Sunday, November 13, 2011

Look at the blue sky! Perfect spring weekend!

It has been a fantastic sunny weekend here in Buenos Aires! the birds are singing and I catch the smell of salty sea air in the evenings from the river plate which is so so nice! Oh it makes me eager for my home on the coast in Australia! I miss it so much.
And just as I'm writing this a car with some very loud speakers pumping out cumbia is driving past and bringing me back to the reality of where I live.. in another country.. Argentina. It's an amazing experience!

I guess I wanted to say how blessed I am to have such lovely friends here in Quilmes! Nati is my favourite (not that I have favourites, but she is a super special and beautiful person! I love her a lot!)
Here is  a photo of us near her house in the park demonstrating how to play on one of the homemade park additions! haha- very fun times!
We have been meeting every Wednesday after work at my house or her's and we practice our spanish and english. Her family is beautiful, they are good people and it is an honour to be welcomed so warmly- our family away from home. xo

The pool is back open at school which is pretty special- We can walk down anytime from 2pm to 6pm for swims. Beautiful temperature and getting a little sun kissed is nice.
We also booked flights down to El Calafate (Patagonia) for when we return in January. Gonna be doing some camping and trekking down in the national parks and seeing the amazingness of nature Argentina has to offer- from glaciers to the Andes mountains to natural lakes and springs! exciting!!
We are being very organised with our travel plans!! I am already looking into options for July!
Tango band in the markets

Today was a lovely day with my friend Tara who is a fellow teacher at school. We went on a mission into Capital to lazily walk around the markets in Caminito and in San Telmo. Talk about a busy Sunday of people and tourists- but the weather was perfect and the girly company fantastic. We met up for lunch with more friends and then continued to stroll the cobble stoned street.
Let me tell you- November is indeed the month to travel Buenos Aires!!! It is fantastic weather and really green and pretty!! I love it! All the jacaranda trees are just blooming, but the end of the week, there will be purple carpets of flowers all around the place!! I have one growing right outside my office and the music department- so pretty!

So thank you Tara for the fun adventure! The next few weekends hold some events- we are planning to repaint our bedroom from the medical green colour to white.. (this is a plan people..)
and in 2 weeks will be spending yet another long weekend (there are many long weekends here in Arg) down in Pinamar for the first time in a long time of some ocean goodness!!
Beautiful old church surrounded by the markets in San Telmo

It is all winding down now so fast to the holidays! and in between then and now there is lots going on at school with a big Music Interhouse competition (students representing their house by singing or playing an instrument or being in a band to get points for their house), Woodstock (a student stage/performing opportunity in front of the other students), reports (we all know what those are.. dang), and wrapping up the year!

5 weeks to go!

love miki

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Decent summer weather.. at last!

And summer is properly speaking out loud now! it is excellent waking up and a blue sky is above and the warm morning air pours in. Or the fact that I am walking to school in the sunlight and it is warm and fresh and summery!! I am hearing the same kind of comments from my family and friends in Australia too- It is nice to know we share our weather! I love that.

So today it is 6 weeks exactly- even to the time right now that Chris and I will be touching down in Oz for a month of Australian goodness. Friends, family, surfing, beach bumming, xmas, birthday, weddings, scuba diving, New years celebrations, BYRON BAY, asian food, the beach.. okay I'm starting to repeat myself now...
Just super dooper looking forward to it! Time is going to fly now!

Our garden on the balcony is growing thanks to Peggy upstairs- our friend and fellow teacher who is finishing her life here in Argentina and heading back to England.. She will be missed!!!!! But she gave us some of her awesome plants! THANKS PEGS!

So an update on life here at the moment.. I find that my blog posts have been a little bit rambling of late.. We haven't really adventured anywhere new and grand since our super holiday to Salta and Jujuy... ohhh but we are planning some big ones ahead!
I can't remember if I have said it (I have probably repeated myself 6 times already as I usually tend to do), but Chris and I are booked in for Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail this coming April- CAN'T WAIT!
gonna be amazing!

This week I has some decent adventures on my own however. I got the opportunity to be a student in the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival Vocal Workshop! For 3 evenings this week (Wed, Thurs & Fri) I left school early for some awesome professional development and Musical training! The workshops were taught by an amazing jazz vocal educator, performer and professional- Dominique Eade, who is a lady from Boston, USA. The was AMAZING! wow- it showed me how much more I can learn vocally!! I forgot.. Since teaching fulltime for the past 3 years I haven't had the opportunity to do any training vocally... I am SO KEEN to be learning again! or be apart of a choir or vocal something for me- it was so good! The workshops were in English and had a spanish translator for everyone.
A very cool thing for me was when she was asking for volunteers to sing something and so she could work with as an example of jazz vocal exercises I put my hand up.. So there I am in this beautiful grand Argentinian master class theatre room with its arched high ceiling and led lighter windows, in front of 200 class members and Dominique Eade (The female version of Kurt Elling), singing 'Fly Me To The Moon' the best way I knew how. It was great! so much fun!
Dominique then worked with me in front of everyone for about 20 mins, getting me to sing the song difference ways- focusing on the language (words) and rhythm rather than the melody. It ended up me singing the piece is rebato to really syncopated lento to every note being sung staccato.. It was so challenging and it got to a point where I couldn't remember the melody because the focus was so different.. which was the whole point- getting lost in jazz!! LOVED IT! awesome opportunity! As put a real earnestness in me to do some proper vocal study in the future!

The other cool thing about the three evenings in north Capital was the fact that I had to get myself there- all by myself. I now can navigate well on the public transport and it is awesome! I caught a bus at 3:30 from Quilmes to 'coreo central' and straight off the bus down into the Subte (subway) onto the 'B Line' and 25mins on the Subte to the last stop and then a 10 mins walk to the theatre. It was great! I studied spanish the whole time on the Subte, writing down my verbs (past and present) practicing irregular verbs.. I loved it and feel boosted in my spanish!! I must keep practicing!
I know mum and dad at home in Australia were freaking out thinking I would get taken travelling around Capital by myself. But I was surrounded by lots of people- it was busy- and I was safe! It was very cool!
I wasn't walking around in the dark by myself (just so mum and dad knows! haha)

So that whole experience was fantastic and challenging and has given me an eager desire to properly study some serious jazz vocals! I have the classical training and technique behind me (I should be practicing it more.. as we all should be practicing this skills we love).. but the freedom and technique and exactness that jazz brings is so foreign to me- I'm really just guessing when it comes to jazz and relying on my lucky ear! haha

So back to Quilmes with her smokey morning smells, green trees, many apartment buildings, loud sirens, barking dogs, crazy futbol fans and lazy Sundays- we like living here!

Oh and my bike is still broken! We haven't been able to find the repair shop that we were told about.. So I am walking a lot more everywhere!

There it is.. a hair trim
I also got a hair cut yesterday by a beautiful friend. My hair was long right- I thought I would not cut it all year and rock up to Australia with my hair down to my bottom (which it was!) But I found myself always complaining about it, I was using a TON of hair conditioner to get the nots out and my hair elastics just weren't holding it up anymore.. too much hair! So it got a good trim and now it is bouncy light. I think it is very short- but I know my friend Kat would call me crazy and say it is still so long.
Feeling fresh ready for summer.

So now to get ready for the week- The clothes are washing, the dishes are getting washed, airing out the house and doing a bit of chilling on the couch.
Off to have lunch at our friend's house and then hanging out with my beautiful friend Natalia this afternoon, drinking Mate (strong tea drunk out of a gourd through a metal straw filter thing) all afternoon while walking and practicing our Spanish and English. She is the best!

Lots of love y besitos,
~ Miki