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  • Writer's pictureGrace Rector

Week 8: New City, New Family, New Friends

This week I arrived in Buenos Aires, a city I haven’t been to since I was 13 years old. At first it was strange to be in a place where I only remembered things once I saw them on the street, but this first week has been incredible and I am so grateful.


We spent our first day as a group being tourists by visiting the soccer stadium in La Boca – a small but beautiful and colorful neighborhood. I was also on a hunt for alfajores de harina because I remembered how delicious they were from over 7 years ago, and luckily I found a little bakery that had them. The minimum I had to spend was $100 pesos and each alfajor cost $10 pesos so obviously I bought 10 and they were delicious. However, with the exhaustion following a super early flight from Santiago to Buenos Aires me and my roommates spent the rest of the afternoon napping. That evening we went to a delicious restaurant for a traditional Argentinian Parilla/Asado (BBQ) and I loved it. My dinner experience reminded me of 7 years prior when I went to a Parilla restaurant with my mom and friends in Córdoba.

Stadium La Boca

This weekend I met my host mom, Gabi, and I loved her from the start. She made me a delicious pesto pasta for lunch and afterwards we went to get ice cream at Iceland next to our house. I was ecstatic to see that they had dulce de leche ice cream and they had super dulce de leche as well, so obviously I got super dulce de leche. She and I had a great chat and it felt like I was home in Los Angeles having ice cream with my mom. Gabi is a single mom with a 20 year old daughter, like me, and I feel that we get along really nicely. She is super conversational and outgoing like me, which makes me feel happy to be in her company. She loves orange and other bright colors like my mom and she makes me laugh A LOT.

I am so grateful to the program for placing me with Gabi because I could not imagine a better fit for my time in Buenos Aires.

My first Sunday that I spent in Buenos Aires could not have gone any better, honestly. Thanks to Couchsurfing hangouts, I found out about a weekly Couchsurfing meetup at a bar next to my house. I went into the restaurant to find about 30 people gathered around several tables brought together. I sat at one end of the table and met a guy from California, then I went to the other side of the table because I saw a group of people laughing thoroughly. At that end I met my friends Luis, Josy, Vladimir, and Martin who are some of the sweetest and kindest people I have met. They all met two years ago through Couchsurfing and have remained friends ever since.

Bus Rides with couch Surfing Friends

We all went out dancing together to a fun Cumbia “boliche” (bar and dance club) and I had so much fun! It was a great environment because there weren’t too many people, we could still talk because the music was the right volume, and because my friends knew how to dance well so that I could really enjoy myself.

This night I also met one of my best friends in Argentina, Susana. Initially I met her because I wanted someone that I could come back to San Telmo with, and she lives near my house.

She and I bonded quick over our appreciation for saving money, and we were also both young and adventurous women. We met at this event and then the next day took a tour of the town La Boca, which I had seen before but hadn’t properly learned about. It was even more beautiful the second time because we had the chance to learn about the history.

Susana ❤

It was an incredible first week to be in a new city with a new host family and new friends, thanks to Couchsurfing.

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