Humanities & Social Sciences placements

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences' students share their placement and year abroad experiences.

Posts By: mc2027

Capilla del Monte and grub in my tum

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Todays post will be focussed on my visit to Capilla del Monte which is a 3 hour bus journey away from Cordoba Capital. And secondly I love my food. A lot. So undoubtedly this is an important point to investigate while I'm here.

Capilla del Monte

My journey started early on a Sunday morning. It was a bank holiday this weekend so took advantage for a weekend trip. We arrived at midday and dropped off our bags in our quaint hostel before setting off on our walk to Las Gemelas (direct translation; the twins).

We trekked up the hill to a rest point and leisurely ate our lunch. Then we decided to hire some horses to go around the mountain. Mine was called Nochero (direct translation of Noche is night) as it was as dark as a nights sky. And thus we started clip cloppiting along. The views were particularly stunning as the light reflected of the lake. The mountains were sun bathed as we went through the narrow trail. At one point Nochero went off the path which is scary thanks to the unpredictable terrain of the mountain. As we went down steeply we had to put our legs out in front for stability and when going up we had to lean forwards. Overall it was a fun and exciting experience that brought out my inner Chinas (female version of a Gaucho).

On day two we journeyed to El Zapato (direct translation; the shoe) which is a rock famous for being the shape of a shoe. The surrounding rocks were a great viewpoint for the surrounding mountains.

We then walked to Parador El Paraiso (direct translation; paradise) which had a lucious river with some geese and sheep. Our trip ended here as we then collected our bags to get the bus home.

Why I need to return to Capilla del Monte: This area is famous for its special energy and the said aliens that accompany it!

Grub

Where to start¿¡ Lets start with the classics...and a basic introduction to Argentine cuisine.

Asado 10/10

The closest we have to it is a barbeque. But the Argentine Asado consists of pretty much just meat. In Argentina they use every bit of the animal. The equivalent of a Sunday Roast this is a very social activity and will take hours. In a future post I will go into detail of the different part that a asado consists of but for now just imagine mouthfuls of deliciously cooked meat. As a meat lover this was a kind of heaven but this is probably not for you if youre vegetarian...

Empanadas 8/10

These are little pastries filled with different ingredients. My replacement for a sandwich and a big part of my diet, I will eat different types of empanada almost every day. It´s difficult to choose a favourite but I like ones containting choclo (sweetcorn).

Criollos 11/10

These savoury little bread things (sorry my description is awful) are the joy of my life. I have to admit at first I wasn't a fan but now I wait for the 6.30pm merienda eagerly in order to devour my dear criollitos.

Mate 4/10

Admitedly this is not grub but such an integral part of Argentine food and drink, I couldn't miss it out. In every moment and opportunity the argentinians will pour the leaves and hot water and sip from the specially shaped metal straw. Not being a tea drinker did not help me accustom to this bitter drink. However this is such an essential part of life here that I think I will have to get used to it!

Fernet 6.5/10

Again another drink! Fernet is a herbal alcoholic drink which is mixed with coke. I did not find this Argetine alcoholic juice bad at all! It was bitter but quite alright!

 

Weekversary in Argentina!

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Two days ago marked the weekversary of my move to Argentina! I have been met with new people, foods, behaviours, climates and much more! All these new experiences I will talk in greater detail in future posts however here I will focus on my whistle stop tour of Buenos Aires and dealing with homesickness.

Before moving to Cordoba to start my internship I visited Buenos Aires briefly. Here are a few things I got up to:

1.Plaza de Mayo

What is it?

Plaza de Mayo is a square named after the May Revolution of 1810, which started the process towards the country´s independence from Spain in 1816.

Why is it important?

This square has a lot of political importance throughout Argentinian history which I would recommend reading about however a particularly interesting little nugget of history that this square highlights, is the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Since 1977 mothers have congregated here every Thursdaz with signs and pictures of Desaparecidos [direct translation: the disappeared]. These pictures are of the "disappeared" children by the Argentine military in the Dirty War. Their wore white scarfs which symbolize the white dove of peace which can "unite all women". This symbol is painted on the square.

I recommend Plaza de Mayo as it is full of political and social messages.

2.Casa Rosada

What is it?

La Casa Rosada [direct transalation: the pink house) is the office of the President of Argentina. It is named so due to its pink exterior and is one of the most emblematic buildings in Buenos Aires.

Fun Fact

I read in my guide book that it is painted with a mixture of ox blood with lime!

My sweatied plane gear matched with La Casa Rosada!

3.Cafe Tortoni

What is it?

This beautifully decorated cafe was inaugurated in 1858. Famous for its art scene in the basement (La Peña) which was inaugurated in 1926. Among the visitors there were Jorge Luis Borges, Federico Garcia Lorca and Roberto Arlt.

I enjoyed some Churros con Chocolate (apparently a popular choice) while admiring "Poets corner" and the surroundings. However I must warn it is expensive and commercialised.

4.El Caminito

What is it?

This is an area of Buenos Aires that has a lot of character. It was started by immigrants who didn´t have a penny who used whatever materials they could get hold of to construct this neighbourhood. All the houses are very colourful as they did not have enough money to paint it all one colour. It is still very much a working class area as well as tourist destination which creates an interesting dynamic as many working class people resent the tourists and even try to spit on them as they walk past!

El Caminito is a symbol of the tango culture which developed in this port side neighbourhood and working class immigrants.

 

Homesickness

I am a person who gets quite homesick so it was no surprise that moving away for 4 months was going to be a challenge. This first week has been tough however here are a few things that have helped:

Social Butterfly yourself- I have the great fortune that not only have I met lots of warm and welcoming people but I already knew someone out there. This week I have been able to share my homesickness with people who are going through it at the same time as me as well as people who have already gone through it. The caring attitude I have recieved from many has relieved the homesickness greatly.
Busy Bee around- keeping your mind and body busy= less time to think about home. Being in a different country, everything is different, including shopping. I spent half a day exploring shops and supermarkets. I've found keeping the clogs in my brain chugging along has helped remove my thoughts straying to home.
Tick it off- setting yourself goals can generate a lot of motivation. When I am feeling homesick I find it difficult to achieve. Something that I have found that has really helped with my homesickness was having a to do list. Even more so having a calendar so that I can tick off the days and visualise journeys and events to look forward to and helps visualise my time here.
Home Sweet Home- personalising your new home helps give a feeling of permanence as well as bringing home memories as a comfort. Teddy bears are a great, Monica approved idea too.
The Internet generation- we are very lucky to be able to keep in touch with our loved ones so easily. And a few words with them over a video call can help calm a homesick self.
A new world- Writing a journal is a therapeutic way of dealing with homesickness as well as helping to document all the new experiences on this journey.
Well... I hope you have enjoyed my first post from this duck out of water and follow to get notifications of future posts or keep an eye on my facebook. Until next time, Ciao!