argentina throwback: the urge to speak in spanish

note: these argentina throwback posts are migrated from an old blog. please ignore all the formatting issues that may have occurred. i don’t want to go through and fix them all. 🙂

 
Today was my first day at my program and there a lot of people so it was very overwhelming. Lots of English, which is a huge contrast to my host family who is continuously having to slow down their rapid Spanish for little old me. The first day was nothing special. In fact, a few girls and I cut out of the last presentation and walked around the city and got lunch. I was the typical American and got french fries and a coke. Boring I know. But the “papas fritas” were real potatoes and very good. The ketchup here is very different though, which was disappointing because I love my ketchup. It is sweeter I think. After many presentations and a lunch of empanadas.

 
La Bomba del Tiempo. The Time Bomb. A group of girls and I went to see this amazing drum show. It was 12 guys and a conductor or leader and they were ripping out improvisational rhythms. There was a lot of dancing and a lot of people. Lots of “free spirits” as I like to be refer to them as. I danced the night (or rather the evening) away until I had to be home for dinner at 9:30pm.
 
It was Jane’s birthday party tonight. Jane is a past student that lived with my family. She is now getting her Masters at a university in Argentina. Her two friends and she came over to celebrate with us. Lots of Spanish. My day was filled with English, but I had to hold my own over the dinner table. Tonight’s topics of discussion: Polo and the horses raised to play it, the politics of the US, how the education system is in a downward spiral and kids don’t have respect anymore, the horrible crimes that have happened in South America, my studies, and much much more. After two hours of full concentration, I am proud to say I understood about 60 or 70% of what was being spewed. I am still a bit shy when speaking, but my host father makes jokes about it all the time. When I speak, he jumps out of his chair and yells, “¡Sara habla!” Since it is only the second day, I am pretty comfortable with my level.
 
Tomorrow, we start pre-classes Spanish classes. We are going to learn the slang and the Castilian (or Argentina) way to speak. Here the double L is pronounced like a j not a y. And the y is also pronounced like a j. I like it. It is beautiful to listen to my family rattle off the musical language. Soon I will be able to join them. Currently, I stick to speaking in present tense where I can speak as quickly and coherently as them. Orientation is two weeks long and we start official classes on March 17. Until then, I have early mornings, 9am. I have to take the bus. Bus 60. My host mom keeps reminding me. 
 
I am already getting a good feel for the city. It is set up in blocks just like any other city. Once you figure out the major streets like Cordoba, Corrientes, and Santa Fe, it is easy. We did use the map a lot today though. We walked about 30 blocks to get to the drum show. Some things look closer than they actually are…like objects in the side mirrors of cars. But the walk was nice, minus my heavy bag. We got to know the area and how to use maps. I got to practice my Spanish a lot because the girls I have been hanging out with are not quite as vocal as I am yet. Soon I will have it. I am already getting the urge to type this all in Spanish, so maybe my transition into thinking en español. My family, especially my host brother and his girlfriend, have been very helpful in my transition. 
 
Today I did not bring my camera, but I will post photographs of my adventures soon.
Paz para ahora.
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