Hello! Day 8!
Today was a good day :) I woke pretty early to walk around the neighborhood and soak up some Argentinian sun!!
I headed to the orphanage about 300!
When i got there, it was quite a site, one of the boys, Daniel, was refusing to take a bath and so the staff were literally DRAGGING him and pulling him into the tub. It was very VERY hard to see this little boy fighting so hard against them, with little reward.... but they had to get him to bathe some how!!! The little boy, Daniel, is quite a handful :(
Today, the other volunteer's host mom came with us! The entire time her eyes were the size of dinner plates. I dont think she realized what exactly she would see and hear. It was really nice having a new and friendly face there and i think she really enjoyed it. The kids absolutely LOVED her so that was amazing as well!
There was also another male volunteer there that was playing with the boys. All the staff are female and so the boys love to have a little TLC from some muchachos!!
Today, we made a new welcome sign for the entrance into the Orphanage. The old one was falling apart and ripped to shreds. We painted each kids hand and had them put a hand print onto the sign! It went really really well. We were worried that the kids would run with their painted hands and put them onto the walls or what not, but they didnt it worked very well!
We played outside a little and then it was time to leave!
Tonight for dinner we had................. i have no idea..................... it was like a hamburger but stuffed with spinach and wasnt made of meat..... I thought that i was pulling off my "wow! this is delish face!" but when my host mom scooped up the pattys off my plate, i realized she could see right through me.... ha!!!
We also had homemade french fries with them that were SO good!!! I went to bed REALLY early because i havent been sleeping very well!
and now off to a new day!!
HOLA!!!! Day 7!! WHEW! Exactly one week... i think i said that the other day, but this is actually one week....
Today we VERY laid back. Here, sundays are super super chill, many stores arent open and everyone relaxes.
I didnt wake up until almost 130 pm!!!! I think my body was really trying to kick this cold i have had! It was so strange, i havent slept that long in ages.
For lunch, we had some soup and cheesy bread. I was the only one awake for a while, with my host mom, and then Bene and Sofia came down at almost 230.
Sofia and I decided to go to see Pirates of the Carribean at one of the main shopping malls here. While she got dressed and ready, i played with the puppy (Pinocho) and helped wash the dishes.
Then, we left about 345.
It was almost a 35 minute ride to the movie theater on the bus...
When we got there, Sofia realized the movie was only in Spanish, no English subtitles.... needless to say.... I have no idea what Jack Sparrow was doing in this movie. Something with mermaids and water? COULDNT tell ya..........
At parts of the movie everyone would bust out laughing, i, of course, would follow suit. Yet i had no clue why anyone was laughing...
After the movie, Sofia and i went back to the market. This was a very good trip and i got lots of things to bring home!!
For dinner tonight we had egg omelet kinda things. I used some bread and cheese and made it kind of a sand which and it was very good!! we also had this orange soup that i didnt have a clue what it was, but it turned out to be really good!
Then, i went to bed, i was so so tired!!!
HollLLLLLA!!!! today was one of my favorite days by far!! I got to spend a ton of time with my host mother and sister!
Today, we woke early and headed to the mountains of Cordoba. The mountains are located in this small city named Carlos Paz. It took about 35 minutes to get there and we headed straight to the "Rally." Every year in Cordoba there is a big car rally where there is a race, and jumps and everything! We were standing by the pit where the cars get fixed so we got to see all the drivers and everything! It was so so cool!
Then, right next to the rally there was a rugby game going on and we stopped to watch that for a little. Lemme tell you... that is a MANS sport. They were tackling and everything without pads on! Very intense!
After that, we headed into town for a little to look at the shops and have lunch. It was about 230 and the shops didnt open till 5 so we killed time, after lunch, by going up to a little country club on the mountain. My host family used to be apart of the club so they can visit whenever they want! It was very similar to wintergreen, it had a pool and hot tub and condos all together, then it had separate houses that you could rent. It was SO beautiful and i told my parents we MUST live there one day!!!!
After Carlos Paz, me and my host family went into the center of Cordoba to go to the market. The market is only around on Saturdays and Sundays and opens at 6 pm. I fell in love. They had EVERYTHING you could possibly imagine.... They had an ENTIRE section called "Rastas," where i went a little crazy..... soooo many amazing bracelets and everything, all hand made. We didnt stay long because we had had such a long day, but they promised i would come back tomorrow.
A sad thing.... Here in Argentina, dogs are an infestation. There are HUNDREDS and hundreds running on the street. And these arent all scraggly little dogs that bite they are very nice dogs, i have seen a Dalmation, Weimerwiner, labs, golden retreviers!!! What happens, is that families buy these really nice dogs and then realize they cant afford them, so they just let them loose on the streets. It is so sad. SO at the market, the people whose dogs have bred, are GIVING away puppies. Free. But it is the saddest thing, all these puppies are just crammed in a cardboard box and the people are shouting, take them take them, i dont want them, they need a family. And the puppies are crying so so so loud. Literally i cried when i saw this... its awful... i may or may not bring one home....
Tonight for dinner we had empanadas! They are these tortilla things that have been folded into a little pocket and they have stuff inside. You can get it with meat, vegies, etc. We had ours with spinach and brocolli. (spelling??)
OH and then after dinner, i went out on the town with Sofia, my host sister, to hang out with some of her friends. It was a costume party.... i went as an American.... !!! ha!!
Talk to everyone tomorrow!!
Today was a very low key day again! I had a meeting at 2 pm with the other volunteers at the Projects Abroad office here in Argentina! We just sat and planned for the next few weeks at our different placements and what we want to do with the children. I met two new volunteers! One woman is from south Africa and speaks NO spanish so she was having to use the dictionary soooo much!! and the other is from Switzerland!
After, i went straight to the orphange! Today we made bracelets for the ENTIRE time! I taught all of the kids how to make rope bracelets and we sat for almost 3 hours just making bracelets and chatting!
Today we didnt do too much!
Fun fact: the bus here is called the "Collectivo" and you pay in coins that only have value to the buses, so if thieves try and rob the bus, the money has no value outside of the buses.
Talk to you guys tomorrow!!!
Buenas Dias otro vez! Good Day again!
This all happened yesterday but i am going to say today for organizational purposes! ha!
WELL first off, for my monkey uncle, otherwise known as UNCLE ANSON, heres a little about the food. The first night, we had a quiche it was spinach and egg and cheese. The second night we had rice and corn. The corn is SO SWEET here, i want to try and bring some home!! Then the next night we had this carrot pie... its hard to explain, it was in the shape of a pie but was filled with carrots! ick! and then tonight we had spinach cakes and lentils. I had lunch here only one day where i had cheese ravioli, it was SO good! But here, for breakfast we eat bread with caramal sauce. The sauce is much like Nutellla, but caremal. It is called "dulce de leche." Also, with coffee or tea. Lunch here isnt really a big meal, so i dont usually eat that DONT WORRY MOMMY!!!!
Here, there are four meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, and then tea and pastrys at like 5 o'clock, followed by dinner at like 930/10.
Everything here is kinda in slow motion. Every wakes much later, usually around 1030, dinner is much later and GET THIS, here when you go out for a drink or go out on the weekend, you LEAVE your house at like 130/2 am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And you come home about 530/6 in the morning! The most popular time and hectic time on the streets is about 3 in the morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When i told her i am usually asleep by 1 in the morning, I became the laughing stalk of dinner. Also, stores here all open about 1030/11 am as well, much later. Then on saturdays, the stores open earlier, like 9ish and close at noon for the rest of the weekend.
Argentina doesnt really have many rules, like traffic lights are not obeyed, and pedestrians for SURE dont come first. You have to like sprint across the street, like a game of frogger! Kids dont really have a time to come home either!
OKAY so TODAY was a very low key day. Well, in argentina, the children only go to school in either the morning or the afternoon. There are not enough schools so the government devised this system to fit all the children into school. (sounds sweet to me!) The morning kids leave at 8 and get home at 145 ish while the afternoon kids leave at 1ish and get home at 6ish. So today, the afternoon kids were at school, two had a dentist appointment, which left me and the other volunteer, ellie, to two kids!!
These two boys, Rodrigo y Ivan, are absolutely amazing. I LOVE them so much.
One boy, Rodrigo, has the saddest story. Today he opened up to me asking me while no one loved him and no one wanted him. He said he has been adopted not once, not twice, but THREE times :(:(. I heart broke. This kid is the most intelligent little boy. His reading level is almost on a 9th grade level and he is barely 10 years old. Also, he can count in english and say a few phrases like How are you, in english. He is at the top of his class and he told me that if he works hard in school that will make a family love him.... again, my heart broke. This wouldnt be the last time today i almost started crying...
Rodrigo, feeling confident, grabbed my hand and lead me to his bedroom, he told me to close my eyes ( i peaked), and he pulled a brand new book out from under his mattress. He told me that he hides the book because he doesnt want the other kids to ruin it, make fun of him, or to have it taken by the staff. Since there were only a few of us there, he brought it out. It was a spanish comic book. He sat there reading and laughing to me for almost an hour.
If i were to bring home one of these babys with me it would be rodrigo :(.
For the rest of the day we built a tree fort with palm tree branches and played house. I was the abuelita.... otherwise known as the little gramma..... :/ haha
At 530ish i went with one of the staff to pick up the afternooners from school. Other odd fact, in Argentina, at public school, you were lab coats to school. Like the coat a doctor would wear. I dont really know why but it looks quite strange all these little babies wearing lab coats. We got the other kids and headed back to the house.
The boys had time for a quick snack and then we all headed to soccer practice. Today was the first day of practice! The boys were SCREAMING (literally) with excitement in the car. When we got to practice, my heart broke again. Here we came pulling up in this huge white conversion van and all 5 little boys filed out dressed in the same navy blue sweatsuits with shoes that could barely stay on their feet. While the other "normal" boys were wearing soccer jerseys, shin guards, and had brand new flashy cleats. Our boys looked on in admiration.
This helped me decide what i would spend a large chunk of my money on. I would buy each boy a pair of cleats for soccer practice and a soccer jersey to fit in with the other boys.
The boys acted like all the others at practice, but they stuck out like a sore thumb. I wanted to run out and play with them. Ivan, is very little and was seperated from the other boys. He played with the little ones and did not like this at ALL. He sat on the ground and threw the cones and rocks at the players.
Practice ended about 830 and i rushed home because i feared my host mother would be worried! She wasnt. Tonight we had spinach cakes for dinner they were like crab cakes but without crab, at lentils!
Two fun facts:
1. Here, almost ALL of the houses are SUPER modern. Like made of all glass and thick wooden doors. Even if the houses are tiny, they are all very modern.
2. Here, it is considered almost offensive if you dont have a boyfriend. If you walk on the street, you cant walk five steps without seeing couples kissing, holding hands, etc. when i asked one of my friends, she told me if you dont have a boyfriend here it means something is wrong with you... ahha!!! When i went out with my host sister the other night, i was wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt... not quite the "clubbing outfit," but how she explained my appearance to her friends was "well, she doesnt need a boyfriend, so its okay..." HAHA!
I hope everyone really enjoys reading my blog! Being here has let me have a ton of time to think and realize this is exactly what i want to do when i grow up. I realize my heart is truly with children and helping them. I know exactly what i am going to do with my life.
I love this trip so much and i encourage every one to look at projects abroad website they have so so many options!!
May 25th is an important date in Argentina because it marks the annual celebration of the May Revolution. May 25th is known as el Día de la Revolución de Mayo, or the Day of the May Revolution. More specifically, this day marks the creation of the First Junta, a local authority that took over governance of Buenos Aires from the Spanish Viceroyalty on this date in 1810.
In the year 1810, the country of Argentina, along with neighboring Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, were controlled by Spain through the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. Following news of Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Spain and overthrow of the Spanish king, unrest grew among the Buenos Aires population.
On Friday, 18 May 1810, Viceroy Cisneros attempted to calm the stirring population by making a public announcement. He asked for allegiance to the overthrown Spanish king, Ferdinand VII Bourbon. Despite Cisneros’ attempts to conceal the true situation, the population of Buenos Aires, in particular the Creole population known as criollos, were savvy to the opportunity to change the power structure in the city.
A secret meeting was arranged to discuss the situation and the opportunity for changing the political power structure in Buenos Aires. It was decided that the people would request a public town meeting with Cisneros. This open town meeting would later come to be called the Cabildo Abierto. Two representatives were chosen to petition for the Cabildo Abierto, and on Saturday, 19 May 1810, the Viceroy met with Juan José Castelli and Martín Rodríguez to receive the petition.
Fearing that the outcome of the Cabildo Abierto would not be in his favor, Viceroy Cisneros avoided a decision. Over the following two days, Cisneros attempted to confirm whether he still had support, and just where that support lay. On Monday, 21 May 1810, restless and impatient with the delay, the people demonstrated their discontent in la Plaza de la Victoria. This plaza would later become la Plaza de Mayo, the location of Argentina’s Government building, the famed Casa Rosada. The will of the people was clear, and Cisneros authorized the Cabildo Abierto, which would be held the next day.
On the 22nd, the Cabildo Abeirto commenced, and speeches were made by prominent debaters on both sides of the argument. The Buenos Aires archbishop, Benito de Lué warned against sudden change. Representing the populace ofArgentina and the other countries under control of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, Juan José Castelli affirmed need for self-governance in light of the ongoing upheaval in Spain. The affirmation was that the Viceroyalty was invalid since King Ferdinand, who had appointed the Viceroyalty, was not currently in power.
The Cabildo Abierto voted the following day and the decision was made to remove Cisneros as viceroy and replace his sole power with a Junta consisting of Cisneros and other important public representatives. Public opinion held that through governance by a Junta headed by Cisneros, the power dynamic would not be any different than when Cisneros had been Viceroy, and members of the Junta were persuaded to reject their positions.
Finally, on May 25th the will of the people was enforced. Although the Cabildo Abierto had planned to enforce the Junta and reject any resignations from appointed members, it was made clear that Cisneros no longer had any support, and the Junta he headed was therefore pointless. Cisneros was asked to resign entirely, and a new Junta known as the First Junta was formed. It was called the First Junta because it was formed entirely of members of the Buenos Aires populace, and free of direct influence from the Spanish Crown. Thus, through the creation of the First Junta, Buenos Aires became the first achieve self-governance, making it an example for other countries controlled by the Spanish Viceroyalty.
Events in the week leading up to the May 25th are celebrated collectively as la Semana de Mayo, or May Week. This is due to the fact that the so-called May Revolution took place within a week. Although the majority of significant events began on May 18th, the culmination of the May Revolution on May 25th is the day on which the commemorative festivities are held each year.
Argentines are likely to celebrate the national holiday by abstaining from work, spending time with family, and perhaps eatinglocro, a traditional food consumed on many Argentine national holidays.
hola! Buenos dias! Today was a VERY relaxed day because today is Argentinas equal to fourth of july! i THINK i dont really understand what they are telling me about it, but im pretty sure that thats what it is!!
I woke up late, almost 1 pm! I had some breakfast with my host family! OH i forgot to mention about the food! it is so so so good. My host family is vegetarian too so they make the best food in the world! One night we had quiche and the other rice and corn and all these vegies! This morning for breakfast i had vegetable soup and a grilled cheese... i guess it was more like a lunch....
THEN i went to walk around and take photos of the town! I walked to the main street Rafel Nunez to take some pictures, then came home about 2:30. I headed to work, it is about a 15 minute walk, but when i got there the gates were padlocked and no one would answer.... I sat for an hour to make sure no one was going to come and i kept yelling "holllllaaaaaaaaaaa" haha! No one ever came, so i went back home about 4ish!
Right as i walked in the door my host mother, Patricia, guided me to the car and said she was taking me on a tour! Well this tour lasted near four hours! we went ALL over cordoba, i would get out of the car and take pictures, we stopped at the markets on the side of the roads, and bought bread. Franco was with us too!
I just got home from my tour and am laying in bed to warm up! Its super chilly outside right now in Argentina, its winter!!
If anyone has any good ideas of things i could do with los ninos at the orphanage that would be GREATLY appreciated! If we dont think of ideas and games to play with the kids, we end up just sitting there and talking!
i miss america and everyone so so much!!!
Hello again!! Today is my second day!
Today, I had my induction with Vanessa to get to know the city! She picked me up at 10 am. First, we went to the Projects Abroad office here in Argentina! I met the man i have been contacting this entire time, Ariel. He was so so friendly and funny! He gave me a bunch of papers, a handbook, an Argentinian cell phone, and a free t shirt!!
After the office, Vanessa and i went into town to the center of Cordoba. The city is not too big, a little smaller than Richmond. It is probably exactly what you are imagining! Many vendors, flower sellers, etc. We walked around for hours, had lunch at this cute little pizza place, and then headed back toward home!
We went straight to the orphanage from here! It isnt too far, about 25 minutes. At first, we were just there for a tour, but i ended up staying the entire day. I absolutely fell in love. The place has SO much that could be done. Outside, there are broken swings, bikes, metal, beer cans etc in the yard, leaves every where, concrete. It really does look like a prison of sorts. Then inside, everything is locked away. The kids break almost EVERYTHING they have. So all the toys, everything are padlocked in closets. There are a few colorful hanging flowers on the wall and that is it. There is a tv on the floor, a small infirmary, a TINY kitchen that has the most foul smell in the world, rotten eggs almost. Then there are five or six bed rooms with about three or four beds in each. At the moment there are only 8 kids in the orphanage. In the past week they have lost 16. It is kinda unknown where they all go, but usually the government finds them family to live with etc. The kids in this orphanage are not adopted. The kids here have been physically taken from their family by force, the parents have not given them up willingly. So therefore, would never sign adoption papers. Some of the parents call and even visit from time to time. Most of the kids have been abused in some way whether it is sexually, physically, or emotionally.
They are sweet sweet kids. I have so many ideas for the place, i just cant fit them all in in two weeks. I want to come back for SURE and i can already tell this one day two!!
The people that work in the orphanage are awful. They were placed there by the government, and they do not want to be there in the least. They sit at this table in the back kitchen and watch the kids fight etc. Not all of them, but most.
On some days the boys have football which is really nice! Maybe i could get them a new football?! and the girls love dancing!
Today i lost almost every single one of my many bracelets. As soon as the kids laid eyes on them, they had to have them. And if i gave one child one.... i gave them all....
The place has SO much potential, i wish i had endless supplies and manpower. It is hard to describe to every one, but we could all do so so much.
I have seen more INTENSE fights today at the orphanage than i have ever in my life. It is so so sad. It is like the children have seen it done before... maybe by their parents, on the streets... They get this look in their eye and its like they wouldnt care if they literally killed the other child. I saw one boy stomp on the others face.... truely is so so sad.
All i want to do is stay there all day and help!
I think that tomorrow i may wake early and go into town for a bit before work!!
Goodnight everyone love to all!!!
Today I got to Cordoba, Argentina! I arrived about 4:15 in the afternoon! It was a VERY long day... I went from Richmond to Atlanta, about three hours, then Atlanta to Santiago Chile, which was about 25 hours, then Chile to Cordoba, only about 1.45 hours.
Right when i got here one of the staff, Vanessa, picked me up from the airport!! She is very very nice and has lived here for a year and a half. She came just as a volunteer with me and ended up staying for a year and a half! She is leaving in July to go and get her masters in Denmark! All of the people here are just like that! They have so many cool and ambitious aspirations, it is truely inspiring, all the volunteers are the same way.
After she picked me up I came and met my host family!! They are SO kind! The mom, Patricia, is very very nice and is a very good cook! She has a daughter, Sofia, who is 15 and a son, Franco, who is 8. Franco has severe Autism and Patricia is constantly taking care of him and watching after him. He is a very sweet boy and such a mamas boy! They also have a new addition to their family, un perrito! Their dogs name is Pinochio, this is Pinocio in espanol. The dog helps Franco out alot and helps Patricia with Franco, it is incredible to see. I also met another volunteer that is staying here as well! Her name is Benedict. She is from Switzerland and has been here three weeks already, and is staying three more. Everyone is so friendly and nice!
We ate dinner and just chatted for a while and then i went to bed! I was so so tired!!
Check back! Buenos noches!
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