I miss the US so much, but a part of me wants to stay in Argentina…to continue practicing my Spanish, to explore this huge city even more, try more restaurants, make more friends –but my three months are up. When I reflect on all my experiences and lessons learned I can’t believe I did it. Surely I will return to the States as Angela Pearson but not as the same person. Coming to Buenos Aires taught me how to be confident in my decisions, how to be even more independent than what I already was, and ironically how to relax.
Anyone who knows me, knows I take my work very seriously and I maintain a professional demeanor at all times but I learned in Buenos Aires that is OK to be informal.Many times my supervisor would say to me “tranquila” or “tranki” when I got worked up over something. One time I arrived to work an hour late because of traffic and she didn’t even care, this would never have been acceptable in the States.
In addition, I’ve grown accustom to greeting people with kisses, flagging down buses like taxis and drinking mate with Ernesto. I am used to elevators with caged doors and leaky air conditioners. Dodging dog poop on the sidewalks, while managing not to fall due to crumbling concrete is a regular dance. Ignoring the vulgar remarks of men doesn’t even faze me. The songs of the tambores during the weekly workshops will forever be in my head. The smell of fresh medialunas in the morning and hot empanadas in the afternoon.
Slang words like Che(used to get attention/hey), tranquila (calm down), morocha (dark skinned), morena (dark skinned), colle (short for collectivo=bus) and compu (short for computadora) are now integrated in my vocabulary. My Spanish is definitely better, but the language is different in other South American countries. Every country has it’s own slang, a different way to pronunciation but my time in Buenos Aires has exposed me to the vast complexity that is Spanish. There is still much to learn, but I am up for the challenge.
I will never forget the awesome friends I made. Jessica, the animated teacher from Lujan who has helped me more than I could ever repay her. Jessica’s host family (Ana, Flor, Andres, and Walter) who welcomed me into their home, feed me the best asado I ever had and allowed me to practice my Spanish freely. Sandra, my constantly joking and relaxed boss who always talks about how serious I am. Ernesto, the tall gentle giant who watched over me like I was his own. Demetria, the knowledgeable and kind tour guide who showed me parts of Buenos Aires that I would have never known without her. Isa, the beautiful Brazilian dance instructor whose soft words and gentle spirit will always leave an impression on me. Shamai, the timid but ever so friendly Egyptian ambassadorial secretary. And I cannot forget Erica, the nice lady who does my pedicures lol.
When I leave my apartment on Calle Guido on Saturday, I will leave with a bittersweet pain in my heart filled with fond memories, love and optimism for the future. This is just the beginning of my international career, as I know God will take me other places. Hopefully a return trip to Buenos Aires are in His plans.
What’s next for me once I am back in the States you ask? Well I only have three weeks at home before leaving for D.C. to intern for the summer. Perhaps, this calls for a blog name change…MisAventurasEnDC? Hmmmmm?