spending time with me rather than acquaintances who I only know on a shallow level.

Life is beautiful outside

One of the best wake-up calls I received during this trip was the idea that life is beautiful outside. I remember as a kid, watching commercials or PSAs where a kid sits on a couch and watches another kid playing outside and then it pans out and the exact same tree is outside his house yet he decides to watch it on TV instead of going outside to play. Being the type of person that loves playing sports, I never considered the idea that maybe I spend too much time on the computer or inside. However, after becoming friends with a girl named Allie through my girlfriend, I realized I do spend most of my time on the computer and that I’m missing out on the world outside. As much as I love technology and learning on the internet, I don’t want to spend the majority of my day sitting in front of a screen when I should be outside enjoying life and nature and all the wonderful things and people.

The future doesn’t need to be set in stone

Last lesson that I learned is that the future doesn’t need to be set in stone just yet. By that mean, I don’t have to have my life figured out or know exactly what I want to do for a living after I graduate. I remember hearing that when you go abroad for an extended period of time, you figure out what you really are passionate about in life and how you should spend the rest of your life but I still feel ambivalent about the path I want to take. With this trip though, I’ve learned that I don’t need to know yet and there is absolutely no reason to stress right now. All I want to do is focus on dabbling in various fields to figure out where I’ll be the happiest.

Well, that’s it for this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and that you’re convinced to study abroad or at least live abroad. I believe that it’s something everyone should do. Not just for themselves, but to learn, explore, and grow.

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5 days left: Final week observations in Buenos Aires

joe previte stacey fawthorp friends in chinese restaurant

[Photo in Tao Tao Restaurant with Ivana, Allie, Sam and Stacey.]

I know I’ve said this multiple times in previous posts by WOW. It feels like this entire semester rushed right by me and now it’s finally here. By this time next week, I will be back living life in Phoenix. It’s insane to think that I’ve been in Buenos Aires for 140 days and will be leaving in five. FIVE DAYS! :O

For this blog post, I want to include a few observations that relate specifically to this last week.

The week feels packed fulls of last minute “things to do/see”

You know when you say, “Yeah, I’ll do tomorrow” and then you put that thing off til tomorrow but never do it? Well, our postponing has caught up to us and everyday has been busy this past two weeks. Obviously, we won’t have time to do everything we had wished we had been able to do but I’m happy that we’ve been able to do the numerous activities we’ve planned and done.

Relationships get stronger as the end approaches

I’ve noticed I have become much closer to my friends(Allie, Sam, and Ivana), girlfriend(Stacey) and my family(the two older women that I live with) in these past few weeks and it’s sad to think that we’re all moving on to new things. Though I may be sad I won’t be spending the morning chat Irma or Ruth or the afternoon exploring the city with Allie, Sam, Stacey and Ivana but I do know that this isn’t goodbye but rather an “I’ll see you soon!” farewell as we all move on to the next chapter in life.

Money is tighter and time is more valuable

In the beginning and the middle of the trip, I felt fine on money. Now, I’m down to my last pesos trying to decide how I should spend my money and making sure that I have just enough local currency to last me the last small stretch of this trip. Time also holds more value as the amount of it decreases. There are so many things left to do and so many people to see before I leave. It’s difficult because I can’t do everything unfortunately so I have to really spend my last few days wisely.

Hope you enjoyed reading! Next week’s post will be a reflection and summary of what perspectives of mine have changed and I have learned from studying abroad. See you then! Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments below 🙂

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134 days down, 12 to go: Observations from Salta and Jujuy

purmamarca jujuy argentina un pueblo chico

 

[Photo of Purmamarca, Jujuy, Argentina. Population in 2001: 2,089]

WOW! Time really does fly when you’re having a great time and boy have these four and a half months flown by. I can’t believe I only have 12 days left here and then I’ll be back in Arizona. I have mixed feelings-sad to leave the culture, the friends I’ve made, and the language here but excited to see my friends, family and return to my life in Arizona.

This week’s post is about a few observations I made while visiting Salta(the capital city of Salta) and Jujuy(San Salvador de Jujuy and Purmamarca-two provinces in the North.

Foreigners stick out more

While in San Salvador de Jujuy, with of population of over 230,000 people, we definitely caught a lot of attention. Since Jujuy is farther North and has a warmer climate, the people tend to have darker skin. As a result, we stuck out like a sore thumb. A group of men even decided to call us out by yelling, “GRIIIIIIINNGGOOOOOS!” from across the street. I felt a little intimidated but got over it since I’m used to people staring at me in Buenos Aires because I’m a foreigner.

They´re more formal in the Northern provinces

The people tended to use usted, which is the formal word for “you” whereas in Buenos Aires, almost everyone uses vos, the informal word for “you.” I’ve heard that they use vos for everyone in the Capital because the don’t believe they should put someone higher than themselves for age, occupation, etc.

The people are friendlier than in Buenos Aires(The capital)

Whenever we needed help or bought something at a store and left, they people were always 10x friendlier. Instead of just chau, hasta luego(bye, see you later), most people also included something along the lines of qué les vaya bien(similar to the way we use “have a nice day”).

The “ll” sounded less like “sha” and more like “jah”

I was told this before but didn’t realize how different it sounded til I heard it in person. In Buenos Aires(the capital), the people usually pronounce the “ll” like a “sha” but in the North, people pronounced it like a “jah.”

Well, that’s it! Hope you enjoyed! Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments below! 🙂

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Caught in a protest in Jujuy and a night in the airport in Salta

“Joe, get up!” Stacey yelled at me first thing in the morning at our hostel in Salta.

“What? No, I wanna sleep more.” I replied back without opening my eyes or moving.

“No, seriously, Joe, get up, get up! I think there are bed bugs.”

“No, it’s probably just a fuzzy from the bed or something.”

“No, Joe. Look.”

I finally turned my back and peeked open my eyes. I saw a little black circular looking fuzzy on my pillow. I went to grab it with my hands to show her it wasn’t a bed bug and then suddenly it moved.

“Oh, no. Stace, you’re right. That’s not good. This isn’t good. We should probably switch hostels, even if this one is free.” I muttered calmly to Stacey.

loki hostel en salta argentina

And this was the first event of our exciting adventure in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy in the Northern part of Argentina.  After talking to Allie, the other friend in our group this trip, we all decided the free night’s stay wasn’t worth the bed bugs so we headed to the bus terminal and bought tickets to a province farther north called Jujuy. We had originally planned the trip to visit the Salt Flats and the Cerro de siete colores anyway so we thought the change could only benefit our trip.

When we arrived there, we were extremely lucky to receive a free map and assistance from a man at a ticket office who recommended a few hostels in the area. The first hostel we went to looked cozy and had a pool so we booked it for two nights.

Thanks to our luck, the room had a few cockroaches(only 2, thanks goodness) and I had trouble sleeping due to my fear of cockroaches and the idea that one might climb up the bunk bed and land on me while sleeping. Lucky for me, we found them and killed them before they could sneak up on us.

The second day in Jujuy was amazing. We took a bus to Purmamarca, a city about 90 minutes away from the capital of the province(San Salvador de Jujuy) and visited the Cerro de siete colores and the Salt Flats(las Salinas Grandes). The road from Purmamarca to the Salt Flats was quite an adventure(picture in the middle).

 
el cerro de siete colores
la ciudad purmamarca en jujuy argentina
la cuesta de lipan joe previte en una remera de university of arizona wildcats
salinas grandes con stacey y joe

After our awesome day, we ate delicious ice cream and went home to watch a movie and go to bed early because our bus back to Salta left around 9am so we needed to leave the hostel by 8:30.

Friday morning, we woke up and headed out on schedule, arriving at the bus terminal five minutes before our bus left. We boarded it with smiles on our faces knowing that we would arrive in Salta with enough time to explore before our 8pm flight home to Buenos Aires. Little did we know that our adventures were no where near the end and only about to  get 10x more interesting from here on out.

Less than 30 minutes into our two-hour-and-thirty-minute bus ride to Salta, we encountered our first problem- a road blocks made of tires lite on fire on the highway by protesters. They surrounded all the entries and exists and prevented us from leaving. Fortunately, the protest was not violent by any means but they said they weren’t going to lift the roadblocks until 9pm that night. We heard that the protest was happening all around the province because the protesters were angry with the government because the government stopped providing some sort of welfare to the people.

protesta corte en la autopista de jujuy

“Wait, but you don’t understand. We have to catch a flight back to Buenos Aires at 8pm.” I thought to myself. Stacey, Allie and I felt a little bit of a panic attack because we didn’t know what to do. I only had about 20 pesos left on my prepaid phone so we were in a pickle. Very lucky for us, there were two moms on the bus who asked needed to change their flights and called the airline for us. The airline charged us about US$50 to change our flight to Saturday morning but it was the only thing we could do to ease the stress of missing our flight or not.

After about 6 hours of sitting on the freeway, the roadblocks back to the bus terminal in Jujuy were lifted and we headed back to the terminal to change buses. We waited about an hour before the new bus came and then made our way to Salta and then the airport in Salta.

We arrived one hour before our original 8pm flight and rushed to the ticket office in hopes of being able to change back. However, our hopes were soon crushed after the woman at LAN, our airline, told us it would be another 400 pesos(about US$50) for us to change the flight. Reluctant to spend the unnecessary money, we decided to keep our flight for the next morning and spend the night in the airport.

Yes, you would think the adventure ends here, but it doesn’t! I don’t know why we didn’t bring any extra money, debit cards, or credit cards but somehow we ended up with only 15 pesos left for food until we went home to Buenos Aires.

In the cafe in the airport, Allie asked if she could use the credit card information  she had on her phone to purchase food. She came back with a yes and we drooled looking over the menu, considering what we wanted to order.

After we decided what we wanted to order, Allie went up to the register to place the order only to be shut down once again when the same woman said, “Oh, I’m sorry. You actually can’t use the credit card details because we’re only able to slide the card.”

We went to our last resort and called my friend Ivana who is from Salta and has friends here. She explained the situation to our friend and told us that her friend could bring us 200 pesos for food later that night.

Ivana called me about an hour later and said her friend just left the center and was heading to the airport soon. Dying of hunger, we decided we couldn’t wait any longer so we ordered the pizza instead of waiting til Ivana’s friend arrived. The pizzaria 6 delicious meat empanadas and a large mozzarella pizza would arrive in 40 minutes. Perfect! The money and the pizza would arrive around the same time and we would be able to eat! We were filled with joy.

Then I received a call. It was Ivana. Her friend couldn’t bring us the money.

Our luck stuck once again! I panicked at first and didn’t have any idea what I would tell the pizza man when he arrived and I didn’t have the money to pay him. We called the pizza place and cancelled the order and decided we would have to wait until tomorrow to eat since we spent 10 of our 15 pesos calling the pizza place and using the internet to contact our parents.

stacey and allie sleeping in the airport of salta

To end our adventure of unluckiness, we woke up around 5am in the morning on Saturday and agreed we could buy a medialuna, or croissant, with our last five pesos and split it for breakfast.

I walked up to the cafeteria and proudly said, “I would like one medialuna please” and handed the cashier the two 2 peso bills and peso in coins.

“I’m sorry, they’re six pesos.” She said with a sad look on her face.

“Wait, what? But yesterday they were five on the menu?”

“Yes, you’re right. But we raised the prices today.”

“Well… okay, then. Thank you.” I said disappointingly and walked away.

We battled our hunger off and waited til we arrived in Buenos Aires to be treated to a large mozzarella pizza by Ivana. Wooh! What an adventure it was.

If you read this far, I hope you enjoyed it 🙂 Feel free to leave any comments below!

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4 Months: Differences in the university system

joe previte la universidad de belgrano buenos aires argentina

I’m just now passing the four month mark here and have one month to go. Part of me does not want to leave and the other part of me wants to see my friends, family and return home. It’s been such an amazing experience thus far and I plan to take advantage of these last four weeks to get the most of this adventure.

This week’s post is on differences and observations at the University of Belgrano university setting here in Buenos Aires compared to year of university at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Classes are small and there is en emphasis on “Group Work”

There are between 15-25 students in all of my classes. The classes are typically lecture/discussion based. We always work in groups though- group discussions, group presentations, and group essays . I think the only “non-group” assignment was the midterm!

We don’t turn in homework

There isn’t a boatload of homework. It depends on the class but usually there is a text you have to read or an assignment you have to complete. We never have quizzes or tests on them though.

Attendance is “mandatory” and you must swipe your ID card

I quote mandatory because obviously you are not forced to go. The difference here is that you must swipe your ID card before each class. Well, almost. There are three “periods”- morning, afternoon, and evening. You have to swipe your card once for every period that you have classes. Ex. I have two classes in the afternoon but I only have to swipe my card once.  You are required to attend at least 75% of your classes to pass the class.

The faculty are understanding and laid back

The professors are awesome! They all understand that Spanish is my first language and assist me when I struggle to explain something or don’t know a particular word. They’re also laid back in the sense that they may show up a few minutes late to class and don’t mind if I do either. One other cool thing is that if we finish our discussion or homework early, they let us go home early!

Exams may or may not finish when classes finish

So this is a different approach to final exams then what I’m used to-I have two classes with natives(meaning outside of the international program) and the last day of class for both of them was today. However, the days of the final exams for both of them are in the last  week of November. This means that I have two weeks to study, or travel…

Grading scale is from 1-10

Instead of using A-F, here they use 1-10. A 4 is passing. Here’s a link that explains more but basically:

  • 10 = A
  • 8-9 = A
  • 6-7 = B
  • 4-5 = C
  • 1-3 = F

That’s it for this week’s post! Next week, I’ll write about the different classes I’m taking/I took! Hope you enjoyed! Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments below 🙂

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15 Weeks: Monday dinner interrupted by robbery

shangai dragon buenos aires

[Photo Courtesy: Google]

It was 7 o’ clock and I had one hour left before finishing my last day at my internship with Process Street, a new startup here in Buenos Aires. The team consisted of the two co-founders , Vinay and Cameron, and me, the intern. I found the internship through Craigslist in August and worked one day a week,

“Hey, we’ve got a surprise for you. We’re taking you out to dinner. We’re going to go to this awesome Chinese food place called Shangai Dragon down the street. ” said Vinay as him and Cameron walked in the house after getting back from the gym.

“What? Sweet! I’m ready!” I replied back excitedly. Mike, one of their roommates, also came along with us to the restaurant.

We drank a few honey-flavored beers and ate the delicious Chinese stir fry. Since Mike and Vinay are from Australia, Cameron is from Canada and I’m from the US, we found ourselves in a deep conversation about the histories of how our countries were started and our lives growing up. Then everything changed.

“Wait, what’s going on over there?” Cameron interrupted our conversation and gestured towards the bar in the middle of the restaurant.

I turned my shoulder and realized one of the waiters was sitting on his knees on the ground in the middle of the bar with his hands behind his back. “Wait a second. What the heck is going on?” I thought to myself.

Then I froze. My eyes widened, jaw dropped out of fear and I clenched my fists until my knuckles were white.

*Cha-ching* The cash register opened and one waiter handed money to a man who then stuffed it in his brown messenger bag. Another man wearing a black t-shirt around his mouth, like a cowboy would with a bandanna and dark sunglasses covering his eyes, stood by his side. A pistol stuck out of his waistband.

Then I realized this was real life. The restaurant was being robbed and I was right there in the middle of it.

“Okay, guys. Don’t move or say anything because I think those guys are robbing this place right now.” I muttered in English as calmly as possible.  We didn’t make any rash movements.

Once the men obtained all the money from the cash register, they proceeded to leave the restaurant. At the same time however, an older couple, likely in their late 70s, were trying to escape the restaurant discretly.

The man with the mask grabbed the woman by her arm and muttered a few words in Spanish. I didn’t catch what he said but thankfully he didn’t harm her and took off with the other thief.  We heard the screech of the tires spinning as they took off before the police arrived.

Afterwards, I felt shocked and confused by the situation and the fact that it really happened right in front of my eyes.  We finished the rest of our drinks and left in awe at the fact that we witnessed a robbery.

I feel extremely thankful that I wasn’t hurt nor was anyone else and that they only thing they did was steal money. It’s still insane, for me at least, to think that this actually happened and that now I’m writing about this- two days later.

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14 Weeks: Chasing geese in a pedal boat

This blog post is just an update on what I’ve been up to here in Buenos Aires. Check it out!

Oktoberfest and Hiking in Cordoba, Argentina

I traveled to the Córdoba, the capital city in the province of Córdoba, last weekend with my girlfriend Stacey and a few friends. We originally planned on visiting that weekend because we didn’t have school on Monday AND it was the last weekend of Oktoberfest. We went to Oktoberfest on Friday but of course with our luck, it rained and they shutdown the festival about an hour after we arrived.

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Thankfully, the next day we had better luck with our adventure. We decided to go hiking in a small city called Cuesta Blanca, about an hour and a half from Córdoba.

cuesta blanca argentina

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The bus dropped us off in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. We found the path to the river with the help of a group of high school kids. The river and mountains were a pleasant escape from the city. We relaxed by the water and even made a new friend with a dog that was obsessed with finding rocks in the river and dunking his head under to get them.

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joe previte con un perro

Pedal Boating in Lago Palermo

Stacey and I ran to Lago Palermo(about 2-3 miles from her house) and spontaneously decided to do the pedal boating! It was 90 pesos(about $11) for a half an hour and it was definitely worth it! My favorite part was passing the geese in the lake:

“Joe…joe! JOE! I don’t like being this close to the geese.”

“Stace, they’re not going to come near us.”

“Joe, please. I’m scared of them.”

“Quack, quack, quack! Come here, geese!” I said jokingly as we passed the geese(even though geese *honk*).

“JOE! STOP! Get them away from me!” Stacey yelled at me as we passed them.

Needless to say, we both had a fantastic time pedal boating in the lake 🙂

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2 Kilos of Ice Cream for $13!

A few nights ago, Stacey and I had a coupon for 2×1 kilos of ice cream from and Italian ice cream shop called Freddo. The texture of the ice cream here is smoother than back home and it gives it a richer taste. It’s absolultely delectable.

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Dustin Luke Fiesta

Friday night, I finally met Dustin Luke in person. He lived in Buenos Aires for four years and now makes YouTube videos in Spanish. If you haven’t seen any of his videos but speak Spanish, you should check out this video.

The coolest part was meeting him in person after having interviewed him back in February for a Spanish project. It’s crazy to think that I randomly heard about him from an Argentine friend, interviewed him for my project and then actually met him in person.

dustin luke y joe previte

That’s it for this post! Hope you enjoyed reading it! Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments below 🙂

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13 Weeks: Language Differences

Just passed the 13 week mark for time spent living in Buenos Aires. I have about 60 days left before I come home. It sounds like a lot but it feels like it’ll be here tomorrow. In this post, I want to share a few differences I’ve noticed about the Spanish language from being immersed in it and the culture these past three months.

Spanish syllables are sometimes more than one syllable

I realized this when I tried to pronounce the name of one of the largest oil companies in Argentine, YPF. At first I pronounced it like I would pronunce an English acronym- by the letters(in Spanish, of course), which sounds like igriega-pe-efe. Then I thought to myself, “Why is it that in English we can pronounce acronyms so much faster?” I said the alphabet in my head and realized, “Oh! In English, all the letters in the alphabet are more syllable, except for w.” I had never considered before but I found it fascinating afterwards.

Matafuego, paraguas, and parabrisas are constructed similarly

These words mean “fire extinguisher,” “umbrella,” and “windshield.” What amuses me is these words are put together in Spanish.

  • matafuego can be thought of as mata, which means “kill,” plus fuego, which means “fire” So it’s like you’re saying, ” the thing that kills the fire.”
  • paraguas and parabrisas can be thought of the same way- para means “stop” plus agua, which means “water” gives you, “the thing that stops water” and brisa means “wind” or altogether, “the thing that stops wind.”

Even though in English, you could say the same thing about “fire extinguisher” and “windshield,” the words in Spanish stuck out more because the verbs matar and parar seem to be more commonly used in Spanish than the words “extinguish” and “shield” in English.  Also, I might add that I’m more attentive  when it comes to learning words in Spanish than in English because I learned Spanish from scratch.

That’s it for this post! Feel free to add any thoughts or comments below! 🙂