So much has changed within the past few days that I don't even know how or if I could ever fully express my mental state right now. When I write and speak in English, I have to fight inserting Spanish words. My mind is lost somewhere en between Flint y Buenos Aires.
I was lucky enough to have a friend on my flight. Apparently there were a lot of kids on the same flight, but none of us wore NYU stuff as advised by the staff. Oh well. But even the ppl picking us up, the Student Life ppl, lacked visible NYU anything. A group of us just stood in the middle of the lobby, outside of Customs, until the guy found us. He was wearing an NYU shirt hidden by a white button up. Way to go man.
On the ride to Buenos Aires from Ezeiza (the international airport), the first thing to hit me was how poverty in the US is not at all equal to poverty in Buenos Aires. It's comprabable to the "shanty towns" outside of Mexico City.
My family is really great. At dinner a few minutes ago, my host mom asked me if I had been able to choose if I wanted to live with kids and pets or if I was just put somewhere. I told her I chose it, and she was like "Bueno- porque estamos locos." (Good, because we are crazy). Mi madre is really sweet but definitely firm with her kids, which I can respect. Mi padre is the typical Dad, watching fútbol from the dinner table and explaining to me that my computer charge has a converter in it. Basically tech savvy, like any dad.
Mis hermanos are funny. Manuel is the oldest (15), followed by Elena (13), y Ana (11). Ana is adorable and loves to speak to me in English. She made me a necklace and likes to explain how to use everything like the light switch, fan, keys... its cute though. Elena is the total 13 year old, wanting to be independent from her mom, but still being a little too young for that. I'm not sure about Manuel, but he's nice so thats all that really matters at this point.
They all speak some English, so when I get totally confused, usually one of them can explain it, but even today my Spanish is so much better than it was yesterday. My madre said that the first girl they hosted had perfect spanish, but could understand nothing, and the second just said nothing. She knows that I understand what she tells me even though I have a hard time expressing myself without using Spanglish. The goal is to both listen better, so that I understand more of what is being said in general and to not be affraid to speak. They understand my interesting Spanish so it's working well. Next week will be better. Having such a large family is kinda intimidating, but I like it.
We went on basically a tour of la mayoría de Buenos Aires which was really nice. I'm starting to piece things together, slowly but surely. We went all over and it took 3 horas, but we saw placed like La Boca, Puerto Madero, Plaza de Mayo, la Casa Rosada (where the president works and apparently comes in via helicopter every day...), el Cementario de la Recoleta, y lots of other famous places.
The past 3 days have just been really long, but I am definitely content right now. And exhausted but thats a pretty good introduction to my life for the next few months. My goals for tomorrow are to make a successful phone call on my cell phone, remember more names, and befriend Gary our cat (She's a girl... still haven't figured out why her name is Gary...).