Hey guys! It´s so great to hear from you. There are so many questions! The majority of those questions, however, revolved around my home stay experience, so let´s start there.
My host family is made up of a dad, Luis, age 82; mom, Gladys, age 72; and sister, Silvia, age 45 (this is up for debate since she has yet to actually confirm a number). I get along really well with Gladys and Silvia. If you can believe it, Silvia and I are actually going to be attending a Michael Bublé concert together on Monday! Super exciting. Luis is a man from a different time, and we don´t talk very much. It´s certainly different from the home I grew up in.
I have never lived with anyone over the age of 50 for an extended period of time, so that has been interesting. Gladys and Luis have been married for 50 years, so the relationship that they have is different than that of my parents. It makes me think a lot about what life will be like when I get married. They both have their activities and interests, and it´s interesting to see how they interact with others and with their friends.
Some of you asked about what kinds of food I´m eating here. The food I eat is certainly not the norm for Argentines. Argentines eat a lot of meat and carbs, but my family is a little more health conscious, and they also know that I´m not a huge fan of meat. Usually I eat a lot of fish and vegetables, and bread too. Occasionally dessert, but everything is pretty healthy really. For me, gaining weight hasn´t been an issue. Most of the study abroad students seem to be doing pretty well with this, unless they’ve discovered alfajores. Alfajores are a type of Argentine sweet that can be kind of like a Little Debbie or some form of cake with dulce de leche, an Argentine favorite. I´m not a big fan, but some students go crazy for them.
One thing that was very surprising about the food for me is that it is so bland. My host mom is an excellent cook, but Argentines just don´t like spicy food. I miss cumin and oregano and all things chili! But you learn to cope, and you learn that el Barrio Chino has every random thing you could ever need. And if there’s something you can’t find, there’s always your parents to keep in mind. Mine sent me Starburst jellybeans in honor of the Easter holiday. One funny story is that I managed to find some barbecue sauce to put on my chicken (a complete win, I must say) and I got my host mom to try it. She loves the stuff now! I don´t expect her to make a habit out of it, but I think that she´ll being using barbecue sauce a little more often in her cooking… I´ll keep you informed on any further progress. ;)
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Buenos Aires, Argentina