Thursday, February 10, 2011

llegada y día uno

Arrival and Day 1

So it is 3:30am and we can't sleep.. so it's blog time.. it is all I can think about, the day we have just had and what lies ahead.

Leaving Mum and Dad and Ger n Geoff at the airport wasn't easy. I felt rushed because time went so very fast! I didn't feel the same as flying to a holiday. The amount of time we were going to spend overseas, and having not planned anything at our new destination to get excited about really changed how I felt about going. The day of 'taking off' had finally arrived, and all I could think about was if all our extra (and there definitely was extra) baggage and instruments would get through the flight and out the other end okay. 
I know it wasn't long before we would have both our parents over here to see us in Quilmes, but I love them so much and all three of us women were tearing up. Happy and missing each other already. So thankful to have such amazing supportive parents and families. I'm so blessed to be connected to such encouraging, giving and loving parents, my friends! Big hugs to you mum and dad!!

okay, flight was loooong. it said direct 13hrs..but Aerolinas Argentina makes a short compulsory stop at Auckland (always...just so you know if you are flying with them..they are the cheapest direct to Buenos Aires). it was very basic.. one big screen for all to see. I recommend booking seat 25! near a tv, close to the front of the plane... however, the flight did arrive on time! I did not sleep and hadn't slept for over 24hrs when arriving.. I was stuffed and groggy and a great way to meet my new boss at the other end! haha
We went through immigration easy! we were at the front of the line. no problems.
we got all our luggage, all eight pieces, huge. no problems.
got out and there was Derek Pringle, the principal of St George's, with his car right out front. no problems!
It took about 20mins in not a lot of traffic to drive to our apartment building. There were lots of tariff stations on the highway.. all like 20cents a hit.. and we drove past lots of old run down looking apartments.. kind of like what you see in asia., but no motorbikes, not as crowded.. a cross between Vietnam and Europe maybe.. you'll just have to come see it =D
anyways, being so tired.. I zoned out and had to ask Derek to repeat a lot of things.. great way to start our first friendship here in BA.. haha.. it wasn't that bad..but gee I felt it.
Derek drove us through St Georges when we arrived in Quilmes, on the way into the city we noticed lots of shed like housing, junk yards that people live in..rubbish on the streets. this is a developing country and you can tell.
The school is a very nice thing indeed!! big big grounds.. all upkept..guards at the gates..European buildings, nearly 100yrs old!! it was GORGEOUS! and only 5 mins walk down from where we live!!
We are in the East part of Quilmes, we live in 1 of 4 apartment towers in a complex. There are guards at our gates also. We loaded everything in to the lifts and brought them up into our apartment! I was so tired, I had no reaction to where we live except to make Derek and our new friend Soledad (pronounced as it sounds, and she was a lovely lovely woman, about my age maybe older who organises everything to do with housing for the expats) feel like we loved the place. To me.. it feels like a holiday apartment and I have been speaking to myself saying.. 3 years 3 years 3 years. this space is ours for 3 flippin' years.. how nuts is that!!! 

The apartment is small. 1 bedroom, bathroom, kitchen with the washing machine in it, no dishwasher (which is fine), dining and lounge together with a large balcony perched on the 10th floor. Massive views of Quilmes city before us which is super pretty at night and like an old school city dominated with apartment blocks and rusty roofed sheds (peoples houses) during the day. Even though the streets are dirty, there are lots of trees! I love it!

We had a massive sleep our first night, our bed is a double and it is comfy as!!! hooorrraaay! (bedding is something I'm quite fussy about. hah). We have enough cupboard space for everything...however our 22 boxes from shipping is yet to arrive...dun dun duuuun (the scary music thing)..
Should be sweet..I'm telling myself half of what we packed was music cds and dvds for my music department... should be good...fingers crossed! haha
It will feel like xmas when our stuff arrives in a month. We will then be able to make this place home!

Sights, sounds and smells.. so very very different to Australia/Sydney.. I will liken it to a city..because that's what this place is... Buenos Aires is indeed a city...and we are living in a more residential area of the city... 'Capital' (pronounced 'cap-i-taaal' accent on the taal, make it tall sounding) is about a 30 min drive, traffic allowing, which is where all the city fun happens, theatre, live music, big eating and dancing etc... we have yet to explore this, maybe catch a taxi there Friday? Who knows. but the sights of what we have seen are cool... like I said, there is rubbish on the street, people here don't look after it. Everything is in Español, it is fun reading stuff and finding out what it means.. SOO KEEN TO LEARN THIS LANGUAGE! We are both so so excited. We are not very good at it, but its amazing how quick your ears adjust. already have picked up the lingo being used for greetings and sorry and things I have wanted to say but didn't know.. I can kind of say hello, im good, how are you, nod and smile and then goodbye.. that's all i have had to do when being introduced..haha! I say thankyou a lot to people in spanish! haha!

I was on the plane next to a woman who could only speak espanol and I when she was talking I couldn't understand her so I was saying 'de nada' which I thought meant 'i dont know'...well it actually meant 'you're welcome'...hahaha!! so I wonder what she thought.. I did manage to say in spanish that I spoke 'un piquito,' a little spanish and she said the same for ingles, english. We laughed a lot at ourselves cause we both sucked at each others language... I'm sure I will do this more! haha

The place sounds like a city.. buses drive by alll the even now at 4am... big and loud. The coolest sound is horses clip clopping down our street. The poorer people own them instead of cars and the tow an old wooden cart and pick through peoples rubbish to find what recyables they can sell. Every 10mins there is a horse trotting by..its cool to hear the sound of horse shoes on a tar road.. don't get that back in oz! hah
It smells smokey in the morning and evening.. this is when restaurants start their asado (roasting of meat). The put a whole pig and cow over hot coals for hours.. we have an asado restaurant right next door to the apartment towers..we are going there for lunch today with all the new teachers and some staff from the towers. they say the steak is like cutting through butter!!! will let you know!
and its soooo cheap! a main meal, wine, entree and dessert for two people is less that $30...CRAZY!
approx. 3 pesos is $1... 30 pesos is $10.. my head is getting use to this..
It doesn't smell gross and dirty like Asia.. we have had fresh breezes through the doors here.. not many bugs either...

Okay,  so waking up at 11:30am, we had an hour before Simon arrived to take us to the school for a more extensive tour. 1st day in and we are into it! 5 min walk to school.. heaps of squashed dead frogs on the road.. small bats... and HUGE beetles which large pincers... am not wanting to see live ones..
Again, the school is gorgeous! the chapel was built in 1914 and is soooo quaint and beautiful inside!! the mosaic tile floor near the ornate pulpit is nuts! tradition is steeped in catholicism, however the religion of the school is 'optional'... its more 'tradition' than 'a catholic school.' can't wait to sing in that chapel!! haha! and it's my job to put together singing students to do just that! how wicked!!
The music department is all mine! Chris and I can see sooooo much potential!!!!!! my office is huge! it needs a good clean and some serious setting up.. the building is sooo beautiful! lots of practice rooms.. music classes are going to be great! it is set down the very back of the school.. so lots of noise I can make! woohoo... by the sounds of it.. Simon (my boss, head of creative arts) and Derek are saying its a fresh start, and it's my job to do it. dream job for a music teacher. so blessed!!

Went shopping for groceries. Jo (Simon's wife) drove us to 'Carrefour' which like Big W cross a Coles.. everything is in Espanol.. I can only remember how to say oil in spanish..'Oli' hahaha...
we spent lots on cleaning products etc... you know what a first shop is like.
Can't wait to go back and take my time..there is some super fun stuff to look at and try!! haha

So we went to bed at 10pm, woke up at 3am.. heading back to bed now.. hopefully up at 8am.. jetlag is poo.
Talked to our parents on skype. they know we are alive and toured them around our cool apartment.

Is it all to be what we imagined? Well, I tried really hard to not come with expectations.. Had no idea what Quilmes would be like. But I guess 3 months of waiting to leave gave lots of time to create images in my head about this place. I honestly thought our apartment would be 2 bedrooms (thats what the contract stipulated for 2 people.. or maybe I imagined that). But 1 bedroom is cosy..I have just been use to living in a house is all... its great!! fresh paint and wooden floor boards and a big balcony.. I have never lived in an apartment..or in a city where cars are heard 24/7.. but it hasn't kept us awake or anything..
Quilmes is a cool place to live! so different. 

I have more pictures on Facebook.. But here is one of Chris and I on our balcony last night.. a bit tired but happy and well, after our first full day in BA.

Sorry this is so long.. but how do I capture everything!
I have settled into a happy feeling place now, I'm more sure of how I feel about everything. Excited to get into a routine and learn more Spanish! SO so stoked to be here with my beautiful husband. We are such a team!!
We are surrounded by lovely welcoming and supportive happy people!! We have had no problems or stresses while being here. and God dwells in our hearts and has blessed us massive! How full we are with love and light and goodness!! so utterly blessed we are.

Miss you all. I definitely miss things now, and it is only the first day. I need to live in the moment and stop freakin out about 3 years here!!!

All my love,


  1. ahhhhhhhhh Miki how exciting. Thank you so much - the blog is a fantastic idea! I will keep reading.

    Sending you and Chris all my love! MWAH! Love you sister, xxx

  2. aww cool Dani!! thanks for reading =D love you right back xoxox

  3. Mik that's a great post, such a great snapshot of how you guys are finding everything! It sounds absolutely incredible... that chapel will not know what hits it when you start singing in there!! Hehe! We're thinking of you and so pumped for you guys... I'll be checking back for more posts!! Sending lots of love and light over the ocean xxx

  4. Thanks chelle!! so much is going on everyday! (well its only been 2 days! haha!! we need to find a old chapel for you to let loose and sing in now! hehe