Hola chicos,

I had a fairly eventful weekend!! Mía Julia went to Bariloche for the weekend so it was RE lonely, but Nora and I got some host mother-daughter bonding in. Jules left on Thursday morning so I was really just getting used to having no one around the whole day! I didn’t do much other than get my laundry done (see story below) and I went with Maddie to buy new shoes. Nora went to an opera so I had to eat dinner by myself, but this was when the huge protests were going on, so I had the news playing on my laptop during dinner. It was so interesting. Honestly Cristina is a crazy mofo. She literally said, “You should be afraid of God and you should be afraid of me.” IN HER SPEECH. Can you believe that? We were talking to Nora about it at dinner tonight and she said she believes Cristina will eventually be as bad as Venezuela’s Chávez. So scary. I’m so glad we don’t have to worry about that. I asked her if it’s possible to impeach Cristina but she pretty much said no.

That night I trekked down to Caballito (by myself 😦 ) to a friend in the Middlebury program’s apartment for my friend Hannah’s birthday celebration. I like spending time with the Middlebury kids because they only speak in Spanish and it’s awesome practice and they’re re divertidos! (S.O. ALEXANDRA 😉 ) After we spent an hour or two at the apartment we went to Post Bar in Palermo, which is one of my favorite bars here. I got to exercise my darts knowledge but I still suck. It was a lot of fun though!

Friday was the most beautiful day I have experienced here! It was about 75 degrees and sunny, so after my class I grabbed a book (n.r. Life of Pi) and headed to Vincenzo Park near my house. I was reading but it was so hot and the sun felt so good and eventually I passed out for an hour. Luckily the park is pet-free so I didn’t have to worry about sleeping in poop. On my way back I ran into Kathryn and we grabbed a liter of Quilmes at a nearby café and talked for an hour or so. After, I went to pick up my laundry. I left two loads with them which is 40 pesos, and when I came back they had two bags full of laundry but one of them wasn’t mine! It seemed like all of my clothes were in the one bag because my loads weren’t that big as it was, so they said to just come back if I had any problems. Recently I’ve noticed my favorite bra and favorite (and expensive) running shirt are missing. 😦 I am never going back to that lavandería!!! I should have known, because Jules got a bunch of random articles of clothing before in her loads. I am so mad. And down quite a bit of clothes.

I came home and napped some more because the sun drained my energy and after a delicious dinner with Nora (we had a wonderful conversation about a new friend 🙂 ) I headed out to Temple Bar with friends. Before I went out Nora told me to “ojo” because she saw some unfamiliar people hanging around the block. I figured it was just Nora being Nora but the next day I found out that a chico from the apartment building next door got held up by gun and the robber came up to the apartment with him and robbed everything!! If I had come home at that time it would have been me!!! So scary. So now I’ve been really paranoid–if I see anyone I don’t trust hanging around near the apartment I just keep walking and come back. And no way in hell am I leaving without Jules for the next few weeks. I’ve been telling myself that lightning won’t strike twice in the same spot though so hopefully it won’t happen again, and luckily no one was hurt when he was robbed.

Saturday was another beautiful day!! To continue Sarah/Kathryn bonding weekend, we traveled to Almagro barrio to go to the BA Underground Market hosted by the Argentine Independent (English newspaper). It cost 10 pesos to enter, and it was in this abandoned like textile warehouse or something, and on the top floor there was a huuuge room filled with little stands of homemade food and drinks and desserts! It was AWESOME! I ate a bagel with cream cheese (so craving me some real bagelz… mail me some!!), homemade ginger lemonade (mommy I was good and didn’t get the beer!), and some New Orleans rice and beans with picante sauce. It was SO good! Of course Kathryn got along fabulously with the cook from New Orleans and she told us she cooks Creole for a restaurant every Thursday!! Can’t wait to try it out because the rice and beans were deliciosísimo. I also bought cheddar cheese and… drumroll… blueberry chocolate whiskey jam. Yes. It is so good. I made Nora try it, and I even put it on my banana this morning. I found out there’s a blueberry picking farm 150 km out of the city in November! I plan on making a day trip out of that.

I decided to stay in and spend the night watching movies by myself like a lame-o, but I got lots of sleep! Sunday morning I woke up and went to brunch with the Brunch Bunch in San Telmo to a restaurant called WafleSUR… yes… WAFFLES!!!! It was so good. I ate a waffle with homemade Nutella and apple jam with a banana smoothie. All for 50 pesos (like $12). It was sooo delicious! I don’t understand why I’m not fat yet.

Later ANOTHER incident with mi calle happened…. we lost power on my block for about two hours. IT was the worst. I don’t know why but all I could do was listen to my ipod and nap. Nora decided to cook all of our meals for the week by candlelight while I slept. Eventually the lights came back on, but we never figured out what happened, but at first I thought it was my fault because I had plugged in my laptop just one minute before the power went out!! Unfortunately (or fortunately..) I didn’t get to see the end of the Pats game. Maybe that’s why they lost.

To continue the mala suerte of my weekend, my phone from the States completely broke. It’s dunzo. I have literally tried everything to turn it on but it won’t. 😦 Myyy luck, because I just found an app where I can text and call American numbers for free when I have wifi.

Finally Jules came home! It was nice to finally have my buddy back. 🙂 We dished about our weekends and then I went to la Madeleine for late night pizzaaaa. It was a very good night. 🙂

Today was Monday. The worst day of the week because I have class from 9:30 am to 8 pm. BUT on the bright side I don’t have Monday classes for the next three weeks, due to surprise holidays from the government and spring break! I am exhaaausted though. I am loving life.

I miss you familia y amigos! I’ve been having nostalgia sometimes when I see a commercial for Olive Garden or something random on the internet. Also I can’t wait to come home to snow and Christmas!

Hasta luego, besos y abrazos!

Sarah

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Every now and again, President Cristina Kirschner will make a speech on television. Buenos Aires replies by banging pots and pans and honking in the streets to drown out her voice. The protest is not finished until Cristina is. Yes, they hate her that much.

Many IES students have been receiving lpackages and cards from home and I feel quite left out! If you have some stamps to spare, here is my address. 🙂

Sarah Wetzel

IES Abroad Buenos Aires

Carlos Pellegrini 1069, Piso 13

C1009ABU Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires

Argentina

From my housemate Julia’s blog!!

Viajes de Julia

I wrote earlier that I went a cooking class last Friday, and I thought I would share one of the recipes they gave us! The only problem is that a. the ingredients are in grams, cubic cm, etc. and b. the recipe is in Spanish. Entonces, I’m going to be doing a little translating. I hope everything is correct!

Ingredients

Masa (Dough)

  • 18 oz. flour
  • 4 oz. refined pig fat
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups water
  • fine salt, to taste

Relleno (Filling)

  • about 2.2 pounds sirloin
  • refined pig fat
  • 7 oz. finely chopped potato
  • 28 oz. finely chopped onion
  • 7 oz. finely chopped green onion
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • ground cumin, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • fine salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Directions

Masa (Dough)

Form a ring with the flour, and add the salt, melted fat, egg yolk, and water in the center. Knead together until the dough…

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Hola a todoossss,

This week has been pretty hectic! Actually it hasn’t, I just never got around to blogging. Honestly I don’t even remember what happened this weekend! Just significant events. So Monday all day I had class as usual, which was when I blogged my rant. Sorry about that, by the way. Tuesday I did absolutely NOTHING! I had class 9.30-11, and afterwards I had NOTHING TO DO!!! I think it was my first time being bored here. I didn’t really make an effort to not do nothing, but I just watched so many episodes of Breaking Bad, I cleaned my room and did all the homework I had. Then I went to soccer practice for di Tella University at 8. It was pretty fun, but not what I expected. The drills we did weren’t really fun and afterwards we scrimmaged, but it wasn’t a real scrimmage because it was turned into a game where you have to get the cones from the other team’s goal. And I also had a lot of trouble getting there because I had never been there before and it was a 40 minute bus ride. But I will still continue going, I think it was only a bad practice because a substitute coach was there. 

Wednesday I totally forget what I did. But I did go to chorus and it was fun.

Thursday I had class at 1:30 and afterwards I went home, had a nice little smoothie date, and then ended up skipping soccer because I ran out of minutes on my phone in the case that I would most likely get lost on my way there. Which would not end well. Instead I went to a cafe with my little chica group at Pertutti, where I had ANOTHER smoothie and a vulcan de chocolate… the BEST INVENTION EVER. Literally it is a chocolate cake with melted chocolate in the middle than flows like lava when you cut it open. And it is served with a huge scoop of helado covered in raspberry puree. It was probably the best dessert I have ever had. So yummy.

Friday I had morning class, and then Chloe and I ventured out to the barrio Caballito where we were on the hunt for this second hand clothing store that my friend had told me about. We found it, but because it was 3.00 pm it was CLOSED! Many businesses here close from like 1-4 pm for lunch. It’s kind of annoying. Especially since we spent about an hour and a half riding two subtes to get there. But it was an adventure nonetheless. We did find a cheap lunch place really close to the Center, which will come in handy. Later that night I had my first experience at a movie theater here! It was pretty much the same thing so that was disappointing. But the popcorn was like kettle corn! It was a good night. 🙂

Saturday I went rollerblading in Los Bosques de Palermo!!! It was so fun. We rented the “rollers” for an hour for 30 pesos. If I had the money I would totally invest in some of my own rollers. I got a good amount of my homework done and I also ordered McDonalds in for the first time. Yes, McD’s delivers.

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yummy… right?

Here’s a picture from rollerblading!

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Today I woke up around noon for no reason, because I didn’t go out and I went to bed at 1. But who cares. I went on a run today down near Plaza Italia where everyone was gathering for the world known yoga day. I guess 100,000 people did yoga there today around 3. My host mom went with her daughter. I would have gone had I not killed myself on the run! 

 

The good thing about having a blog is I can rant about whatever I want and no one can stop me. SO unless you want to hear me complain about how much I detest the U.S. sometimes I would advise you just ignore this post!

So today I had my favorite class, Drugs & Violence in Latin American Literature and Art. This is a three hour class that meets once a week, but I don’t mind spending my Monday nights at IES for this class. It is so interesting and every week continues to open my eyes to things I had no idea were going on in this world. Today we discussed las villas miserías which literally translates to misery villages. These are the slums of Buenos Aires and nearly half a million people live in these terribly unsanitary “villages.” Our homework last week was to discuss the villas with Buenos Aires natives, and so last night (yes, procrastinating…) I asked Nora about them. She gave me a good description of the villas and what caused them (many people in the middle to upper class will blame the Peron administration, but my teacher told us that is just a well-circulated opinion of the richer porteños and that not all of it is factual information). However, nothing she said helped me fully understand the importance of the slum problem in Buenos Aires until class tonight. 

We learned about neoliberal policies, something I never heard about before. Neoliberal policies are basically big international/political programs like the IMF that give funds to countries with failing/failed economic systems in order to help boost their economies. However, in return the countries have to adopt certain political policies that are in favor of these international organizations.  These policies include but are not limited to SAPs or Structural Adjustment Programs. These SAPs cause major cuts in public spending, like healthcare and education. The “reason” for the SAPs are to encourage cheaper labor which will create a more competitive economy in the world and encourage governments to only fund essential programs. The IMF, the neoliberalism ‘champion’ as my teacher called it, considers health and education unnecessary (pardon my language, what the eff???). In case you didn’t already know this, Argentina practically collapsed in 2001, and this is how. People literally lost all their lifetime savings because the peso inflated 200% because it attached itself to the U.S. dollar. Everything increased in price because government spending practically came to a halt all because a neoliberal movement in the government came to play. 

So for the weekend we also had to read an essay that this American named Mike Davis wrote, and he basically said that neoliberalism causes ecological and health crises which cause political conflicts which turn into war, and claims that the Pentagon is aware of this problem and is training soldiers to fight inside of slums in case of a possible uprise.

Call me an anarchist but I wouldn’t blame the impoverished if there was a “slum” uprising. It’s ridiculous that a government can cause so much damage just to get itself out of a kilombo while in turn forcing hundreds of thousands of its citizens to literally live in their own shit. 

One thing I love about Argentina is the free healthcare and free education. The neoliberal policies would have taken this away if it had stayed in the government. Students can get a supreme education at UBA for free, where I’m stuck in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt back in the States just to get a quality education. It pisses me off! And I know everyone is freaking out about the new healthcare system in the States, but honestly the U.S. is NOT POOR like everyone makes it sound like. In comparison to here, a TON of people can afford a quality healthcare. I just can’t believe how much Americans blow our problems out of proportion when there are countries that would literally kill to have a nation like ours. If I could change one thing about the U.S. is how much of a bubble we are in. I have never in my life learned about another country’s problems (with the exception of maybe a European country or Canada) without having to do extensive research. It pisses me off how ignorant our country is. (Not most of the people I know, but some citizens in general. Sorry if I offend anyone.)

I have had some built up anger with the U.S. prior to traveling here and getting an outside look of our country, but tonight was just the cherry to top it all of. I apologize if any of my information is inaccurate, I know some people get touchy over the small details but this is just what was on my mind.

On another note Tati and I touched noses today.

Yesterday Tati and I made a break through… we took a NAP together! As long as I didn’t touch her she snuggled up right next to me and snoozed away, just like me. Nora ALWAYS tells me it’s unusual for her to do this with anyone… even her son and daughter. Crazaaayyy

Tati wouldn’t get off my bed when I was making it so I just made it over her. She didn’t mind it. Hahaha.