Sarah’s Snapshots: Argentina Adventure Begins

It’s been a week since I’ve arrived in Argentina, and in that time I’ve eaten 10 Bon o Bons. They’re definitely my new favourite food. Bon o Bon is an Argentinian sweet, with a chocolate-coated outside and a filling that reminds me of cream or peanut butter. I would show a photo of what they look like, but unfortunately I got the idea several minutes after eating my last one. It’s okay, though; I’ll definitely buy more soon.

So, Argentina.. I know quite a few of you already know, but I am just starting my year-long AFS student exchange to Argentina, in Latin America. I’m living with an Argentinian family and I’ll go to school when it begins in early March. Aside from the fact everything is in rapid-fire Spanish, its already started to settle down and feel normal. I’m loving it here – my family is amazing, I’ve already made a few friends, and the meat exceeded my expectations.

My new family welcoming me at the bus terminal.

My new family welcoming me at the bus terminal.

I’m living in Santa Fe city, which was about a six hour bus ride northwest from Buenos Aires where I arrived. My new family consists of my mum (or mamá), my older sister, and three extremely cuddly dogs. They’ve welcomed me with open arms and have made me feel so at home. I’ve been loving every second I’ve spent with them so far.

The backyard of an Argentinian house in Santa Fe, Argentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

My new home’s backyard, with the pool and the asado house. I’ve been told that lot’s of Argentinian homes have a smaller, detached room from the main building for the asado, or the Argentinian barbecue.

Argentina is hot. Very hot. Most days it’s above 30°C, and doesn’t normally cool down below 20°C at night. Or at least it feels like it (I am terrible with guessing what the temperature is). There are quite a few mosquitoes along with other insects like spiders and cucaracha (water cockroaches that bite like mosquitoes. You see them quite often in the pool and I already hate them). For some reason, even with layers and layers of bug spray on, they all seem to love me.

The window in an Argentinian house in Santa Fe, Argentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

My room’s window from outside. I’ve yet to open the shutters so it’s quite dark in my room, but it also helps with keeping it cool.

The strangest parts so far are all of the little things. It’s how the button for the toilet is off to the side or on the wall. It’s when you look across the table at your nine-year old cousin at two in the morning. It’s that quick wave through the air to make sure you’re not walking through a spider web that could have appeared in the last ten minutes or so. It’s the feeling of putting on shoes to walk through the house. It’s how everyone wears jeans. The big differences don’t bother me, but I’m finding new little things every day, and those are the ones that jolt my brain, that whisper, “Hey. You’re not in New Zealand any more.”

 An Argentina house in Santa Fe, Argentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

One of my new dogs, Karma, with Uma in the background and Simba on the far left in my new home’s dining room.

Yesterday I had my first summer storm. There was a huge one the day before I arrived in Santa Fe, which caused a lot of the trees to break. There are still quite a lot of massive branches scattered at the side of the street until they will get cleaned up. What’s interesting about storms here is that the electric companies turn off the power to ensure there won’t be a power surge or electrical damage if something happens.

Argentina summer storm in Santa Fe, Argentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

A photo of the street from my house during the summer storm. What was impossible to capture was all of the wind, but it’s easy to see the rain hitting the ground.

Before I go, here are a few of the arty photos I’ve taken since I got here:

Macro image taken in Santa Fe, Argentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

A closeup of the bricks on our kitchen wall.

Macro image taken in Santa Fe, Argentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

Closeup of one of the leaves on the hedge around the backyard.

Macro image taken in Santa Fe, Argentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

While my family doesn’t smoke, smoking in Argentina is very common and ash trays can be found almost everywhere.

What do you think of my first week in Argentina?

This post will link up at Weekend Blog Party at Sincerely Paula, Saturday Snapshots at West Metro Mommy Reads, and Sunday’s in My City at the Unknown Mami.

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  1. says

    I am so proud of you Sarah. It’s a big deal to go away for a year at 15, and you seem to be doing awesome – but we all knew you would. I hope you find time to continue sharing here. Your photos are interesting and wonderful.

  2. says

    SO envious! my mum’s grandfather came from Buenos Aires and Ive been wanting to go back there, would like to see more of your photos 🙂

  3. Penny Ramsdale says

    Great stuff, Sarah. Keep up the good work. As well as being interesting for those of us back in NZ, it will be a wonderful record for you of your first impressions – things that are so quickly forgotten. Penny Ramsdale (AFS Auckland East)

  4. says

    Hi Sarah and Albom family – that’s great you’re happy and settling in .. fascinating about the small things -those water cockroaches sound very irritating and unpleasant – still I suspect you’ll get used to them?! In time. It’ll be such fun seeing all your thoughts about your life there … and it does sound like the family is fun and kind to be with … take care and enjoy it all – bugs and bites too – cheers Hilary

  5. says

    I’m so glad you’ll be doing posts so we can see what you’re up to and how you’re adjusting to your new environment. I love your photography.

    Have a fabulous year. 🙂

  6. says

    A pool in the backyard sounds like so much fun! The dogs are adorable. It is beautiful there, and your new family looks so friendly and welcoming. I love your pics, especially the red brick one. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures! 🙂

  7. says

    This promises to be a wonderful year for you! It’s starting out well and I love your observations. Here in Florida we have large screens over and around the pools to keep out the biting critters. It’s not a luxury item, its’s standard. We call them birdcages!

  8. Lisa Ross says

    Wonderful to hear about your first week Sarah. Your family look lovely and the dogs. Sounds very different and interesting. Don’t eat too many bon o bons 😉

  9. says

    My daughter has spent one year highschool in El Trebol near St. Fé also in a guest family. Its now eight years ago and she has still regularly contact with them. She went visiting them twice after that. I wish you an equal beautiful and inspiring stay in Argentina!

  10. says

    Sarah, I am so excited for you! I came close to being an AFS student as well but wasn’t selected at the end. Now that I’m an adult I’ve seized every opportunity to live like a local in another country. I’m sure you’ll do well, but don’t be too hard on yourself when the “honeymoon period” is over and you begin to miss home. Please do continue to share your photos, stories and experiences. They are a wonderful way for the rest of us to do some virtual travel.

  11. says

    What an adorable post from Sarah accompanied by great pics. I love your close ups, especially, Sarah! Thank you for sharing with us. You must be so proud, Rhonda!

  12. says

    Sounds like you’re settling in and finding all the little quirks and interesting tidbits about the place. The bon o bon sounds yummy though. I don’t think I can last in Argentina if the temperature is 30 C everyday. I’d be in the pool all day every day if that’s the case…

  13. says

    How exciting! I SO wanted to be an exchange student when I was in high school, but it wasn’t to be. I’m thrilled for you, that you get to immerse yourself in the life of another family and country like this. Thank you for all the photos. I love the details of the little differences you find and how they are the ones you notice most so far. I know you’ll be way busy during your time there, and it will pass in a flash–or not–but I hope you can keep these stories coming.

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