Partials, Iguazu Falls and Lujan Zoo.

Unlike the other post the title is straight forward, probably except the word partials which is translated from the word “parciales” which are midterms.

After a month of midterms, yes a month, I am able to sit down without worrying about cramming Art & Architecture, The Process of Political and Social changes in Latin America, Latin American Migrations or Comparative Revolutions in the Americas into my head. What a relief ! but as always – no pain , no gain. Maybe thats more of a physical situation and not mental. Having to study for so many exams caused a ton of late night study sessions and mild break downs. Studying in country is difficult for many reason ranging from the language to the University itself. Coming from New Paltz where professors would emphasize their office hours for extra help to traveling to a country where you only see your professor once a week  and emails being sent always bounce back because it is no longer in use- is hard. Having been here for 3 months I am  still getting adjusted to the immense amount of reading and information being given to me every week. Although studies are difficult to deal with at times, I have come to understand that they come first but it never stops me from trying to have a good time and traveling to new places.

Two weeks ago I had the amazing experience to travel to the Iguazu Waterfalls which are truly marvelous. Staying in the small town of Misiones which consisted of small stores, cafes and friendly people and living in a hostel for 3 nights. Misiones was a wonderful place where I found myself walking around for the most part embracing the quietness and beauty of the wonderful town. A few nights consisted of getting to know a few of other students who had travelled with the group I was with, which was nice with all the games and get togethers that were taking place. When the day had arrived where we would travel to the Waterfalls, I was ecstatic. Once there we walked around the National Park from waterfall to waterfall and seeing the wild animals. While there I had the chance to ride a boat where they would drive us under one of the waterfalls, where I had to hold my friends hand to not be scared and embrace the greatest moment I would have. The day after the waterfalls, a small group which was not able to travel to the other side of the waterfalls had a small excursion to another side of the town of Misiones. Being a part of this  group I had the chance to repel of a rock wall, a small hike and Zip Line through the Rainforest of Misiones. This was absolutely a great experience. On my way back to Buenos Aires we made a stop to visit the Jesuites Ruines which were were nice to have seen in person after learning about them in class.

Just yesterday I finally had the adventure I’ve been waiting for, I traveled to Lujan – about an hour aways from Buenos Aires, to the Lujan Zoo. Although the day was a bit dim, my time spent there will truly be unforgettable. As I walked into the zoo I decided to by some food for the animals I would be able to feed, which I was excited to do until the ducks attacked me for it. After the ducks attacked, I moved onto the play with some cute little bunnies and to feed a donkey and some rams who bit my tumb because they were so hungry. I also had the chance to ride a camel  for a little while and went  fed some camels who were elsewhere, which I was unfortunately bitten by. Unbeknownst to me one camel kept an eye out for my hand and when I moved on to pet other camel it grabbed my hand and held onto to it for dear life thinking it was food, until I had the chance to ripped my hand out of its mouth- the end result was luckily just a bruised sore hand and a story to tell. After the incident, I proceded to pet some lions and tigers who were hungry -so they just kept running around the entire time. Overall, my time at the Lujan Zoo- although painful, was worth it and fun.

Umbrellas, Backpacks & Skpe.

Umbrellas = Expenses

Backpacks = Traveling

Skype = Relationships.

Well its been a month since my last post and this is will pretty much be the summary of this month.

Having been awarded the Gilman Scholarship to study abroad was one of the best things to happen, but it also meant I allowed all that money to get into my head. First week here I went shopping like there was no tomorrow and bought countless of unnecessary  items, this brings me to a lesson in expenses. Although, traveling might be expensive in itself it does not mean you should take advantage of this time and spend all the money you have in a short time, think wisely, buying less in a longer span of time will be good- buying 120 pesos umbrellas, not so much. Now that I am well into my third month of studying abroad, I have learned to pack a bottle of water and a small snack for lunch instead of having to buy lunch everyday and eating out at fancy restaurants.

Saving money brings me to my second lesson- back packs  traveling. Having traveled quite a bit within the first two months has been an AMAZING experience- Uruguay, Cordoba and soon Iguazu Falls. Traveling is every study abroad students dream, having the chance to just pack up and go is a stress reliever and adventurous, something every student needs in a daily dosage. This past weekend I had the great opportunity to travel to the second biggest  city of Cordoba, Argentina. I had the chance to visit a few museums , churches and the Sierras de Cordoba. My 3 days spent there I had the opportunity to walk around the city with a few good friends and learn about some history, such as some details about the Guerra Sucia which took place during the Military Dictatorship in Argentina. Along with a history lesson, I had the chance to live the life of  Gaucho taking an entire day to travel up and down mountains horseback riding. My trip to Cordoba, was both unexpected and surprising to my bank account but truly an unforgettable experience for my heart and soul. Its not everyday a city girl from the Bronx, NY gets to ride a horse in the Sierras de Cordoba. With this lesson, always keep in mind that although money is important the memories you make from the money you spend is unforgettable and SO much more worth keeping .

Onto skype and relationships. Yeah, not many bloggers get this personal but truth be told- traveling and relationships are tough to balance. Three months here and I have yet to figure out when to call my parents, siblings and loved ones in a timely fashion. Although, difficult I have found ways to make it work. Emails, facebook and skype will become a good friend of yours when studying abroad. After a few weeks of not speaking to my brother, I finally sent him a lengthy email about my wonderful mishaps in Argentina, all of which he enjoyed. Keeping in touch with others is not only difficult but stressing, but an email a week will keep the worries away.

Well, these were my lessons in the dynamics of traveling. Hopefully they will be of good use and entertaining.

Oh, here as some cool pictures to go along with it =) Enjoy.

One month. Stage Two.

A few days ago I made one month of being in Argentina, and at that same moment I realized I’ve entered stage 2.

When getting ready to study abroad one goes to many presentations hoping to become aware of life abroad, but truth is nothing can prepare you for life in another country. So, I’ll now hit you with the truth- the first hand encounter of a student of color studying abroad.

Well to get things started studying abroad is having the ability to have an open mind to new cultures, people, ideas and a new life. It all seemed exciting when granted the Gilman Scholarship ( a scholarship awarded to students who need financial help to study abroad- which was first awarded to students of minority to help them study abroad) I felt like I could conquer the world and slowly but surely start by traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina. A month in, it doesn’t quite feel the same – not even a bit.

Entering stage 2 is what we call ” the hole” or at least I’ll call it that. In the life of studying abroad there are different stages, stage 2 being rock bottom, the realization that you are entering a zone where studying abroad seems like the worse idea you’ve ever made. In stage 2 you face : anger, irritation, culture shock- in a negative way, sadness, homesick, and everything else that will pretty much want to make you pack your bags and get home as soon as possible. Now where does the idea of being a student of color change things? Well being here in Buenos Aires I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few different people, for the most part people who have been privileged enough to both attend a private high school, private college and an education that surpasses that of which I was not granted growing up in an Urban neighborhood.

To be honest, I have never been ashamed to tell people where I’m from or to speak about my past in an underprivileged area, but after a month of being here it gets difficult. Coming from the Bronx, New York my middle school days consisted of running home during halloween because gangs would throw frozen batteries at kids, or how during my high school years I had to both pass through a metal detector and get scanned to make sure I was safe in school to get an education that many now deem “not enough”. Meeting the people I have, I can’t share the same stories about running track after school under the sun, or having bragging rights about how many AP courses I took my senior year, when asked I simply respond with “I’m just proud I graduated high school and had the chance to attend college”. Many people have judged the way I speak as “ghetto” or “not making sense”, sitting down and trying to explain to others that I speak Ebonics isn’ t the easiest of tasks, but its something I one day will have the pride of sharing with others. My spanish native speaking skills are not appreciated either, being told I don’t know the “correct” spanish in order for others to understand me- isn’t quite flattering.

The food, the culture, the people – it’s all becoming so estranged and difficult. Although this all seems difficult I know that just like you and anyone else reading this, we have made it this far and never will I forget the hardships and adversities I have overcome to get here. Having the amazing opportunity to attend college thanks to the EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) and taking that opportunity to expand it and travel to Argentina with the Gilman Scholarship is enough to say that it’ll only get better from here. Listening to others stories about the opportunities they have been privileged with only reminds me of how much grateful I am for the ones I have been granted. I hope that for all who read this, you realize that, there will always be a downpour but in the end the sun will always shine.

Colonia del Sacramento, Punta del Este and Montevideo Uruguay !

Traveling, spending money, figuring out the currency exchange, realizing time either went back an hour-forward or didn’t change at all and experiencing the richness of a different country. These are just a few of the things I got to enjoy during my weekend trip to Uruguay.

Leaving early Friday morning to travel for about 2 hours via a ferry was not something I would complain about, although tired from no sleep the night before and having to run to get there on time, it was well worth it.

Our first stop was Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay a lovely city about an hour away from Buenos Aires, Argentina. A small well renowned tourist destination which is very quite and slow paced. My time there consisted of staying at a nearby SUR Hostel which was both nice and convenient. Later on after getting acquainted we decided to swim in the river, walk around and grab some dinner. My time spent here although short was very rewarding.

After my stay in Colonia, we traveled by bus onto the next best place- Punta del Este. Punta del Este is known as a resort town not too far from the Capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. In this small town we had the luxury of staying near the wonderful beach which was just a few minutes away, we also stayed at a nearby hostel of “The Trip”, although it was a bit of a last minute choice and not the best – it was a wonderful experience. During my time here we had the chance to head to the beach not once but twice in the month of February and had a wonderful, bit expensive dinner.

Final destination- Montevideo, Uruguay. The capital of Uruguay is the simmered city of Montevideo, unlike any other city, the city of Montevideo is both fast and loud paced. Although the capital and the city, Montevideo seems very quite and not very fast paced to a tourist like myself. Our time here was spent in the lovely hostel of Pocitos, which was a bus away from the terminal we had arrived in. Here, we had the chance to view the old city which has what once was the tallest building in South America and the fantastic dish of the Chivito, which is known as Uruguays National dish.

After all is said and done, my trip to Uruguay could not have been any better. Now home safe and sound, hopefully you enjoy this mini tour of the wonderful country of Uruguay.


Only in Buenos Aires !!

So I’ve walked around and taken pictures of a few things I’ve found to be both different and cool and although there is not much to say about them, I’ve decided to dedicate a blog to these pictures.

Here they are.



Always bring your camera.

Since my last post I have been wandering the lovely streets of Buenos Aires, visiting several places and taking in the beauty of it all.

One of the places I have recently visited was the neighborhood of LaBoca and it’s wonderful touristic attraction of El caminito.

La Boca is a neighborhood which is a bus ride away from Recoleta, it offers the wonderful touristic place of “El caminito”. El caminito is a nice small area that offers a colorful perspective for tourist all around. Although, El caminito is considered a large tourist attraction, it is highly recommended to be careful within that area. Within the past few years the area of La Boca has fallen apart and has been growing to become a very dangerous area for tourist to travel to, luckily my time there was splendid.

All the cool things are expensive !

Since the past few days I have officially moved into my home stay with my parents Alicia and Pedro,  they are the sweetest. I now have my own room and no longer have to live out of my suitcase. Some advice; never expect anything. I was told I would have my own room but instead for the first two nights had to spend in a not so spacious room with someone I had not really known about, I great experience either way.

The neighborhood.

Today was my first day of orientation where much of the information was to re-fresh our memory, one of them being culture schock which they explained with such a good video. I put the link on here so you can enjoy it- it’s in spanish though but funny nonetheless.

Since my arrival I have been walking around the streets of Recoleta -which is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires and getting to know it a bit more, it has been both a thrill and exhausting.

I’ve also come to learn a bit more of the lingo and dialect here in Buenos Aires and the difference between my spanish- that of central american dialect and the one here. Some examples :

cambio (change) – monedas

autobus (bus)- colectiva

tren (subway) – subte

brincar (jump) – saltar

soda (soda) – gaseosa o agua con gas

pagar ( pay) – abono

centro nocturno (club and bar) – boliche 

I’d like to think it’s a lesson in Spanish dialects, interesting right?



“It’s summer here and winter over there, it’s always opposite” Angelica

After a full 24hrs of pure traveling, I arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina at 6pm, which is 4pm US time.

I am currently staying in the place of my home stay family’s friend, her name is Angelica and she is a sweetheart. So I will not be moving into my real home until this Monday. It’s a nice small room with a bathroom inside of it, which might I mention both the toilet and the shower are in the same room- pretty cool.

As the title mentions, it’s summer over here and the weather is quite lovely with a 77 degrees which is 26 Celsius. The time, distance and the weather here are diffrerent from what I’m use to, the time runs in 24hrs, the distance in kilometers and the weather is in celsius. The current time is 17:06pm which is 5 pm but really it’s 3pm over there- much to get use to, but I’m getting the hang of things.

So for now I leave you with this, always better to over pack then underpack. This is my motto until I get rid of some clothes considering my luggage was 13lbs over weight and I have way too much clothes. Soon I will be posting a useful guide for travelers so they won’t be on the some boat as me.


One for three for 24.

Explanation of the title- 1 day left for 3 connecting flights which will last about a day (24hrs) to get to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Yes! 3 connecting flights that will take  me to a land of pure bliss, the weather here in NJ is sunny and 45 but feels like 39 while in Buenos Aires it is 77 and feels like — well 77 !. I’m pretty excited about leaving the cold weather into warm wonderful sunny weather.

Well, as I prepare to leave I will continue my packing later on today making sure I leave nothing behind and prepare all I need for Thursday afternoon when I leave to the airport. All I can say is I’m both excited and nervous, it’s a new experience having to travel on my own but at the same time I know it’ll be great one, being able to make my own decisions, at my own pace, enjoying my own time and being able to grow, it’ll be great.

For anyone who’s wondering this blog will keep all readers up to date about my life abroad and both the trials and tribulations of  studying abroad, the beauty, the ugly, the fun, the sad, the crazy fun filled days as well as the lows, and everything in between. Considering I am one who runs away from long readings I will keep most blogs short, sweet and simple.

I hope you all enjoy. <3