A Travellerspoint blog

"El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido" (The Village United)

UNASUR and Latin American Unity

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There's a growing movement here in Latin America that is sprung up in direct retaliation to the neoliberal policies of the World Bank during the 80s and 90s, the cold war agression from the United States, and historic exploitation of the indigenous poor. In South America liberal governments have rode on this wave of solidarity to elect 'Caudillos' - charismatic leaders like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Cristina Fernandez - who have come to represent the people of their countries. While I can't say I agree with all of the policies made by these leaders, I respect their decision to come together in the face of economic and social oppression to form a greater and stronger Latin America.

UNASUR Meeting 2012
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"El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido"

Posted by Fabian1993 20:58 Archived in Argentina Tagged politics unasur caudillo latinoamerica

Dionysian Revelry: Drinking and Drumming

La Bomba del Tiempo

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Every Monday at 7pm the Kotex Center hosts La Bomba del Tiempo. Its in a urban rundown neighborhood in Palermo with bright fluorescent lights advertising the Kotex Center, vendors selling ChoriPan, and drunk Argentinians standing around with pint-size beers. The show itself is amazing. With so many drums beating out fast percussion, everyone starts to dance wildly and get lost in the primal rhythm. For the final encore we dragged ourselves into the mosh pit and were thrown around by cheering Argentinians.

Afterwards we managed to make it to the afterparty with multiple floors for dancing, a bar, and an open rooftop terrace where you could lay on the sofas and watch the stars. Its one of the most memorable nights I have here in BA.

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Posted by Fabian1993 20:41 Archived in Argentina Tagged dancing drums bombadeltiempo

Rayuela (Hopscotch)

Leaping through the Absurd

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For Argentina I brought a battered copy of Hopscotch (Rayuela) by Julio Cortazar. I tried reading it when I was younger, but got lost in the intoxicating wordplay and literary references. Now that I'm older, I've grown to enjoy getting lost in the novel.

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The story centers around Horacio Oliveira, an Argentine living a fragmentary life in Paris and the Buenos Aires. As Cortázar makes clear, the text does not depend on any chronological order. The many episodes from Oliveira's life can be read in any variety of sequences without altering the gist of the novel. Literary and philosophical meditations abound in this intellectual's story. It is a very literary novel, in every sense, and literature is central to it, from the name-dropping of countless authors to the influences various works exert. Jazz also plays a role, and politics and specifically the state of Argentina and the state of exile. Its a beautiful story of love, of heady intellectualism, and glowing Argentinian aesthetics.

A beautiful passage with Olivera and La Maga romancing in Paris:
I touch your mouth, I touch the edge of your mouth with my finger, I am drawing it as if it were something my hand was sketching, as if for the first time your mouth opened a little, and all I have to do is close my eyes to erase it and start all over again, every time I can make the mouth I want appear, the mouth which my hand chooses and sketches on your face, and which by some chance that I do not seek to understand coincides exactly with your mouth which smiles beneath the one my hand is sketching on you.
You look at me, from close up you look at me, closer and closer and then we play cyclops, we look closer and closer at one another and our eyes get larger, they come closer, they merge into one and the two cyplopses look at each other, blending as they breathe, our mouths touch and struggle in gentle warmth, biting each other with their lips, barely holding their tongues on their teeth, playing in corners where a heavy air comes and goes with an old perfume and a silence. Then my hands go to sink into your hair, to cherish slowly the depth of your hair while we kiss as if our mouths were filled with flowers or with fish, with lively movements and dark fragrance. And if we bite each other the pain is sweet, and if we smother each other in a brief and terrible sucking in together of our breaths, that momentary death is beautiful. And there is but one saliva and one flavor of ripe fruit, and I feel you tremble against me like a moon on the water.

Posted by Fabian1993 20:28 Archived in Argentina Tagged literature hopscotch cortazar

Climbing the Green Stairs

Our Argentinian Homestay

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There's a reason I haven't written in the last three weeks - and a lot of it has to do with our homestay family.

Hands down, we have one of the best set-ups in a bustling vibrant city like Buenos Aires. We're staying in a beautiful conjoined apartment building in Belgrano owned by Luciano and Maria. They've been hosting international students for more than a decade and they know how to have a good time. We're staying with a handful of other American students studying at the University of Belgrano: Alanah Rafferty (an Irish film-major from New York), Olivia Renny (an aspiring epidemiologist from Montana), Johanna Aguayo (a dancer and interpreter from East LA with a beaming smile), Alex Lopez (a guy from Cali who dresses mangos in hot-sauce and picks up girls numbers all over the city), Arianna Gainer (a sweet girl from Indiana that drove the Argentinean guys wild), and Naomi Lucille Garcia (a brilliant redhead who'd meet people around the city, dance arial silks, walk slackline, stay out late, and never sleep). Along with Reggie, Dan, and I, we tore up Buenos Aires. Since they've been gone on Spring Break (Mendoza, Santiago de Chile, y Patagonia) we've been missing them a lot.

Luciano and Maria are a beautiful couple. In this wedding photo they look like a young Jackie Kennedy and Gregory Peck just beaming.
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We live in a house cobbled together from different apartments and connected by the green spiral staircase. There's ten rooms on three floors, three kitchens, five bathrooms, a dinning room, and a sunlit terrace with a cabin for asado.
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Dinner is at 9:00PM and every night they ring the bell. We all run down the stairs, get together around a large round table, and eat dinner like a real family. I'm convinced we have the best homestay in Buenos Aires

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Posted by Fabian1993 19:57 Archived in Argentina Tagged family homestay maria luciano marriagephoto

Struggles Blogging

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It's hard to keep updating a blog when the city keeps calling you back..
There's so much happening in Buenos Aires, this city is so full of life.

I'll try to catch everyone up on my rural visit.

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Posted by Fabian1993 16:59 Archived in Argentina Tagged blogging

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