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  • Kayla Cooley

Meeting my family // First day in Argentina

I made it safely to the airport in Córdoba. I waited in line to go through customs for about 45 minutes, and then retrieved my checked bag. When I made it to the pick-up area, I felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of people. Knowing I was about to meet my host mom for the first time, and also knowing that I smelt like.... well... someone who had been traveling for 23 hours, I decided to go to the bathroom and change my clothes and freshen up. When I got out of the bathroom, most of the people had gone, and I found my host mom.

Patricia, my host mom, and another boy from the previous semester were there to greet me, and all gave me a kiss on the cheek (as is the custom here). Patricia said I was the second student to arrive. My host mom and I got in a taxi to go her house.

My first impression of the Spanish was that the accent was very strong. It seemed very Italian in passion and pronunciation, and it was a bit difficult to understand, as she didn't pronounce her words very clearly.

The car ride was semi quiet, as she quickly realized how basic my Spanish level was. When we got to her house, she made me tea and crackers to have while I was unpacking my things. I wanted to make it feel as much like home as possible, and I thought surrounding myself with my belongings from home was a good start. However, this backfired, as I had a small breakdown. What was I doing here? Why was I doing this to myself right as things were falling into place at home? To calm myself, I took a nap and watched some Netflix.

As I was resting, I met a student from the last semester, and talked with her for a bit, which made me feel a lot more safe and secure in my decision. I knew things had to get better. After all, it was only my first day.

Feeling out of place and very exhausted, I called my boyfriend for an hour, watched a movie, and then went to sleep.

I woke up the next day feeling extremely sick and exhausted. I went to eat breakfast, which I realized quickly is quite different from what I'm used to. It was a piece of bread and jam, and a coffee. I knew something wasn't right, and my body really was signaling for me to drink water instead of coffee, trying very hard, I eventually communicated to Chris, my host mom's friend who had been taking care of me, that I was dehydrated. I went back to my room with a pitcher of water, drank most of it all, and slept for about 3 hours.

At dinner, I had a full conversation with my host mom and Chris, and was feeling much more confident in my Spanish skills.

I returned to my room, wondering if there was anything I was missing that I forgot to pack. As I was thinking, I was surprised to find that I wasn't missing any of my knick knacks that I had at home / memorabilia from past vacations. They make great reminders, but this really opened my eyes that I don't need material things to feel satisfied and comfortable in my space.

On that note, I watched another movie, and went to sleep.

A pony for children to ride

The fountain in the square

Chris and I


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