Saturday, June 29, 2013


These are about two weeks late, but here are the photos from puenting in Mendoza!

Cami, Cami's mom and I went to La Cumbrecita today- it's a tiny German settlement/tourist town in the mountains here (for the record, not affiliated with Nazi settlement) and it was gorgeous. However, I'm exhausted and I think I have the flu, so I'll write about it tomorrow. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, June 28, 2013


I think I've mentioned maté before, but here's a quick run down:

It's Argentina's coffee. Everyone drinks it; every day at the hospital we start the day with maté and pastries, and you can guarantee that if you see someone studying, a cup of maté and a medialuna (croissant) will be within arms' reach. It's a stimulant; though as I learned in Mendoza, it's not actually caffeine based, the drug is called 'matiena' and is specific to the yerba maté plant. It's bitter; like Fernet, mate is exceptionally bitter, and most of the time it's drunk on it's own, though in the mornings it's acceptable to add sugar.

Most importantly, it's a social drink; unlike coffee, maté has very specific customs that accompany it. If you're drinking it with someone else, or a large group of people, then one person is designated the 'maté server' (cebador) and is always responsible for pouring the cup. Generally, after filling the maté gourd, the cebador takes the first drink (I think because the first cup is the most bitter, and therefore worst), refills the gourd with hot water from a thermos and then passes it to the next person in the circle. It continues going around the circle (always filled by the cebador) pretty much indefinitely.

A few rules; When you drink maté you must finish the cup before returning it to the cebador, you should not stir the metal straw (called a bombilla) and generally only touch it with your mouth. Also, if you are not the cebador, don't reach for the thermos- it's rude to try and pour your own cup. I learned that the hard way when I first came to the hospital.

The reason I'm posting about maté is because today I was the cebador. Haha, I'm surprised that in a month of being here I hadn't done it before, but when I told Dr. Marienelli I had not, he insisted on taking a picture. I'm planning on bringing a few gourds and some maté home, so, dear reader, when I see you next, remind me and we can drink maté together.

A momentous occasion. 

P.S. I also want to say that throughout this whole blog I've been neglecting accents because I'm an exceptionally lazy typist, but in reality Cordoba is Córdoba (Cor′do•ba), so please excuse my Spanish.

Half Way

It's the last day for my American friends (which means I'm halfway through my two months!) and last night we had dinner with the CFHI directors for Cordoba- Carlos and Charly. I hadn't met Charly yet and hadn't seen Carlos since the... 3rd day I was here... It's a very hands-off program... But I made an effort to talk a lot and actually found 'Charlos' very easy to understand, probably because they deal with so many foreigners.

So, the good news is that because my Spanish has improved so much, sometime next week I'm going to be the first CFHIer to work at Hospital San Roque- which is a complete hospital that has a neurology department, deals with trauma in the ER, and currently is not exclusively treating patients for la gripe. I'm pretty excited- hopefully it will be more interesting. Also, even though I'm going to miss my American friends a lot, if I'm the only foreign student there, I'll be forced to speak Spanish constantly. Though I don't know how I'll survive without Paige explaining the medical terminology to me!

The bad news is that especially over the past week or so I've found that my Spanish-speaking ability fluctuates wildly within the course of a day and I'll be in situations at the hospital where I have absolutely no idea what anyone is saying, and then a few hours later something will snap in place and I will understand 100% and speak fluidly (if you exclude my constant grammatical errors). Carlos said that as the first CFHIer to go to San Roque I 'have a lot of responsibility', I told him I'd 'do him proud'. Though I am a bit nervous about being completely on my own in a massive hospital complex. But I've got at least two more days at Rawson, so I've got some time to prepare.

The front of 'Old San Roque', I'm not sure if I'll be at the Old Building or New.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm so glad Cami is my host sister. I really lucked out. That's all.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Small things

Just woke up from a 2-hour surprise nap. It was practically involuntary and I'm just glad I woke up before I'm supposed to meet my American friends for dinner. 

We're going to (hypothetically) eat Chinese food! I'm not so sure it exists here, but I'm excited to find out!

Something that probably only I will find interesting (but I will write about anyway): I finally have hot water! This probably should have been classified under the 'pulling JAZes' post, but I forgot. About two days ago I was once more taking a cold shower and fiddling with the knobs in hopes of figuring out how and why my very first day the water was perfect, but never since. I shouted to Cami "TODAVIA ES FRIO, NO SE PORQUE!" - she had been telling me to turn it off, which I didn't understand, but came in and adjusted the pressure to a little less than the minimum. Depsues, por supuesto habia agua caliente! 

I feel like there is cliche lesson about not forcing situations or about using only what you need in life wrapped up in that story, but at that moment my biggest lesson learned was that the water heater is underpowered and I should appreciate hot showers a lot more than I do.

Another unrelated topic:
I saw this candy at a kiosko today that
I thought initially was hardened mochi.
It is not, it's pretty much heaven; walnut
and dulce de leche in a suger shell. I
think it will be my downfall here. 

Paseo de los artes

Tonight I met up with some people I met last tuesday at Espanol y Cerveza. I took Paige and Nadia along to meet them and we went to Paseo de las plugas (literally translated it means flea market, though it's also called the 'artisan fair' and I think that name is more accurate). We met Nico and Luciano and walked around, Luciano bought a mate mug for a Swedish friend of his he's going to visit- I hadn't expected the fair to be so large, it was at least 3 or four city blocks of stalls right next to each other. Then we went to a cafe and had coffee (they were out of mate- what?!?) and talked for a while. I really like them both, their other friends didn't come because of the weather, but it seems like they're friends with a lot of the international people who come to Spanish y Cerveza and like they go out as a group pretty regularly. I'm pretty excited to be getting to know real Cordobans, especially because in a week all my American friends will be gone. Also, I found out today that there's a week long gap where I'll be the only CFHI student here because they don't begin the July kids until after 4th of July. I think it'll be good, I'll have to hang out exclusively with Argentinian friends. Though tonight was actually the perfect mix, we spoke in Spanish the whole night and I got to serve as translator. However, over the past week or so since Mendoza my mind has changed about spending time with the other CFHIers- even though I probably shouldn't be if I'm going to learn Spanish, I like them a lot, (even the ones who frustrated me initially) and I'm going to miss them when the rest of them leave at the end of this week.

Pulling JAZes

"Pulling a JAZ" is slang for doing something clumsy, or foolish, or ridiculous in an embarrassing way. Here is a more expansive definition:

Today I washed all of my pants before realizing that I'd ripped and thrown away my only pair of tights and needed to leave the house in ten minutes (everything is air dried here). So, I put on wet pants and checked facebook to see that Nadia had sent me a message saying she was at Plaza San Martin. When I put my computer down and stood up I didn't realize my leg was asleep, I slipped and my weight gave out and I fell over and hit the bedside table. Don't ask me how I am that unaware. Then I walked over to the restaurant where I was going to meet my CFHI friends before walking to Paseo de los Artes. The restaurant was not open because it was only 5:30 and dinner isn't served until 9 at the earliest. I walked to San Martin and a pigeon pooped on my shoe. I hadn't put Carlos' number into my Argentinian cell phone, Paige's phone was out of money and I didn't know where near the square they were eating. And my pants were cold. Eventually I found them, but I think I set a record for most JAZes pulled in a half hour time period. 

...I'm pretty sure that's not something to be proud of, so I don't know why I'm confessing it for my friends and family to read, but hopefully you guys get a laugh out of it.

P.S. To mom and Kathryn; they were the sisterhood of traveling pants pants that never actually traveled outside of my closet, so maybe I'm getting what I deserve for hoarding them. :P

P.P.S. Unrelated to this post, here are some photos of where I went for the picnic Friday.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Carlos, Paige and I took an 8am bus to a national park outside of Carlos Paz today. No condors spotted but we did see a sparrow-like bird (I'll look it up tomorrow) and a few falcons. It was sunny all day and we hiked about 12k through some really cool landscape. I'll post more pictures when I have time, but here is one Paige took of me near the beginning of the trail.

We also finally ate at the sketchy Parrilla that's kitty corner to my apartment complex. Not only were the portions larger and the food better than the place where we ate last night, but it was also half the price. And it's literally a stones throw away. Now we're meeting to get dessert and try a wine bar near the main square.

Oh, and if you talk to me, ask me about the card tricks Paige taught me today.

Busy day

I had a really busy day, went to Spanish y Cerveza went to the boliche with a group of people I met there, went to a really pretty river near Carlos Paz for the day and had a picnic, got back and then had asado and ice cream with the CFHI gang because it's Sultana and Eric's last night -I'm really going to miss them. Tomorrow we're going hiking all day and I'm waking up in... 5 hours! Woo!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Max y Mary

Tonight Cami took me to see an Australian stop motion movie called 'Max and Mary'. It was shocking at first because it physically looked like the old Wallace and Grommet movies (really, they're one of my few points of reference for stop motion) but was dark. Both visually and in content. I thought it was exceptionally good. Also, it helped that we saw it in the perfect setting: it was projected onto a blank wall at an art museum after hours, with only about 20 people in attendance (#IpromiseImnotahipster). I'd definitely recommend it, but only if you're prepared to sit down and watch it without distraction.

Where I got lost on the run yesterday.

The other 180 degrees.

I was so happy to see these stairs (and the ferris wheel to the right).

Yeah, all 12 flights of them.
(the rest are hidden behind the white building in the center)

The museum where we saw the movie tonight.