I have now been in Mendoza for over a week and so far it’s a bit overwhelming but great nonetheless.
I live with my host mom and her dog Cuba in a cute apartment style house near the Parque General San Martin, a giant park inside of which is the university. My host mom is so nice and awesome! I love her! She is very attentive and makes sure that I am comfortable and have everything I need. She has really made the transition to Mendoza so easy and seamless for me!
Last week we had lots of orientation. We went on a tour of the city, which was beautiful and interesting – at least the parts I understood! The accent here is very different from that in Ecuador. In Argentina they usually don’t pronounce the s at the ends of words and the double ll sound is pronounced more like “je”. It sounds a bit more like Italian or Portuguese and definitely takes some getting used to. Initially I thought I had regressed in my Spanish abilities when I could barely understand what people said… On the tour we also went to a chocolate factory, which, it goes without saying, was delicious.
Additionally we had international student orientation at the UN Cuyo, the university where we will be taking classes. It’s actually amazing how many nationalities were present that day. The next day we were supposed to start one of our classes; however, due to the Zonda, very intense winds that come from over the Andes and bring a cold front to Mendoza, all events were cancelled and we weren’t allowed to go outside! Pretty crazy stuff. Since I’ve been here I’ve experienced the Zonda and two earthquakes to boot!
This past weekend we went to el Desierto Lavallino, just an hour outside of Mendoza. There we went on a hike (more like a walk compared to the hikes we did in Ecuador…) and played in some beautiful sand dunes.
This week is pretty calm, as my classes in the political science school don’t start until the 26th. So far I’ve gone running in the park a few times and did Crossfit! It’s time to work off all that rice I ate in Cuenca! I also went to choir practice with my host mom, which was amazing! All of the people were super nice and welcoming. They want me to perform with them in a few weeks… We’ll see about that…