Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Argentina Day 2

Had an awesome nights rest and get up at 8am to work out. They have nice weight equipment and a decent eliptical. Spend about an hour there, head back to my room, and get ready for breakfast and the day.

The breakfast is included and is buffet style. Lots of different breads and pasteries, runny eggs, Argentine bacon, small sausages, seasoned potatoes sliced thinly, meets (like lunch meats) and cheese, fruit, and yogurt. I grabbed what I wanted and poured my OJ and had coffee. The differences that I see between meals in Argentina and the U.S. is it is treated as an occassion. No one was dressed in shorts or pajamas and time is taken to enjoy the food.

I head back to my room to check email, Facebook, and call home. I decide to grab my tripod and EOS camera and head out. I go the opposite direction from last night and walk past the French and Brazilian Embassys. I walk along the main avenue towards the "Oblisk" and the building with Eva Peron.

As I am walking I look down a side street and see an awesome building with it's reflection in another one. I walk past a huge building with security and think it is something political. After taking pictures and moseying around a little I come upon the signs describing what the big building is...a world renowned opera house.

I take more pictures of it and the park across the street. It had "music stands" as decorations with pigeon nests in them. Rhonda would freak because of her "love" of birds. I walk some more with my camera still on the tripod. I figured I am a big boy and not many people would probably mess with me. Also, 90% of all people are good and would help out if needed. Also it was Sunday.

I scramble around and finally find my way back to the main avenue (me, directions, and cities don't always jive) and see the "Obleisk." I take pictures of side streets (I hope they capture the mood I was feeling) and make my way to a better place to see the monument. As I look around I can see 3 McDonald's and a Burger King.

I head towards the hotel with tripod and camera in tow taking pictures here and there of things that catch my eye. One thing that popped out most was a marquee that said TANGO in big silver letters with a black background. I had to have that picture since Argentina is the birthplace of the Tango.

Back at the hotel at 4pm I start to get ready to meet my Program Officer (PO) Ines at 5pm. She called not long after I get into my room and says that they will be an hour late due to the ash coming down from a Chilean volcano. That explains why it was kind of hazy out and I was coughing a little (I was also fighting being sick).

Ines and her husband, Sebatian, arrive and we tour the city. We stop at a coffee shop called Tortino that is a local favorite. We go over my agenda and grab a bite and a beer (Ines has OJ because she is pregnant) and then head to a community center in the city where she had set up a
"Jazz" concert.

When we arrive the local people are doing the tango. It was awesome to see something that was not a tourist attraction. We take pictures (and I took some video) and then the band came on around 9:30. They played dixieland music and were not bad.

We then head to dinner. In their culture dinner starts around 9 or 10 pm. We try a restraunt that was their first choice but the wait was was Mother's Day in Argentina. We go to a German restraunt and I have bbq ribs (pork chops).

Back to the hotel around midnight and I see the light dusting of ash on their car. To my room and off to bed for a car that will pick me up at 6am for my first meeting. Now the Fellowship really starts.

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