Institute for Study Abroad - Butler University

These past few days I've been exploring Mendoza with my friends. We went to Plaza Italia last night and danced a conga line around the fountain square. We've also been running around San Martin Park which is amazingly beautiful. There's a long lake with a Regatta Club alongside it and after siesta you can see people rowing on the lake. Oh, and the Andes Mountains frame the view. I was there reading today and couldn't help but stop and stare at the beauty around me and think 'Holy Crap. is this real?' That wasn't the first time I'd said that to myself today:

My friends and I had just finished eating lunch by the lake in San Martin park and they were going home but I stayed to read. As I was searching for a spot there was a group of cyclists blocking the sidewalk and a runner coming my way so I had to stop behind the cyclists and they asked me, "Que Paso?' I was caught off guard and tried to respond then told them I like their bikes. 

*side note* there are always a ton of bikers in the park, from leisure bikers to mountain bikers to cyclist with legit gear. Every time I see them I wish I could somehow have my bike and gear here with me. Heck, I should have packed it in a suitcase, Im the one who packed the lightest of all the students and another girl brought her skis with her!

anyways, I had intended for my comment to be taken by the actual cyclists who were legit but this guy who was with them had a rented crappy bike and proceeded to tell me where I could rent a bike in the park. This was fine, but not the conversation I had intended or initiated. Then they said something about being 'solo' and I said no and then thanked them and left to find a spot farther away from them, even though I was only a bit nervous about being alone and looking very american. I walked away thinking, "is this happening to me?"

After finding a nice spot and getting distracted by the rowers and the view a pair of dogs wandered around by me. At first I paid no attention to it because there are dogs everywhere in Mendoza but then someone said something and I realized someone was talking to me! Once again taken by surprise. I turned and this guy said something to me about reading in the park. He was trying to make a joke but the the language barrier got in the way. It turns out he could speak English and has been a tutor for international students for two years at UNCUYO, the university I'll be attending. He told me about a fiesta on Friday for exchange students at Central Park and invited me and the rest of my group. 

This was the third time I asked myself, 'is this really happening to me?"

It doesn't end there. During our broken spanglish conversation a group of students walks by and it turns out their exchange students too! Fernando, the tutor, proceeds to get to know them and invite them to the party too! When they said goodbye Fernando asked me if I wanted to go over and chat with them, I said no because I was feeling extremely overwhelmed. He left and I tried to continue to read buy my head was reeling. "Is this really happening to me?"

My conversations hadn't gone super smoothly so on my walk home I practiced phrases in my head so that next time I would be more prepared! 

Finally, for the icing on the cake.

After I got home and told my anfitriona about my day she told me to be careful and I shouldn't be by myself after siesta because there aren't as many people around. I wasn't nervous in the park though, there were a ton of people out. but I said ok and proceeded to go into my room and tried to plug my desk lamp in and it blew up in my hand. I'm fine, no injury or anything, but my hand was all black and my host mom cleaned it up for me and my host cousin checked on me to make sure nothing hurt. 

What a day. 

I'm staying in tonight so that should be the end of it. Unless something crazy happens on the telenovela my anfitriona watches. but some womens death was faked last night so things are probs gonna be chill here tonight. 

Nos Vemos! Un beso!

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