My Argentinian Abuelas

I’ve been living in Buenos Aires for four weeks now, and it feels like it has been much longer. I live with my roommate Juli and our host moms Celua and Alba in an apartment in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It wasn’t very difficult to find on our first day as we just told the cab service in the airport which address to go to. When we got there we called Celua to let her know we had arrived and then Alba came down to let us into the building and show us where the apartment is. The elevator to get up to the apartment made me a bit nervous at first because it is different than what you usually see in the United States. You have to make sure the elevator is on your floor, open the outer door, then open the gate-like door, get in, close the outer one, then the inner before you can go up to your floor. As someone who gets anxiety in normal elevators, I really didn’t like it at first, but now I am used to it and it doesn’t scare me any more. When we got to apartment 2B we were greeted by Celua and then they showed us around. Their apartment is very nice and a lot bigger than I expected it to be. Juli and I each have our own rooms and a bathroom for just the two of us.

Since the very first day, Celua and Alba have treated us like their granddaughters. They are both in their seventies or eighties, but have young and vibrant personalities. On the first night they asked about what we do at school and wanted to see pictures of all of our family members. Every night we all sit down for dinner together and spend at least an hour eating and talking. Neither one speaks English, but it hasn’t been very hard to converse with them in Spanish. By the end of our first week we were used to the Argentinian accent and our conversational skills have improved so much that it is rare that we don’t understand each other. The food we have had has all been unique and delicious. From traditional Argentinian foods like locro or empanadas, to some with Arabic influences with lots of lentils (as Celua’s parents were Arabic immigrants) and everything in between- and I have loved it all. Celua has talked about her love for fried chicken, so last night Juli and I made some from scratch for her, her two daughters, and one grandson (Alba doesn’t eat fried food)and it turned out to be a success! I really love living here with Celua and Alba and will be very sad to leave them in two weeks. But they keep telling us we need to come back, and I am hoping to do so as soon as possible and will definitely be stopping by to see them when I do!