Sunday, March 13, 2011

Palermo y Recoleta y Quilmes- Adventures beginning

Hello to Everyone!
It's been a couple of weeks since I have blogged. To be honest, I have such a great full day seeing new things that I get overwhelmed and don't actually know where to I just don't blog..
I have been putting photos up on facebook and feel that pictures speak for what we have been getting up to.
I just thought I would outline some of my impressions on some of our most recent adventures. And I will try really hard to not write too much about all the AMAZING empanadas and helados (gelato), meat, ensalada (salad), fresh fruit and vege etc... that I have been inhaling.. oh alright then..
I did have the best Argentinean Parilla on Friday night!! It was the best melt in my mouth cut of meat I have had yet!! It was like a big beautiful medallion of lomo- or eye fillet I supose we would call it in Australia.. but not like the all pretty little round eye fillets us Aussie's are use to... This was like a nice solid ball of tender amazing meat!! oh man, mum and dad Prout and Koelma- be prepared from some good meat eating..some indigestion..and wind.. but oh it's worth it! hahaha
Okay shall we move on... I think so.

I LOVED this day trip. Cristina is a new friend here in Quilmes. A beautiful teacher at St George's, someone full of energy and enthusiasm for life. I love her! And she was so lovely to take Chris, Thomas and I out for the day shopping in Palermo, scouting markets in Recoleta and dining in Puerto Madero. Palermo rubbed on me the most. Really viby place with lots of boutiques of clothes and jazz and art and contemporary furniture.. and I have now found the BEST chocolate icecream I have ever had! I have no idea what it is called.. but when we go back to Palermo, I am pretty sure Chris and I will be able to scout it out!! gosh it was good!
Puerto Madero is a beautiful place at night. All the lights from the restaurants sparkle on the water. The Bridge with is called The bridge of the Woman (in English) is a very nice sight to see. The dining is a bit more pricey that what we are use to in Quilmes, but of a more yuppy market. It was an excellent day with good friends and such a cool way to scout out Capital! Thanks Cristina, you are lovely!

Recoleta is indeed growing on me. Chris and I ventured there this weekend and really had a great time. It rained a bit but it didn't stop us from exploring! We walked down 'Florida' street which is kind of touristy.. did not interest us very much.. we caught a taxi over to Recoleta's famous book shop called 'El Ateneo Grand Splendid.' It was indeed a highlight of the day!! A really old theatre was turned into a bookshop and it is just gorgeous! we had yummy hot chocolates on the stage as we flicked through books off the shelves. We bought a English-Spanish Dictionary and I could have bought loads of cook books! All the books were pretty much in Espanol.. but it was awesome!! magical magical place for a bookshop and a rad thing to do on a rainy day!

<<< Those hot chocolates there are called 'Submarinos' which is very hot steamed milk and then you stir in a stick of real chocolate and it tastes fantastic!!
You could just wander all the floors of the theatre and choose books and read and eat food and desserts and drinks!! very cool

Now Recoleta is most famous for its amazing cemetery. It is not just any ordinary graveyard.. it is sooooo out of a spooky movie!! it is streets literally of building sized tombs.. Similar to that from the computer games sims... haha.. regal and amazing!! Chris and I went to go in a view it all.. but we arrived just as it closed its gates... so will report on this with pictures soon!!!

I really like our home town! Like Chris said in the last blog, it is a lot bigger for us now having bicicletas! I LOVE riding my bike everywhere.. it is sooo cool and the houses are beautiful around Quilmes!! The past week or two I have had a flat tire.. but got a new inner tube put in and it's sweet!! back on and riding!!
I am on a high with all the amazing restaurants around in Quilmes.. I have eaten amazing Atlantic salmon and pastas etc.. okay okay.. i said I wouldn't go overboard and talk too much about it..

I miss home too. We have booked flights already to come back to Australia.. had to do it before flight prices soared.. so it's nice to feel like we are coming back to Aus soon. I know this is my new home.. I miss my family & friends and my bellbirds in our rainforest home.. and the beach- oh for the smell of some aussie salt air! But home is in the heart! and Chris is with me and I feel very connected to everyone even though being so far away! When I am at school and stressed out a little and then I get down cause I can't see my mum and dad or whatever it is..I have to push out those thoughts and keep chuggin! haha.. anyways.. It is really great here!! we are so blessed with the situation we have! it is awesome!

and I just want to pass on to Gidhi, my grandfather who has always asked if I have grown my nails yet (because I have always been an avid nail biter)... my nails are so so long and I even put nail polish on them all by myself!! I don't think I have ever done that!! and I have to say, I am really crap at it! haha.. the paint job looks terrible! but my nails are long and I have to file and cut them.. and this all sounds so superficial that I am going to leave this alone now.. so there you go Gidhi! haha I love and miss you guys a lot!!

So here is signing off from me. (can't believe I am finishing on a rant about my fingernails.. how sad)
Here is a pic of Chris and I out to dinner late- which is so weird for us, because we are known for eating at 5pm regularly in Australia... It is 8:52pm now and we still haven't eaten dinner yet.. which is now kinda normal... (keep exercising miki).

LOVE YOU ALL!!! and missing you truly
Love Miki

Saturday, March 5, 2011

music, maths, life in Quilmes and uni

It is 8:47am here on Saturday morning and I'm loving it. Slept in after a late night and just chilling on the couch doing some video editing and football result checking. Quilmes is cool, Argentina is cool.

We have just finished our first full week at St George's. Miss Mika (as she is now known by all the students) has been working hard, still making transformations, little by little, to the Music Dept. On top of teaching, she has been at auditions for an upcoming musical and choir rehearsals in the evening and working with other staff to update furniture and have cleaning be honest, she's killing it.
A number of the teachers and executive staff have commented on the fact that there is a noticeable change in the vibe of the music department already. Not only does the music building look inviting and clean and modern, but the kids are excited to be there and a whole bunch of year 9 students have changed their elective preferences to music! Proud of Miss Mika I am.

I'm teaching Maths and actually really enjoying it! For those who don't know, I taught one class of Maths last year on top of my almost full time Music position at Narara. So, I whacked the fact that I'd taught Maths on my resume when St George's asked me for my CV after Mik got the job. Well, they jumped at the little bit of fine print that said something like: "Yeah, I can kinda teach a little bit of maths?"

So, Mr. Chris, Mr. Koelma or Sir (they call me all three!) has three Maths classes: Year 7 has fifteen little angels that hang of my every word about how cool 'rounding numbers' can be. Year 8 has nine students, 8 girls and one boy...they take a little extra time to complete some things, but they are so fun and I love teaching them. Year 9 has eleven funky boys, who love football and chatting...however, as soon as I put my 'man voice' on, they are quiet and ready to tackle the multiplication of indices questions that I throw at them. It's awesome, fun and so different to teaching at Narara, where I had 30 kids who didn't want to learn anything and they were all chucked in to one maths class.

I'm also teaching I.T., a couple of classes of music and assisting Mik with elective classes. I have also started a band program for the 'boarders' of the school and will pick up a bunch of instrumental tuition soon.
I have always liked school teaching in the past, but have never been overly pumped about it i.e. I love one-on-one tutoring more etc...however, working at this school (so far) is excellent and really quite inspiring.

One really exciting and privileged part of this week was performing for the whole school at the opening assembly. This was it:

Quilmes has recently just got a lot bigger for Mik and I. We bought two 'Olmo' cruiser bikes and we are dominating the streets on them. Heaps of people ride bikes here...and although the drivers can be a bit crazy, we just stick to the back streets and go for it. Fun stuff.

I have also started my Master of Educational Studies (Creative Arts Specialisation) via online learning at Newcastle Uni. I have been thinking about doing this for a while and I sent my application away on the day before we left Aus and got accepted. I'm doing two subjects this semester: Creative Arts Pedagogies and Comparative International Education Systems. Should be cool and will open up some doors for tertiary teaching stuff in the future.

Well, we have our first Argentine national holiday coming up next Tuesday, so we have a four day long weekend (if a public holiday is on a Tuesday the government also gives you the Monday to promote more tourist spending...killer!) We're gonna muck around today, go to see Quilmes play at the stadium on Sunday night and then prob grab a train on Monday up to Tigre, a vibey town on the delta between Uruguay and Arg. We'll stay there the night and cruise back Tues. That's the plan anyway.

Gonna get into the long weekend now and maybe start by buying some fruit from the Bolivian dude across the road...he's a legend.

Keep in the loop and chuck a comment on the bottom if you feel it.

Lot of love from S America.