Monday, August 30, 2010

Goodbye Em!

So... my host sister left for school last night. My two brothers and I took her to the bus station. I still cannot believe how many wild dogs I am seeing. Last night, Ignacio’s eye was very red. I guess he was firing metal together without wearing glasses. He said all the glasses were taken and he needed to get something done right away. My brother, Jose, told on him and Ignacio was not happy. I watched the boys fire metal the other day… I was far away and I couldn’t even look at the fire because it was so bright. Ignacio is stubborn… like me. Juan said “what does fucking moron mean?... I am not sure what it means but I think that is what Ignacio is.” Haha… I laughed so hard. But anyways, Jose said something mean to me earlier in the day and I told him in English to be nice to me or I would cry. He begged me not to because Mama and Papa would yell at him. It is nice that Jose can speak English when I do not understand, but it is also nice how I can threaten him in English. However, the rest of my family knows some words in English so I have to talk fast and use different words. Haha. Last night, Mama, Papa and Juan (my translator) had to go over the questions required by my exchange program. Papa was so serious and he talks a lot about certain things. They basically said they would treat me like a daughter and they said that they will yell at me like their own children. They told me that they would take me to school. Then, when I get the hang of it, I can take the city bus. I told them that I do not want to take the bus alone… I would rather spend all day at the school with Ignacio until the float is done. After the end of September, the float and parade will be over so we will not have to spend all day at the school. All I know is… the buses scare me enough let alone being by myself. My family tells me they are safe, but then I also have to walk 3 blocks after I get off the bus. 3 blocks usually in the dark… I guess my neighborhood is one of the safest. Jose says 80 year old people walk it every day… haha. He says that it is basically a precognition… he said a “3rd world slap in the face.” Haha… Yes, it is 3rd world here and I see it every day. I guess my parents are getting me a phone. They tell me that I can have friends over as long as I tell them before. I thought … wow, that is neat but I do not have any friends and I am scared I will not make any. Knowing my luck, I will like them and they will not like me or vice versa. Haha… Juan tells me that I will not have a problem with making friends. He says I am friendly and cool… but people here are different so who knows. Cool, sounds like the dogs are fighting outside. Anyways… I forgot to mention that we have a gas store here. You turn the gas on then stick a match under it. HA! I haven’t tried it yet because I know how I am with fire.

I had my first day of school today. The principal introduced me to all the students. They are just stared at me when she told them where I was from. However, they are all nice. I think I actually made friends. The two girls that are really nice to me speak English well. They think I am funny… I still call the one boy “Beans” since he looks like Beans from “Even Stevens.” My brother, Ignacio keeps singing about not having rhythm... it is a song from "Phineas and Ferb"... I guess it is called Ain't got no Rhythm. It is funny when he sings it in Spanish. Well… keep me in your thoughts and prayers! Chau for now.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ignacio is the BOSS

la torta!

All of this morning, my mom was making a cake. I guess it tastes like oranges? We took it to the school for my brother, Ignacio. Since he is the boss of the float,he has been working very hard.It is Sunday and they are working on the float basically everyday of the week. He probably will not be home until midnight. When we took the cake to him he said "Hi Carley." It makes me laugh when he talks in English because he only knows a little. Then he said high five, but his hands were black from working with all the metal. On our way home, I saw a small, wooden sign that had “Cyber” written on it. They have Cyber School here! But, they have computers for the students to use because not every family has a computer. Last night, at dinner, Ignacio threw a towel at Mama. He said "in your face" and my other brother and him think that phrase is so funny. But, Mama did not think it was funny. She said some Spanish work that started with a "B" and it means you have gone too far. But, I thought she called him a bastard. When I told my brothers, sister what I thought she said, they laughed. Then, my Papa was worried that I thought they were laughing at me and not with me. He made my one brother, who knows English well, translate to me that they were not laughing at me. Papa worries a lot... haha, he also tells me a lot about Argentina and talks a lot when we are driving around. If I just shake my head up an down and say si, he thinks I do not understand (even when I do!). Yesterday, my brother, Juan, and sister made pizza. The bread and sauce were homemade. I think they are trying to make me feel more at home because I have not ate a lot of their food. My mama says EAT!!! They fix my plate for me. When I do not eat all of it, they give it to the dog. They ask if I like a type of food and I say yes, but only a little. haha... Today Mama made raviolis that had cheese inside of them. I do not think the water tastes different... but, if I really think about it, it tastes different. They drink Tang here like I drink sweet tea at my house. I think Tang tastes okay… but today they smashed up oranges and put them in it… I like that much better! Tomorrow, I go to school. I will probably work on the float all I day. The school uniform is a red shirt, blue jeans and dark shoes. I have Ignacio’s shirt that does not fit him. I am probably getting another one tomorrow… I hope. I only have two pairs of jeans appropriate for school. I hope I can buy more! I am going to a Rotary meeting on Wednesday. I am looking forward to it because it will be my first time attending one in Argentina. This upcoming weekend I might be going to a Rotary orientation with all the other exchange students. Some of the students have asked me if I am going… hopefully, I will find out Wednesday if I get to go to. I haven’t made really any friends yet. I have spent a lot of time hanging out with my host sister since she is going back to school. My middle brother Juan goes to work/school and so do my parents. Then, Ignacio goes to the school to work on the float. Here, they take the float very seriously. In the US, I do not think students would be that willing to work on a float all week and all weekend. But, if they win they get a huge trophy and the satisfaction of being the champions. I think my school usually gets about 4th place which is pretty good considering there are many, many schools. Well, my family is going to drink some mate… so it is my time to drink tea. Take care everyone!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Today I went to the beauty shop with my sister. She got her legs waxed… ahhh. It looked like it hurt a lot. I am getting mine done next week. Here, waxing is more common than shaving. Anyways, I went to central (the town) with Em my sister. She leaves to go back to college tomorrow. We stood in line when she was getting a bus ticket to go back to school. Behind me was a 2 year old girl with her grandma. I gave her a kangaroo shaped sillybandz and she smiled a lot. She was so cute and it made my day. Also, while standing in line, I saw a man with a purse. He had a baby goat inside of it. I really wanted to take a picture, but I did not want to offend him. I go to school on Monday! Since I choose to work on the float, I will not have to take classes. I even bought a Toy Story shirt that the students designed. I hope the principal lets me take mining. All the other exchange students are in Chemistry. But, I want to take mining with my brother, Ignacio. I think it would be interesting. It is kind of like blacksmithing... ya know firing metal I gave my host family gifts from the US. Necklaces for my mom and sister and t-shirts with my town name for my dad and brothers. I also brought a wooden structure that said stuff about my state and chocolate from my state. They were so appreciative of the gifts. Yesterday, I was at the school to visit. I am helping with the float… It is a big deal here. All night I folded paper that was 1inch by 1inch into a flower. They use that for the character’s costumes in Toy Story 3. The girls make the flowers and the boys build the structure. However, there is one boy making flowers. He looks like the black version of Beans from “Even Stevens!” Last night, everyone was working on the float… we worked until 12 at night. But earlier in the evening, all the students ran to the window. Outside, 3 guys robbed a lady of her stereo. My brother, Ignacio, and his friends went to help her. She was in her car and very sad because she does not have a lot of money. This one girl in the school told me that the 3 guys walked away like it was nothing. They did not even run. It can be pretty crazy here at times. Well, that is all for now. xoxox

Friday, August 27, 2010


View from the plane!

Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Boxed lunch on the plane with a dulce de leche cookie

my animals!

freezer... a lot of bread and meat




bizcocho with tea and jelly

empanada de pollo is long
bomba de papa is circular



Fairly Odd Parents

Home sweet home

I journal so much that I forget to post blogs! Anyways, a lot is happening here. I arrived in Argentina on Wednesday afternoon. I flew down with Deidre, another exchange student, but we are in different cities. At the airport in PA, I started talking to the lady cleaning tables. I tried to brighten her day by telling her she was doing a good job. She then asked if I was PREGNANT!... aye. She saw my passport holder under my shirt and thought it was a baby. Ha… and Deidre also lost her boarding passes for a period of time. Thankfully, we found them on the bathroom floor. Go figure… you thought we would see them before we left. Anyways, the view from the airplane was beautiful. I took a photo and I will try to post it later. In Texas, getting ready to board, we sat beside a 27 year old, argentine speaking, man. I was going to ask if the seat was taken but I was not sure if he understood English. After we sat down, he said in perfect English… what’s up. Ha! He reminded me of my Uncle Pat and my brother. The man told us these crazy stories with morals. He would do these crazy eyes, laugh, and stick his tongue out. On the plane, he was a few rows ahead of us. I was journaling about him and he came back to our seats and asked me what I was doing. I shut my journal really fast!... Then, he asked for paper and a few minutes later, he came back with a note. I saved the notes for everyone to read. That whole overnight flight, he wrote us notes. We wrote back until he leaned into Deidre and tried to kiss her! She screamed! Hahaha. It was very funny… I turned my head and laughed. I was so delirious… I thought the light on the plane wing was another plane that wouldn’t stop following us and I though the wing was its beam of light. Each person on the airplane had their own TV in front of them… you could either watch the satellite of where you were and how much time was left until your destination, music, videos, etc… that was my favorite plane. Behind us sat a boy whose girlfriend is an actress and they are filming a movie in Buenos Aires. It was a long night and my second night of barely any sleep. But we landed in Buenos Aires and went through customs easily. Thank God for Jose from the Washington, D.C. Argentine embassy… since I got my student visa from him, I did not have to pay the $140 entrance fee that the other Americans had to pay. Then, we tried to find the shuttle we prepaid for. A young man that loads the bags under the shuttle was very nice. He was more helpful than normal… but anyways, he said me and Deidre are beautiful in Spanish. Ha…typical Argentine guy. We took the shuttle to a small airport… there, it had been over 30 hours of traveling and our nerves were shot! I was trying to be positive and said well… we haven’t had delays. Well go figure… then, we found out that my flight was delayed 2 hours and Deidre was delayed about 3. I was worried if my host brother would know since he was picking me up. I arrived at my town’s airport… and my two host brothers were waiting for me inside. I also met my Rotary counselor who was very nice. My youngest host brother thinks it is funny how I say Rotary, but I think he says it weird. In Argentina, it is typical for people to hug and kiss your cheek. It is pretty odd if you’re American but I am getting used to it. My oldest host brother, sister, and parents did not pick me up because my oldest host brother was taking his last exam to be a doctor. He passed. Now, he is a doctor just like my host parents! My middle host brother was an exchange student in California a few years ago so he speaks English well. He makes me only talk in Spanish so that I get better. It is difficult but they understand my Spanglish… usually ha. I had dulce de leche and mate. They both are not bad, but I do not really care for them. Everything I ate so far has had egg in it. I feel bad, but I do not like egg either. The maid here is very nice. She only speaks Spanish and she does my laundry. It is very odd… I am used to doing my own. There is no dishwasher or dryer here and my family is pretty wealthy. It makes me appreciate my life at home. You cannot even imagine the houses and people I have seen already. Wild dogs are everywhere… and there are people that work in the fields with hoes not plows. They have normal TV shows and stations here like Phineas and Ferb, Hannah Montana, Nick, TrueTv… sometimes it is in Spanish and sometimes it is in English with Spanish subtitles. Jersey Shore premiers on September 5th! My favorite show here is Cops… it is in Spanish but the beginning song isn’t. I watched part of the Hangover today in English with Spanish subtitles. My house is full of beautiful paintings that my host mom painted. She signed it with her maiden name. Here, the women keep their maiden name… so their name is normal plus “de (guy’s last name).” I visited my school today… The boys do stuff with metal and fire like a blacksmith… that is what mining is. The school does not look inviting. It reminded me of a prison. But, the people inside were very nice. I cannot count how many cheek kisses I got. My host brother is “el jefe” which is the boss of the float. In Argentina, September is a month of celebration. They are preparing to compete in their float competition… like floats for a parade. My school is doing a Toy Story 3 float. The girls are making paper flowers for it. My host sister, Emlice, and I brought paper home to make more flowers. I told her I feel like a Chinese person! Ha. Today, she asked me what type of food did my maid, Dora, make? She said queso or carne… but I did not understand… then she said carne rata… like rat meat and I freaked out thinking that I ate rat earlier. But, she was just trying to explain that rats eat queso (cheese). Ha… I call Dora… Dora la explorar… hahaha. My youngest host brother, Ignacio, thinks it is funny. So anyways, until September 21, the first day of Spring here,… I will celebrate and prepare things for the float. Then, I will take real classes! My family is not making me go to school until Monday which is very nice. I need to relax. Thanks to my oldest host brother, I met a swim coach today. Since it is winter here, they swim inside, but they rent the pool. It would cost me 200$ pesos a month until summer to swim. That is about $50 in the USA which my family things is “muy caro”… very expensive. It would be for about 3 days a week… about 3 girls on the team and many boys… and the pool is in meters. I still want to swim anyways. My host dad and sister told me that I look like a swimmer… since I have tall and have large shoulders. I need exercise. We will see if I do or not.

The maid here is the best… I showed her pictures of my family and she told me I look like my dad and my sister looks like my mom. She made me tea and gave me this bread looking thing called bizcochio. It was probably my favorite thing I have eaten so far. I saw the Recess was on this morning… I remember watching that show when I was younger with my sister. I am sad that it doesn’t play in the US anymore. She mopped my room yesterday and now she is dusting and moping it again. I made my bed but she remade it… hahaha, I guess it was not good enough. I have two things of wrapped pennies and she asked what they were… she thought they were bombs. Oh well, I will write more later.