This weekend, the other FSD interns decided to trek it to Gualeguaychu for carnival (click for a little taste). I decided to pass on this in order to spend time with my special visitors again in Buenos Aires, go to an Argentine friend's birthday celebration and enjoy a relaxing Sunday at home with my family. Even though I was a bit jealous seeing my friends' fabulous pictures from carnival, I had a great weekend and got a much needed rest day on Sunday.
Besides yummy helado sundaes from Volta on Saturday (byebye diet!), the highlight of the afternoon was catching a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at the Japanese Gardens in Buenos Aires.
During the ceremony, I kept thinking about what the Argentines in the room were thinking because mate culture is so important here. I figured that they must share a real understanding of the Japanese tea ceremony with their own love for mate.
That evening, I returned to La Plata with a friend to go to the birthday party. We arrived around 12pm, which is normal. It was fun meeting all of my friend's friends and a good way to practice my Spanish. I only had one small incident with miscommunication. I was having a conversation with 3 friends about my bike and one guy told me to be careful referring to the regularity of bike thefts. However, I missed the part about robberies and only heard the part about being careful (ugh loud music interfering with my comprehension). So, obviously, I interjected that there is nothing to worry about because I have a helmet. Oh man, the other 3 people started cracking up! Que verguenza!
My friend and I called it a night at 4am and got lots of slack (and lectures about Argentine nightlife lasting until 6 or 7 am) from the other party-goers about how early it was!
Sunday was a glorious rainy day, which I spent talking to my host cousin, a engineering student at the university (who lives with my family during the school year); hanging out with my host family; drinking mate; doing yoga; and reading my book (Acts of Faith, By Philip Caputo. So good!).
Side-note on my host cousin: He is 27 years-old and is in his 8th or 9th year of university (engineering degrees take 5 years). It is surprisingly normal here to take years and years to finish a degree. Probably has something to do with the public education system... It is nice to have a young'un around the house to talk to now that my host sister has gone back to school. Plus, he plays guitar (!) and has agreed to teach me a little.
That night, a FSD friend came over and we made dinner for our host families. Our original intention was to make breakfast burritos for brunch, but that got pushed back to dinner. We didn't change the menu much because we had already bought the ingredients- tomato, pepper and corn salsa, black bean and avocado salsa, and scrambled eggs. We added onions and garlic to everything and it came out delicious. We got lots of props from our family!