Just by having a short stroll around the city center, the diverse architecture is deceiving of the fact that the country has gone through a lot of changes.
BECOMING A PART OF VOLUNTARIO GLOBAL
When I stepped off the plane one week ago, I instantly felt the excitement rushing through my body, eliminating the sleep deprivation from 2 sleepless nights. After a taxi ride into the city, I was warmly welcomed by Sami – a member from Voluntario Global, and given a first insight of the city and the culture (and an empanada!), as well as a place to crash at before checking in at the hostel, which I will call home until the end of January.
During the last week I started to get to know Voluntario Global in real life – through the introductory talk and meeting the very welcoming staff, as well as joining and documenting one of the projects they are working with: an evening English school, where dedicated children and youth come to improve their English skills after a long day of classes. It wouldn’t be possible without the help of many volunteers, one of them being Natascia – a volunteer from Switzerland – who’s energy and eagerness to help I followed and captured in photos during the evening.
As part of the communication team, I will be following many more projects that Voluntario Global support and work with. Going to a kindergarten and following two French volunteers (aka my wonderful roomies), radio station and many more, to be talked about in further posts.
GETTING TO KNOW THE CITY
I’m usually the sort of person who would be able to get lost on a straight route, but I’m surprised how easy I am navigating myself around the city of Buenos Aires. (I need to add that the city is very extensive, with its many neighborhoods and suburbs) There’s only been a couple of confusing moments, due to my tendency to wander around for hours, but nothing from the series ‘where on earth I am now’. Maps Me is a great app for navigating offline. The public transport is also very useful and reliable – from going a couple of stops in a packed rush hour subte (subway) to a 30min bus journey at 4 am – there’s always an easy way to get from A to B.
But above all, the people and their suggestions are the best guides to discover a city. There are many informative guided tours across the city, that are cheap and some even free! I’ve also been fortunate to have Jackson – a volunteer from US and a fellow communication team member – introduce me to the subte and nearby neighborhoods. Everyone’s got different tips and advice and their favorites so the more you talk to people, especially locals, the more you discover!
I’m still getting used to a new rhythm of life and a whole new continent for that matter. As a recent health anxiety sufferer, any sort of change can trigger off a wave of anxieties, but I would like to call traveling my therapy and the more I explore a culture and meet amazing people along the way, the easier the adjustment phase becomes. So I encourage everyone to dare a little (or huge) adventure every now and then, because change can be as good as rest!