Sunday, April 19, 2009

March-Fosters in BA

Prelude-I know this sounds cliché but literally the last couple of months have flown by. I started working in the afternoons at a very fancy, British Kindergarten called San Andres (the school, or colegio, goes up through high school) in the middle of February. In May I should finally be getting my work visa after 5 months of ridiculous paperwork collecting and bureaucracy. Also, recently I took on some business English students in the mornings to make a little extra income. Its all going pretty well and the schedule works perfectly. I could bore you all with endless tales of my 5 year olds doing silly things and speaking to me in kid Spanish while I only talk to them in English with some misunderstandings here and there. It’s definitely a challenge but a fun one and I have a great assistant teacher named Vero.

Everything will change in June however because I will take over for an assistant teacher who is pregnant and works in the mornings. All day at the Kindergarten will lead to endless stories that I’ll regale on you all later. That’s basically the daily of what goes on for me. The weekends are still full of Frisbee fun, going to asados (BBQ’s) and taking short trips around Argentina. The big news recently was…

The Fosters came to Buenos Aires!!!
- Mike’s whole fam (parents and sister) came down for a week and a half visit. It was really fun to have family here and see all their fun quirks of traveling together. We had a blast going out to eat at delicious restaurants that Mike and I have dreamed about for months (Thai, Chinese, high class Italian, etc), visiting various ferias (artisanal markets), and seeing the sites of BA.

Fosters Get Wet-
We also took a boat tour of the Paraná river delta which is about a one hour train ride to the north of the city. Mike made a reservation with an eco-tour company for a full day of boating and nature luvin’. Since Mike’s mom and sis love to birdwatch while Mike’s dad likes boats, he thought it would be perfect. We headed out to meet our guide (Juan) and he took us on two trains and then his dad’s boat for an adventure of a lifetime.

Riding up and down small canals and channels of the brown, murky water of the delta, we caught site of black headed swans, amazingly fluorescent red-headed Federales, and even some bicho feos (which translates into-Ugly critters).

Watched as a houses on stilts passed us by and ate sandwiches de miga (white/brown bread with meat, olives, hearts of palm, or cheese).

Then went for a dip in the brown water to cool off from the heat and humidity. All in all it was a blast! See the link for fotos of the adventures.

Futbol and the Fosters- Another highlight was taking Mike’s folks to a futbol/soccer match between Racing (a losing team that everyone loves, a la the Cubs) and River Plate (a good team that many smart people love, a la the White Sox). Mike and I hadn’t been to game yet and wanted to go badly. So we looked up a match on a Saturday and realized the Racing field was outside the city in a sketchy part of town called Avellaneda. We decided to do some reconnaissance work before we sent his folks into harms way. After taking a train and a cab (which was recommended instead of a 6 block walk to the stadium after leaving the train station), we knew we were close because of the armor laden police officers putting up giant metal barricades to keep rowdy fans separated. Some rode horses while others stood around with machine guns. We heard they took their futbol seriously but DAMN!! Mike and I rethought getting tickets to this game but really ignorance is bliss sometimes and we went ahead and bought 4 tickets in the home team section. We found out women are half priced thanks to our Y chromosome, which leads to more sanity in the stands I guess. We made sure the seats were high above the hooligans and rowdy fans so everyone would be safe. Then we headed back to the city by walking (rather than cabbing it) to the train station to meet up with Mike’s parents.

When we arrived for the second time that day in Avellaneda, parents in tow, there were a lot more fans then before and many drinking box wine and bottles of beer before entering the dry stadium. We trooped to the stadium the way Mike and I came earlier and noticed everyone around us was wearing red and black, that day’s opponent’s, River Plate, team colors. We didn’t think anything of it until we got all the way to the stadium gates and were told since because we had “home” tickets we had to enter through another entrance which was a good 5 blocks away. So we changed course and walked the way we were told and entered in our Popular section (where people who aren’t members of the team can sit). We scaled 6 flights of stairs to OUR section where we noticed we weren’t the only ones who found the popular section. It resembled rush hour on the subway with people elbow-to-elbow-to gut all trying to get a glimpse of the field. We also noticed that there were no seats anywhere in site. Mike’s dad led the charge and we wedged ourselves in with our arms plastered to our chests and tried not to step on anyone’s feet around us. The people around us were very amicable and most were families so we felt safe. Then the cheering started and I learned LOTS of new swear chants to yell at opposing futbol teams and mean bus drivers who don’t slow down to let you off the bus. We finally were able to breath about halfway through the match, a thrilling one in which Racing, the underdogs, beat the champs 1-0.

We left the game a little before the end and escaped the mad rush of the crowds. Mike’s mom took some nice photos with the armed police on horses and we got to the train before the masses. It was an incredible adventure that none of us will forget.
The Fosters left after a great 10 days and then there was a long weekend for Easter so Mike and I decided to take a trip to…

1 comment:

windsrblu said...

Kyla and Mike, You are terrific tour guides! Thank you for making our 2 weeks in & around Buenos Aires sensational! We loved the Delta tour, the Subte and the City, but wondered if we'd overstayed our welcome when you took us to the mobbed River vs. Racing futbol game. Yikes! (Just kidding.) It was fun and amazing!
-Pat and Steve