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Published: February 15th 2008
Hombre Viejo Tocando la Guitarra
Musician at the tango show playing the guitar
Hola Todas! I know it's been awhile, but things have been a little hectic around here lately. We found out that Carnaval is more of a Brasilian (Brazil) celebration and there really isn't all that many fiestas or gatherings in Argentina. But four of us including me went to see a traditional Tango Show two weekends ago at a place called Bar Sur (South Bar) which is one of the oldest tango establishments in Buenos Aires in the barrio (or neighborhood) of San Telmo which is known for its Tango and lively theater and arts scene. And on the night we went it just so happened to be their 98th Anniversary of Bar Sur and we received complementary champagne. This night was amazing, we wined and dined and not only watched some of the best tango in the city, but also got to dance with some of the dancers throughout the night. Luckily we had had lessons during our orientation to the city, so we didn't make complete fools of ourselves. It was kind of expensive as far as Argentine money goes costing 210 pesos or about $65 US dollars, dinner included. But it was well worth it! I think they
Tracey Praticando su Tango
Tracey dancing with one of the tango dancers.
pulled out all the stops the night we were there because we also got to listen to three old men play traditional tango music on an accordion like instrument, guitar, and piano, as well as hear an older lady with a pristine voice sing about love, romance, Buenos Aires, and life. If you ever come to Argentina its a must to see a tango show, I recommend Bar Sur because it was a small place, intimate environment and you were able to have a personal experience. Then we started classes on Monday. I have class every day Mon-Thur from 2-5 (sometimes 6pm) and on Wednesday morning too from 10a-1p. The classes are really long lasting 2hrs-4hrs and a lot of information is covered and thrown at us at once, so it can be very tedious and sometimes boring even though the subject matter is really interesting. We are learning a lot about the political and history of Argentina with all the dictatorships, military rule, and wars. My grammar class is helping my spanish a lot as well as speaking with my roommate. Oh yeah I don't think I've told everyone this yet. I have a Spanish speaking roommate from Argentina!
Jessica, Gabby, and I
This was the champagne toast for Bar Sur's (the tango show place) 98th Anniversary
His name is Santiago, this will be his first year attending the University of Belgrano (a different school than me) for architecture, (Elizabeth Miraziz, I'll try my best to get the two of you together - for those of you who don't know Elizabeth is one of my friends attending Clemson for architecture as well). Anyway, he's a really good and cool guy and we've been getting along great and he's really been helping me with my Spanish correcting me every time I say something wrong, which is about every 5min. He is fluent in English too, so that really helps! But anyways, classes are going well over all, lots of homework for grammar, and lots of readings for my other classes, but I am learning a lot. We also went to the zoo last week. It was kind of sad because the cages were really small for all the animals, but we did get to see some animals that we've never seen before! See the pictures.
So we did not end up going to the beach in Uruguay last weekend because the bus was completely sold out except for first class, so we went to a beach in
Gabby Praticando su Tango
Gabby dancing with the other tango dancer.
Argentina instead called Mar del Plata. It's about 5 hrs outside the city so we took the bus at midnight Thursday night and arrived the Friday morning. It was freezing cold and raining when we got there, but we went to the beach anyway (after dropping our bags at the hostel), even though I realized that I had forgotten to bring a coat and a beach towel! We just decided to mostly stay in Friday since the weather was so bad. We went out for a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant that night called Mexicana and then went out to the famous club in Mar del Plata called Complejo Sobremonte. The next morning we awoke to sunny skies and 80 degree weather, so we spent the whole day at the beach and it was truly wonderful. I forgot to put sunscreen on the back of my neck, and got burnt there, but just a nice little tan everywhere else. That night there was a drum circle in the hostel which so so enthralling and powerful. I wonder now why I never went to drum circles before when I saw them advertised in Charleston. There's just something about that beating
Tango a la Bar Sur
The dancers flipping one another.
rhythm moving through you that you feel alive and happy and empowered. Then on Sunday it was cold again, so we decided to explore the city, go shopping at the street market and outdoor pedestrian shopping avenue. Some people went to see the sea lions down by the docks.
Then we had classes for a week again, same as last week basically, although the Chair of the Spanish dept. from CofC is visiting this week to check in on the academics, which really helped because he was able to talk to the professors about some things that were not working well, etc. So classes should be a little more active and not so stagnant. And that brings us to Thursday and the weekend again. It was Lauren's 21st Birthday on Wednesday so we went out to celebrate. We had a medical emergency on Tues. night, one of the girls woke up in terrible pain and I spent the whole night at the hospital with her (since my room is closest to hers), turns out she has a kidney stone, but they gave her medicine and she went to see a urologist so she is going to be fine, but
their public universal healthcare hospital was a sight and an experience. We have learned to go to private clinics now and what to do in case an emergency happens in the middle of the night.
This weekend four people in our group left for Mendoza which is Argentina's main city/countryside for producing wine (their known for their Malbec). Another four decided to go to Uruguay since we couldn't go last week, and the rest of us are holding down the fort in BA! We have a lot of hw and reading this weekend, but hopefully I will be able to go get a massage and go shopping this weekend, because I didn't bring enough clothes down with me (I'm having to do laundry once a week, not once every two weeks like I was hoping too). But thats okay. Next week, I am hoping to go to a couple of museums since one of our professors gave us a museum map of the city with what days each one is free or discounted. I also hope to start Tango lessons tomorrow night, finally, so that should be entertaining! (at least for the instructors since I'm really bad at it)
Animales al Zoo
We have no idea what kind of animals these were or where they were from.
But no worries, hopefully by the time I leave I will be an expert. Thats all for now, I will try to update this more often since I am doing more and more, and it takes more time to type every time, but it just depends on how much homework I have and all the other activities I'm doing. As always, feel free to leave comments or suggestions. Love and thanks, Caleb.
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