Claire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.
In this week's post, Claire participates in a My Global City event filled with tango music and dancing with lots of new friends.
This last Saturday, many of the CAPA students and I gathered for one last My Global City event. I ran into a group of students from my internship class on the way to La Catedral tango club, still thinking it a hilarious delight to find familiar faces on the streets of this city. We joined forces with the summer study abroad group. It is strangely beautiful to get to give advice on living in this city to the newcomers and also to realize that our time here is rapidly coming to a close. My classes end next Tuesday, and on Thursday my plane heads back to the United States.
I keep trying to process everything that this semester has held and everything that its end means, but it’s simply too much, so I keep focusing on the next thing. This Saturday, it was tango class.
I have been dancing tango every Tuesday with some wonderful honorary abuelitos, so I more or less knew what was coming in the class. My sweet friend Sophie has also been coming to that class with me, and we pretended to know what was going on as we danced across the artsy warehouse type building, actually pretty lost because we weren’t used to doing these moves with anyone who doesn’t have Parkinson’s.
I think dancing with someone is one of the best ways to get to know them, so it was fun trying to get to know the summer students while we stepped on each other’s toes and bumped into the pair in front, behind, beside us.
After our lesson, we ate empanadas and enjoyed live tango music and a performance by the same pair who had just taught us. It was a distinctly Argentine afternoon.
Our resident director, Marlena, and our student affairs assistant, Dolores, have done a beautiful job cultivating community among the students here. Events like this Saturday, or like Mate on Tuesday (pictured), or my internship class, even, have transformed Austral from a place that simply reminded me I wasn’t at home anymore, Toto, to a place where I know names and faces and feel known, too.
It’s been really cool sharing this semester with these people. That’s what makes study abroad so unique, I think. The knowledge that even if you come back and live in this place, you’ll never be here with THESE exact people ever again. It really is a once in a lifetime experience.
Overall, the My Global City events were really wonderful for creating friendships with the others in my program, and they gave us the opportunity to see things we might not have seen otherwise, like the Immigration Museum, El Tigre, or this tango class. I’m really glad I went.
Claire's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.