Woah, the last week has flown by. Nothing really extraordinary happened but we have still had plenty of fun. Our breakfast with Edu was actually scheduled on Saturday, not Wednesday like I had thought. When I went to meet him (Ivanna was still getting ready), the restaurant had closed for vacation and he was nowhere to be found. His cell phone is broken so we can’t contact him to find out what happened. We still haven’t heard from him. Maybe he decided to leave the country. Or maybe he just saw Ivanna’s email about us wanting to go to Jimena’s on Friday so he didn’t come. Who knows...
Wednesday I went to just one of the parties because I was kind of tired. Ivanna and I had sandwiches at Laura’s with Beth, Nadia (teenager from church), and Laura and played rummy (see photo). Ivanna later left to attend a birthday party but I stayed at Laura’s and took a taxi home by myself. I even told the taxista (driver) where to go.
That night and into Thursday morning in rained buckets. Our street Monteagudo was flooded with a flowing river up to the curb. I took the bus to Paulina’s but got off a block too early and couldn’t cross that road because of the streams on both sides. I should have worn sandals and not tennis shoes but I didn’t know the streets flooded. After walking up hill for 4 blocks, I finally had to try and jump over the streams. Needless to say I got pretty wet from the knees down. Class was a little more uncomfortable that day. By the time class was over it had stopped raining so I walked home in my wet shoes. Later I found out people will just take off their shoes in order to cross the streets. Also, there isn’t a complete drainage system here and many of the drains get blocked by garbage. Just yesterday I saw a man kick 2 pages of a newspaper into the gutter and another women throw a bag of something in the gutter.
I had 5 packets of homework for the weekend, so much of Friday was spent on homework. Saturday was our “non-breakfast” with Edu. We went shopping instead and I bought a nice shirt. That afternoon we went to Jimena’s and rode bikes on the road towards Villa Nouguès. The thunderclouds to the east of the city were incredible!
Guys tend to whistled at me more when I am riding a bike than other days when I just walk somewhere. Strange. Whatever. I'm am very rarely bothered which is contrary to what my travel guide said about Tucumàn.
Saturday night we went out for ice cream about 12:30am. I was over tired and couldn’t understand anything which made me really frustrated. I guess they are right when they say the 3rd week/month/year is the hardest. This was right in the middle of my 3rd week. I felt better after sleeping until 1pm.
Sunday we had dinner with Jimena's family, including her aunt and uncle who were visiting from Buenos Aires. We ate a delicious meal of chicken and rice and potatoes (see photos).
We made it to church almost on time but not before getting caught under a tree in a rain storm waiting for the bus (see photos). As the bus drove us to church I could’t believe how much water there was in the streets. They seriously looked like rivers instead of roads. Thankfully the bus made it just fine. Last Wednesday when it rained a ton, Ivanna couldn’t get home from her birthday party. The taxi driver had to drive on the sidewalk at one point and they still had water come into the car on another street!
Monday I had class in the afternoon and then we watched 2012. It was funny to later look at the flooded streets here and not think much of it since they didn’t come close to the flood and tidal waves in 2012. Today, Tuesday, I sat by the window waiting for the watermelon vendor to drive by with his horse and cart. I finally heard him after lunch and ran out to buy some. He cut one open for me to taste before buying it. So delicious! I bought 2 (basktetball size) for AG$10 which is US$2.50. What a deal!
Liliana has made delicious food for us. I finally got to try humita which is mainly grated corn and cheese (see photo). Yum! I also helped with the masa (dough) for empanadas (little meat pies). Liliana had already made the chicken and beef mixes for the inside. I helped make dough balls (photo #1) and then flatten them (#2). Liliana later assembled them (#3). We will get to eat some this weekend when Liliana is gone helping at a camp for her church. She’ll be helping with the food and will be gone Wed-Sun. I hope we can survive without her! Ivanna admits she doesn’t cook very well, at least compared to her mom, which is a lot to live up to.