I have found that my days are very busy and because of siesta 1-5pm when most businesses close, I am not able to update my blog as frequently as I would like. So I have taken up writing my experiences in a notebook and then post them on my blog when I am able.
I am usually an early riser, in fact, I did wake up at 5.30am much too early and went back to sleep only to wake again to find that I had ten minutes to spare until my Spanish lesson. Great first impression, but all was well. I settled into a four hour session of not just Spanish but Argentinean Spanish.
Each county in South America has a different way of using the Spanish language. I have been introduced to ‘vos’ which is ‘you’ when referring to someone one is familiar with, I am relieved to find that I can also use the usual ‘tu’ which I am used to as well. The session was intensive but needed, particularly learning medical based words and questions.
Our homework for the week is to create a short paragraph presentation on a medical/midwifery condition. I picked pre-eclampsia… good luck to me.
After the session, on official orientation of the city followed.
Walking the streets of Mendoza, I sense the raw vibrancy and vitality and space. It is an intriguing combination of new and old; a hand painted sign for a farmacia painted green and white contrasts with the sparkling glass door and familiar expensive wares arranged to entice customers; a tram system is under development, tourism to ‘wine country’ seems to be booming. The local buses are modern yet vintage, but cross country buses are luxurious even compared to National Express coaches in the UK.
At the craft fair, I spot a few women breastfeeding in public; no one is staring or pointing open mouth in their direction. I visit the local Carrefour and wander the aisles noting the similar yet differently branded formula milk powders. I have not yet seen anyone bottle feeding their baby. Curiously I haven’t seen a lot of babies in prams, I have frequently seen mothers cradling their babies whilst shopping accompanied by a family members.
Mendoza is wine country, never is the fusion of new and old seen than when visiting bodegas, where buildings erected in the 1920s and earlier have been adjusted to preserve history and yet adapted for wine making using 21st Century technology.
Dinner conversation with my fellow housemates was as expected when individuals with a variety of experiences and interests are brought together – rich and varied. Experiences of days at the hospital were shared. I look forward to adding my contribution.
A game of taboo in Spanish – to guess medical words – followed; occupations, locations, instruments. I guessed the word related to birth – el parto.