Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Photo Essay

Diego in front of the hostel. Including the garage/basement, it has four floors and has had up to 27 interns living in it at once. It includes a full kitchen, a large living/work room, and (in theory) five bathrooms. We sleep in bunk beds and the huge house also includes a back terrace, and patio with a large grill for traditional asados (barbeques).

Mika (Croatia) hanging laundry on the back terrace. This only works so well since during an Argentinian winter there tends to be a ton of rain. So of course, the railings on the stairs and throughout the house are always covered in drying towels and clothes.

Nearby is the large Avenida Rivadavia where we can find grocery stores, malls, restaurants, convenience stores, and everything. Fun fact: it's one of the longest avenues in the world. Buenos Aires also has Avenida 9 de Julio which is the widest in the world with at least a dozen lanes at some points.

Living with so many others can be stressful, like your first experience living in dorms as a freshman. At the same time, living and working with a group of people 24/7 creates a strong sense of community and the group put on a surprise birthday party for me, led by the always wonderful Diego. Somehow he found an ice cream cake in this city, which is always a tradition in my family since my birthday normally passes in the middle of summer. Meli (Austria) brings me my cake. Of course the candles were trick candles.

Exploring the city is a huge part of traveling! Exploring with friends is that much better. Here are Orson (Arizona) and Rosario (Buenos Aires) trying to get us lost.

Getting around the city has been made easy by the extensive bus, train, and subway network crisscrossing it. I can't imagine traveling around this easily or cheaply (about 30 cents per ride) in Milwaukee, especially not without a car.

Our first night in Buenos Aires was 25 de Mayo, which is a huge national holiday in Argentina. The local AIESECers brought those of us interns who had arrived to Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada, to see a rock concert. It was a ton of fun. As you can see, the whole palace was lit up by LED lights and we were surrounded by street vendors selling every imaginable type of empanada and drinks.

Buenos Aires is a huge cosmopolitan city with many opportunities to see new things from around the world. Ironically I saw my first American electric car in South America.

Burger King has a pronunciation guide. Also, notice the prices: a medium size combo meal with sandwich, fries, and a drink costs 31 pesos, or about US$7.50. On the other hand, it's easy to find local restaurants or street vendors selling jumbo hotdogs for 5 pesos (US$1.20) or the local choripan, about the size of this "steikjaus" burger for 8 pesos (US$2).

Street market in the San Telmo neighborhood. You can buy just about anything you want here and it is a very lively area full of music and art. But beware: this is not a very legit Argentinian place, for you will hear about as much English as you will Spanish.

There is a very touristy town called Tigre about an hour by train north of the city, which has an amusement park, touristy markets, and a ton of green space. After going crazy not seeing almost any green in the city for weeks, it was refreshing to see green grass and new places via boat down el Rio Tigre. There are large homes on islands in the river's delta which can only be reached by boat. They even have trash pick-up boats and ice cream selling boats.
I suppose it's also important to show the internship work itself, although it's difficult because we aren't always allowed to photograph the people we work with (kids, elderly). Here is a group of us at an orphanage where we just unloaded the full truck behind us of clothing and food donations for the kids. The orphanage is great, with a full sized soccer field on the girls' side and a similarly sized yard for the boys. When we showed up at the boys side, a little guy also named Nico threw me a frisbee and wanted to play. The kids are great!
The main project my group has been working on for the last few weeks has been a soccer tournament as a fundraiser. Finally, on my birthday the day arrived, and we had five teams (including two made up of some of us AIESEC interns) playing all day, with music and an asado to grill chorizo. It was a ton of fun, and hopefully raised some money for all the people we've been serving. Here Ana Maria (Peru) and Jose (Ecuador) watch the one of the house teams get beat by Argentinians.

Pictures are supposed to speak a thousand words, so to condense this post from the last one I wrote it is based on images rather than text. Hope it bring our experiences to life!


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