Sunday, March 1, 2009

move in day.

The Floralis Genérica, a metal flower sculpture which "blooms" in the morning and closes up at sunset. It's in the Recoleta barrio, about ten minutes away from school.

A boat I liked sailing down the delta in Tigre.

My lunch in Tigre - a choripan (sandwich with chorizo sausage), complete with Argenine flag.
Cool colors on a street in Tigre. 

The past several days have been quite busy, but I'm going to try to post a few pictures before I move today. Yes, in the end I did get the room in the cool house in Palermo; as soon as I finish packing up my stuff today I will move out of Beatriz and Delfina's apartment and settle in for good (hopefully) on Calle El Salvador. 

Yesterday I went to Tigre, a town located about 30 km outside of Buenos Aires, with six friends from my TEFL course. Located on the river delta, it's a great place to spend a lazy Saturday: we mostly walked around, checked out the outdoor market, took a one hour boat ride, and then relaxed/took naps in a shady spot in the park. After being in the city for one month (already?!), it was wonderful to get out and explore, even if the water was unswimmable (at least for my tastes.)  The best part about the trip was the price: a round trip train ticket cost 2.70 pesos, just under $1. I'm sure at that price I'll be back. Plus, there's an amusement park! It was a bit small, at least compared to what I'm used to, but there were two roller coasters that looked like good fun.

I taught two lessons this past week, and neither of them went as well I had hoped. I'm still learning, so I'm not too discouraged. My main problem was "teacher talk", or feeling the need to end silence by...talking. It wasn't quite rambling, just excessive instructions and clarifications, which did more harm than good in some cases. Both times I taught students at a lower level, and I struggled to keep my dialogues and activities as basic as possible. I have two more lessons before the class ends this Friday, so for most of today I'll be working on my lesson plans.

Finally, this past Thursday I went to Spanglish, which is essentially speed dating for language learners. For 15 pesos, you get a drink at a bar and about an hour and half of conversation. Anglos are paired up with Spanish speakers (hispanoablante) for about ten minutes, five of which you speak in English, the other five in Spanish. You then switch partners. It was a great atmosphere and everyone I spoke with was very friendly. The Argentines I spoke with generally spoke English very well, whereas I struggled with Spanish. But it's definitely something I plan to go to when I have the time. 

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