Kelsey Strand arrives in Argentina

It have been several days since I arrived in Buenos Aires. Before I came to Argentina I was expecting Buenos Aires to be more tropical and touristy,  but it reminds of me more of Barcelona than Rio de Janeiro.

My dad and I had fun exploring Bario Norte and Recoleta (areas in Buenos Aires) for two days before I went to stay with my host family. Out of all the places we went to my favorite was The Cemetery of Recoleta. This is a famous cemetery in Buenos Aires where only the Argentinean elite are buried. It’s like a city of extravagant tombs. Most of the tombs consist of a little room made of glass and marble with stairs leading down to a crypt. Some of the tombs are over three hundred years old and new ones are still being built. A few of them are so old that the coffins inside them are deteriorating. I learned that it is an Argentinean tradition to celebrate the death date of a person more than their birthdate. I found the cemetery in Recoleta to be very fascinating and i enjoyed learning about a new outlook on life and death.

After exploring part of the city I went to meet my host family, the Diaz’s. The Diaz family consists of Sr. and Sra Diaz, their daughter Martina (who is my age), and their three older sons. My dad and I meet them in their apartment in Belgrano and had a delicious dinner of steak and potatoes. After dinner my dad left and the family and I headed off to their country house in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Life in the city is very fast and rushed, but life in the country house is slow and relaxing. I’m glad that I will have a chance to experience both lifestyles.

At the country house we celebrated the thirty-second birthday of Martina’s eldest brother with his friends and family. During the weekend Martina and I ate lots of traditional Argentinean food, played Mexican dominos, tried driving with a stick shift, saw Spiderman in Spanish, and baby sat her adorable baby nephew, Francisco. Family and food are very important in Argentina.

So far my exchange has been interesting and exciting. I will be writing about my experience at the Belgrano Day School soon.