LEON

 Posted by Stephanie Jimenez at 12:34 pm  Argentina  Comments Off on LEON
Mar 102016
 

Tengo muchas ganas de cantar ! Tengo la cancion Malagena Salerosa en mi cabeza…nada que ver con Argentina PERO en Estefiilandia eso quiere decir que ando contenta ^_^. Traer musica Latina en mi corazon quiere decir que ando muy bien ^_^. Hoy fue un dia LINDO ! Descanse muy agusto :) Me aliste y sali a saludar a un dia nublado pero agradable. Fui a esperar el camion y me paso algo muy chistoso. Justo ayer mi profesor de espanol me explico que hay que tener cuidado con la palabra “coger” en Espanol. En Mexico “coger” quiere decir “to grab” … como ” Puedes coger ese papel que esta alli ? “. Pero en Argentina “coger” quiere decir otra cosa . Se los dejo de tarea que lo averiguen porque yo no se los voy a explicar. Pero bueno. Como les decia…Hoy en la manana yo esperaba a un “colectivo” y a lo lejos vi a un muchacho y a su amiga/novia/ lo que sea…y el traia a su perro. Derrepente vi que el perro brincaba, se agarraba de la pierna del muchacho y se movia para adelante y para atras de una forma rapida. (Entienden ?…) Bueno…pues el muchacho estaba frustrado pero no queria demostrarlo porque estaba tratando de quedar bien con la muchacha. Pero el perro insistia ! Yo me di cuenta de lo que estaba pasando y no aguante la riza. Trate de contenerla pero no pude. El muchacho paso enseguida de mi. Me vio a la cara, y por mientras encendia su cigarillo de una manera frustrada me dice ” SI, me quiere COGER!! ! “…. Hahahahaha yo no aguante mas. Lo peor es que me rei mas porque a lo lejos escuche. “LEON ! Basta ! Deja de JODER ! ” hahahahahhahaha. A la proxima que la piense antes de ponerle un nombre dominante como LEON a su perro hahahaha. Asi a lo mejor tan siquira lo deja caminar sin “Joder” hahahahaha . Ay no….

Disculpenme pero traigo MUCHA HAMBRITA y ya va estar la comida. Dejo esto por lo pronto. Los quiero :)

 

-Esteffi… 😛 :) <3

FELIZ DIA DE LA MUJER

 Posted by Stephanie Jimenez at 12:00 pm  Argentina  Comments Off on FELIZ DIA DE LA MUJER
Mar 082016
 

El dia de hoy (Martes) fui a mi projecto por primera vez. A mira ! Ya ni la pense y estoy hablando en espanol derepente ! hahaha how funny…I didn’t even think about it and I just started typing spanish. That has never happened before. I guess I have never been exposed to so many native spanish speakers at once at this magnitude haha. How funny… Anyway, as I was saying…

Today was my first day at the project: “Las Chakras de Merced” is what the town is called. I didn’t get to do much today because I simply had enough time to meet them and get an orientation of the place.  This town is about 15 minutes away from Cordoba. Though it is completely different. As soon as we turned into the town I noticed that it is ridiculously polluted. There is trash everyhere. There is more trash than anything. It is extremely polluted. You can’t breathe without feeling like you’re gonna get sick. I probably will, I barely went one day and Im already coughing a lot. On the bright side though, there is a pharmacy at every block or “manzana” as then call them here, and maybe my immune system will get stronger. Here’s to hoping. Anyway, there is no pavement or concrete, just dirt and mood and flooded streets at the project. Tomorrow will be my first official day and I will take pictures so I can show you. The town “center” consists of a school, a hospital, and Las Omas which is where I volunteer at. Thats it. It’s sad to say but my house and my classroom put together are bigger than the “town center”.

I will be getting to and from Las Omas every day on a bus. Here they call busses colectivos, or omnibus, not camion. I go on bus 68 which drops me off pretty close to where I live and school. It’s very convenient. The comfort level, thats a different story. However, the authenticity is there without a doubt.

The women and children that I met today are all incredible. They all have a different story, though I have not heard them all yet. I met some of the children and they are so loving . They just jump on you and sweetly ask “Vos de donde Sos ?” (Where are you from ?) hahahah even the children can tell ” I aint from around these parts 😛 . ”

 

Everyone here calls me Estephy, and I like it. It sounds loving. On a different note….Argentinians and their kissing !!!! You can enter a room with 50 people and you have to kiss every single one of them when you come in the room or you are considered rude. I know Mexicans do it as well , but I didn’t know it was that strict ! I find it kind of funny. What if I go home and accidentally start kissing everyone ?

My Spanish professor is AWESOME ! He is a really good teacher and I feel that I am learning more spanish than I have ever learned before. I get spanish lessons every day from 4-6 until I leave. I am the only one in my class because they put us into groups by level and I speak more spanish than the Germans and the French haha. It’s probably NOT because my family is MEXICAN that surely has nothing to do with it. 😉

Anyway, thats a little bit more about what has been happening around here. It’s been raining at night and there have been thunderstorms. I have never experienced such loud thunder before !

 

I want you all to know i’m wearing mosquito repellent like perfume so don’t freak out, ill be fine. Also , the food is delicious ! The EMPANADAS….yummmmmmm I want another one…
Don’t worry mom…I wont get fat…I walk around all day non stop  haha…

Anyway, I apologize for the bad grammar and disorganized train of thoughts I have delivered to you. I feel exhausted and I’m trying to write about everything that comes to mind but…did I mention I’m exhausted ? … I need sleep. I really love this feeling though. Feeling accomplished and passing out like a rock.

Im barely about to have dinner though. Thats another thing thats different here. Their schedules are very different. They have dinner really late and wake up late and come back from work in the middle of the day to have lunch “merienda” together… they close everything early and during the weekend absolutely nothing is open. It’s strange. I know that its because of the value of “family time”. I think that its great that family is so important ! But I can honestly say that I would go crazy if we did this in the U.S … sometimes you just need your In N Out fix , you know ? …. :( I shouldn’t have said that…now I want animal fries and I’m not getting any … any time soon.

but I have EMPANADAS !!! Muahahahaha ^_^

I will start being more organized with my updates :) well… I will TRY haha

 

Goodnight everyone ! I am sending you a BIG BIG BIG Hug .

Feliz Dia de la Mujer !
(Side note before I leave. My day was very special because I got to talk to the most important women in my life (my family) and I got to meet new , strong women who I know will touch my life deeply throughout the next two weeks. I will never forget this day !

Time to go eat and finish my homework….

Buenas noches !!!!!

Muah !

Yours Truly,
“Estephy” haha :)

Perspective

 Posted by Stephanie Jimenez at 11:26 am  Argentina  Comments Off on Perspective
Mar 082016
 

Hello everyone ! I apologize for the delay . I have spent the last two days trying to adjust to my new environment. I hope you are all doing great. Here is a short update before I get picked up to go to my project . :)

So …the good news… I’M ALIVE ! I made it !!! Liam Neeson didn’t have to come and rescue me yay ! I mean don’t get me wrong , that guy is awesome , and I would love to meet him. Just not under the “Taken” kind of circumstances. I mean I’m proud of him for his “set of aquired skills” but I think I’ll pass. Thanks though ! 😉

I made it to Argentina and went through a “shock period” that I had never experienced before. I have traveled with my family and with the ambassadors of music before, but never alone. I am glad I have this experience now though. I am learning so many new things that will help me be a better person and I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Initially, when I barely got here I was going to write to you guys explaining how much I hate Argentina and that it was a big mistake to come here and that coming here was the stupidest thing I had ever done. Well, now that I have spent a little more time here, I realized that my reaction was a reflection of myself and not the city I’m in : Cordoba.

Let me explain : I got here and thought. “It smells so bad ! How am I going to be able to stand this ? The pollution is horrible , I’m gonna die in a week with all of this contamination ! ” ,” The people here are so rude and arrogant ! “, “Everything is so ugly here ! There is nothing to see “, “Everything is so weird and different ! My room is tiny and old looking! “”Their accent is so annoying, I’m so tired of hearing it! ” ” I feel so sick and unsafe , I want to go home !” “Argentina is the worst place I have been to !”.

Those were my thoughts when I arrived on Sunday. Yesterday, these were my thoughts :
” Wow I feel so accomplished being able to find my way around this big city ! “, ” The people here speak Spanish so eloquently and their accents sound pretty. ”  “It’s so green here ! “, “Yay I’m making new friends from other countries!” “The food here is so delicious ! “, ” Argentinians are very kind people ! ” , ” They have beautiful churches, cathedral and wonderful buildings full of so much culture and history !” “I love the smell, it always smells like yummy empanadas and rain ! ”

What a change of mind on my part , right ? Completely different thoughts. I have one word… Perspective.

When I got here, I was only paying attention to everything that was negative. Granted it was probably because I had not slept in more than a day and was completely disoriented with the time difference and climate change and emotional change. I learned that sometimes our circumstances affect the way we see things. I was tired, and hungry and scared when I got here. Therefore, everything that I saw was negative .

The next day though, after I got enough sleep and was able to adjust more than when I initially got here , I looked at things with a fresh perspective. I went to my school orientation, got tested into a spanish class and made new friends: Julian, Gaspard, Clara, and Laura.  They are from France and Germany. We went to go eat together after our orientation and it was wonderful. They are lovely people.  Tomorrow we will be going to a salsa class together , things will surely get interesting.

I can’t wait to share more of this short adventure.

Hope you are well

Yours Truly,
Steph or as they call me here ” Estephy”

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT…

 Posted by Stephanie Jimenez at 10:12 am  Argentina  Comments Off on THE SKY IS THE LIMIT…
Mar 052016
 

I’m on the plane and i’m trying to think of something profound and wise to say but there is a couple next to me making out and I can’t concentrate. Yes, I also find it humorous. To add to the comic relief of my adventure there is a man snoring really loud in the first class section. I feel his pain. On second though, What pain ? He’s snoring so loud I can hear him among us “commoners”. I am joking about the “commoner” part. Actually, i’m not, but I have to write that to maintain my “politically correct” reputation and I get extra points for being politically correct about not being politically correct. Well there goes that long tangent, sorry about that. I’m glad it happened though because it reminded me to warn you…that it will happen a lot. I can’t help it. “Tangent-ville” was created in my brain. Believe me , I have tried. Anyway, where was I ? Oh yes. My adventurous journey I am supposed to be telling you about. BUT WAIT ! One more tangent ! The lady with the drinks on the plane is passing by. (PERK #1 of flying on a Mexican plane: You get “Jugo del Valle” y “Galletitas Gameza” as your snack ! Heck yes ! “. “Que minute maid ni que nada ! A mi me dan mis galletitas Gameza ! “. My apologies, I promise we will get to the main point eventually . Well , after I take a bite out of my cookies ! Delicious ! Reminded me of being at Tatas house…Anyway…so my journey actually started last night after work. After an emotional day with my 4th graders I took my lovely Penny-Lane to my beautiful sophies house so that she will be taken care of [click here to read more]

Be The Best At Being Sick.

 Posted by Leah Biesack at 11:00 am  Argentina  Comments Off on Be The Best At Being Sick.
Apr 192015
 

Another middling week in the second-tier city of Córdoba. Writing to you from my favorite café where it’s clear, both to me and everyone else in here, that I’ve ordered the wrong thing. The bloused ladies next to me are eating squash and Roquefort crepes while I’m trying to twirl the strings of American cheese, lying lifeless on my salad, around the tines of my unenthused fork. Those blousies could walk in from the Dust Bowl and look just as salon-fresh as they do now. I know it. Late Monday afternoon, after learning the word for figs, forgetting it instantly, learning it again only to ultimately forget it forever, I became sick with who the hell knows what (and who really cares?). My symptoms are about as exciting as someone trying to describe their dream from last night that you weren’t even in. So I’ll spare you. Needless to say, I donned a pair of cropped sweats and a ratty tank top like a uniform for the next four days. By the second one, I stopped tying the drawstrings altogether. With the time I saved, I put together a sort of survival guide for you all. Just a system to put in place during a time of chaos, where our current structural models are crumbling into a powder of mayhem, the kind that only spreads as you sweep. I can’t corral that batch of spilled glitter, but I can offer you this glimmer of an organized outline on what to do when sick, in your native country or not even close.   Sick, Sad About It and In A Country That Doesn’t Have Soup?  Try This. * If it’s the day after your symptoms have started, make sure to take 4 naps. Spread them out or take them one right [click here to read more]

Sweet N’ Sure

 Posted by Leah Biesack at 1:44 am  Argentina  Comments Off on Sweet N’ Sure
Apr 112015
 

Sitting across the way from what I’m now just realizing is Argentina’s version of The Container Store (Hiper Plásticos COLOMBRARO), I’m feeling slightly more settled into this city and country than I did a week ago. Naturally, I suppose. It tends to be simple mathematics; (time + open mind) – high rate of expectation = {eventually} a sense of acclamation. And, of course, altering the variables of the formula will only increase/decrease the outcome. Facts are facts. (And while we’re talking them, Hiper Plásticos looks just as nonsensically appealing as the American version). When I boarded an airliner overbooked of all Brazilians and me, it wasn’t nerves I was feeling. Truthfully, aside from a headache and sincere disappointment in my arsenal of plane snacks, I wasn’t feeling much of anything. Not even excitement. Maybe that’s not the best way to convey. I didn’t know what to feel. Nothing was cemented. And that’s a sensation with which I’m exhaustedly familiar. Despite the research I’d done, the supposed appropriate questions I’d asked, this entire episode, planned out to some kind of make-shift tee, all of a sudden felt sparratic! And (though I loathe the word) random. “Wait! What am I doing?” I was leaving a handful of solid sources behind, and, with nothing to white-knuckle grasp tightly, I put my concern elsewhere “Where the hell did I lose my ring?” “Great. That yogurt I ate for breakfast has been expired for two days.” “Oh. Look. I packed 6 months worth of stationary and zero envelopes.” Moving to a country 4,300 nautical miles away wasn’t reading on any sensitive meter of mine. And though I do feel myself slowing down as the sediment settles, the stirring no longer needing to be constant, I have not yet dissolved entirely into this place. I didn’t [click here to read more]

Hush Hush Kills and Cares.

 Posted by Leah Biesack at 5:57 pm  Argentina  Comments Off on Hush Hush Kills and Cares.
Apr 012015
 

Before you get too excited to read the first international post from a South American climate (“you guys, it’s here! It’s out! And it smells like The Andes and superior athleticism!”), let me deflate any (or maybe all) of that energy; I’m writing this from Brooklyn. I didn’t have to take two buses and a train to get to an internet cafe where I have 30 minutes to write in order to not miss any of that transit back. No. I’m instead at one of my former haunts in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. The wireless signal is strong, people know me by name, and it took me 2 1/2 minutes to get here by foot. Have you stopped reading? Are your arms crossed across your chest? I get it. But just give me a second. I leave for Argentina in two days. Everything from my Oregon home is now boxed and stored, thrown away or pawned off on my niece (“You’ll use this half piece of old wrapping paper, right?”). New York is a stopover for me. It made sense to leave from a place that was once a non-questionable, long-standing home. Six years of character making, built together with a lot of failed attempts, light pollution and all the right people to whom I constantly want to send sequined valentines is my New York. My twenties. My outlined foundation. Or maybe I just prefer to fly from JFK. So I’m here and it doesn’t feel like vacation, but it doesn’t feel hard. It also doesn’t feel like home. I’ve not really got a place that allows for the title right now. And there’s no need for all the strings in the orchestra to crescendo together at this sentiment; I’ve been packing up and jumping around this country [click here to read more]

Los gentes estan mi amigos

 Posted by Delia Downes at 7:26 am  Argentina  Comments Off on Los gentes estan mi amigos
Aug 092014
 
Los gentes estan mi amigos

Today I must report on all the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to meet in Argentina.  Some of them I now consider friends, others I have met only briefly but will remember forever because of their kindness towards me. Of course my family is marvelous; Nora and Carlos, their daughter Cecilia and her family.  We all went to dinner together last weekend as an expression of my gratitude to them for being such wonderful hosts.               My Family in Cordoba from the left, Santiago, Delfina, Carlos, Nora, Matteo, and Cecilia                               Me and Nora                                          Me and Morea   Then there is Parque de Kempes, Equinoterapia, directed by Ricardo whom I cherish and who is like a grandfather to all the children who come there.  He is both loving and tough depending on what is needed at the time but always with a smile, causing most others to break into a smile if not laughter at his jokes and pranks.  The other volunteers here have also become my friends, Colo, Eugenia, Brigie, and Gabby all so sweet and giving to the children and their parents or caregivers.  These women all have other responsibilities, be it jobs or studies and yet make the effort a few times a week to give to these children.  We have worked together well and have come to enjoy each other’s company.           Equinoterapia, from left, Gaby, Diego, Ricardo and Guillermo Colo and her mother Then there are some of the clients at Equinoterapia that I have come to know as well, [click here to read more]

Cigarillos

 Posted by Delia Downes at 7:47 pm  Argentina  Comments Off on Cigarillos
Aug 022014
 
Cigarillos

I was a smoker for 15 years and quit back in 1986.  I understand the addiction, but hate to see people smoke.  My son smokes and it breaks my heart because among other things it is just so unhealthy and I really don’t know any smoker that doesn’t wish they could quit. In the US at least the last time I looked, on the skinny side of each pack of cigarettes is the “WARNING:  The Surgeon General…blah, blah, blah.”  A fairly benign caution for such a deadly activity.   Well here in Argentina, though still a country full of smokers, there are very explicit, large warnings on the cigarette packs.  I wonder if it has any effect.  I don’t know.   I think my pride more than anything else may prevent me from taking out a pack twenty times a day to smoke, with these warnings boldly written on the broad side.  Or imagine being on a date, in a romantic setting, having an intimate conversation and one of these is sitting on the table between you. Kills the mood if nothing else.  Don’t you think?     Even in another language the message is understood and if not the graphics certainly get the point across.  Caution:  Graphics are disturbing but not nearly as disturbing as the reality they represent, I must apologize to those that may be repulsed by these pictures but I am compelled to share regarding both the beautiful and the ugly.  And certainly their intention is to repulse.  If you smoke please quit.  Somebody loves you.    

Trash is everyone’s problem everywhere

 Posted by Delia Downes at 2:00 pm  Argentina  Comments Off on Trash is everyone’s problem everywhere
Jul 292014
 
Trash is everyone's problem everywhere

One of the most disappointing things in any place I have ever visited is to see trash carelessly strewn within the landscape.  When I ride in the Assunpink in NJ and find trash in an otherwise beautiful spot along the lake it makes me sad and mad.  Why would someone enjoy such a gift and then leave their trash to spoil it for the next person.  I often want to bring along a trash bag to clean up some spots but have never done so and I swear that in my retirement having more time to take care of the messes others leave, I will venture into the park someday with the sole purpose of picking up trash.  There is a woman in my neighborhood that takes a bag with her on her morning walks and picks up trash along the way.   Thank god for angels such as these, but here in Cordoba you would need an army of such angels. I believe well intentioned people often collect their mess in a bag but then make the error of leaving the collection behind, in the park, right there on the shoreline, or in the city out by the curb.  Wild animals in the woods or stray dogs in the city find the parcel, rip it apart, have a meal and leave the rest, which then is further dispersed by other critters, wind and rain.  I believe in Cordoba the problem is further exacerbated by the fact that a lot of people just don’t seem to have a consciousness about it.  There is trash everywhere.  The river I cross over on my walk to work could really be a pastoral vision if not for the volume of trash on the shoreline.  Most disturbing are the dirty, torn and twisted plastic bags [click here to read more]

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