My introduction – I will digress

Major league soccer club’s La Boca Jr. stadium in the La Boca neighborhood

This blog entry is just one of many I will post about my trip to Argentina. I will now provide these messages with the audio at the top of the message for those who prefer to listen. The series will include a journal entry with my raw reactions to what I went through, but in real time, I just finished my time there. I’m back in my hometown of San Jose, CA, and naturally will have thoughts of reflection and correction on what I’ve written. I’ll try to make the fixes obvious, but any other changes will be for story cohesiveness and general changing of some names and details for security reasons. Follow my trip to Argentina where I was a curious and budgeted journalism student in a new country on an internship for a marketing company. I had to start completely from scratch because I didn’t know anyone there, but I was enrolled in the international academic program which introduced me to three other people my age doing the same thing and to an Argentinian home who welcomed. crazy in three months, so don’t be afraid to comment and share your reactions below the post.

August 23, 2022

Today I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am here until November 12 to do an internship for We Are Contrasté and the entrepreneur visionary, Alan Noc. It’s my second day of internship and so far the only thing I had to do was translate the website of his new service, Alan Noc BTM (Break the Mold) into English. It was pretty easy considering Google Translate is a thing. All I had to do was copy, paste, read the translation, and edit enough grammar and syntax to be easily understood. I even added a few informal phrases at the request of the boss which make the website more pleasant for English speakers. Their goal was to be the link between the products and product manufacturers and the consumer, so being personalized was a must, even on the website. I have more details about my situation here, but before I go into details, I want to describe what I remember from the past month. (You already know this from other blog posts, so I’ll skip ahead a bit.)

I arrived on August 18 and my internship started on the 22nd, so I had some time to settle in before starting work. I was met by a driver paid for by my program and he took me 1.5 hours up the coast to town. Traffic was heavy so it took a little longer than the distance suggests. The airport is located right next to the national team’s football (fútbol) stadium. I find out much later that there is another smaller airport in Buenos Aires which I never consider as an option until it is too late.

I was taken to a nice hotel where I met my local program director and waited for the other three students who signed up to be international interns. That feeling of being the only one on time never stopped throughout my trip (which is ironic since my family was usually the last of my home circles). There was a girl from Oregon who was going to school to be a teacher and she was interning at the local elementary school to help teach English. The other interns were both girls from Texas, but with very different stories. One of them was studying for a degree in international business, but did not plan to use it because she said she wanted to be a housewife. From what she told us, she was here because her boyfriend told her she could; she believed she could only do something like this with her significant other’s permission. His internship took place entirely online. The other intern from Texas had a degree in sustainability and joined the program as part of post-graduation work experience. She came to Argentina after visiting her family in Brazil. Most of the program events I organized to learn the culture and explore the city were with these girls.

Dulce de leche wrapped in a crepe with coffee for dessert

Before being introduced to our host families, the group was taken to an Argentinian parrilla (grill) for the first time. It was good food, but that was before I knew chimichurri and had to ask for it in restaurants or they wouldn’t bring it. Without chimichurri, meat can be a bit bland in Argentina like meat in the USA without A1 sauce or barbecue. It was also one of the first places I tried the much advertised Argentinian dulce de leche which I had in a pancake drizzled with chocolate sauce for dessert. I think it’s fine, I don’t do well with too much sweetness at the same time (as I had to explain to all Argentinians I met).

The next day we were taken to the API office and a conference table was waiting for us. Our Program Director gave a presentation to share the cultural recap of the country, the main similarities and differences of our countries, and the do’s and don’ts of past students. I learned that the custom of greeting is to kiss the cheek of anyone you meet, Argentinians speak Castellano (which is a European mesh of Spanish with a lot of Italian influence), and that Argentinians are a very proud people who like to show their gifts for the world (I just learned that especially during my stay there). This was our master plan for how to behave in our new home for the next two months and we had to learn quickly as our homestay parents came to pick us up a few hours later.

My living conditions here in Argentina are a bit of what I expected (I’m pretty realistic thinking about these things.) I live in an apartment with a divorced father whose sons come to visit and live with him every two weeks. I feel bad for the 14 year old as there were only two bedrooms in the flat so while I was there he had to share the bedroom with his dad in a small twin bed at the foot of the bedroom. The 24-year-old son had his own home, so he didn’t need to sleep at his father’s feet.

The apartment itself is a bit shabby. The kitchen is the first thing you see when entering as the first room on the right and my host had the door open. My introduction to the apartment was an immediate peek at the dishes stacked out of the sink. The counters were filthy with dirt spots that required industrial tools to scrape off. It was one of two rooms in the space closest to the door. The other room was a break room used as a storage closet. Before leaving Argentina, while filling out the program’s questionnaire on my life preferences, I thought to myself that there would be two types of families I could be matched with: either they would depend on the money they would get to house me, or they would believe in the student exchange program and want to share their culture. For my host, let’s call him Enrique, it was a bit of both. He is a music teacher at a nearby university and also gives private piano lessons. He seems really happy to help me, so I’m willing to give him a chance. I want to understand what it’s like to be Argentinian and whether I like it or not, it also comes with economic insecurity. (However, I would later find out that was not necessary.)

When I talk about economic insecurity in the context of the Argentine experience, there is explicit evidence and reasoning as to why this is correct. For one, the country has two different exchange rates. If you just asked Siri what the exchange rate is for one US dollar to Argentinian pesos, the number would be around 150 pesos for every dollar right now, but locals know there’s another ‘market’ rate. blue” which is worth almost double. assess. The logistics, as I’m told, are that the government claims the lower exchange rate to rig its spending. Citizens, on the other hand, see these corrupt practices and rising inflation on a daily basis, so they value the US dollar and any other country’s currency more than the government is letting on. Another reason why it is so inclusive is the fact that prices are rising rapidly and steadily. This gets me thinking about wages becoming inadequate, banks losing value on their loans, and the need for bigger bills. (The government encourages the use of the card, but tourists use cash because of the blue tariff.) It is obvious that Argentines face institutional difficulties and I have the opportunity to learn more during of the next three months.


Stay tuned for another entry next week!

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