EMBRACE IT/ Aprovéchala

One week left…

Do I rush around frantically trying to cross everything out on my never ending list of things I want to do in Argentina? Or do I take one breath at a time, embracing every second, every conversation, every moment and whatever comes with it during my last few days here…

If there is one thing I have learned this summer-during graduation, post graduation/pre Argentina, and so far here in Argentina-it is to EMBRACE each moment of my life. Embrace each moment, especially when you feel good and when you are happy. Then, when you experience feelings of being lost, confused, sad, uncomfortable, stressed, tired or any other sort of negativity, you can go back to that place or time when you felt simply, good. It is also important, however, to EMBRACE the moments of unease. Why do we feel this way sometimes? Why does it feel so yucky? What is making me feel this way? How can I change this feeling? EMBRACE these questions, but more importantly, the answers. Do not waste your time feeling yucky when you know you have potential to feel good! Yes, this is what I have learned. And it is possible whenever, however, whatever, or wherever you are in your life. No, I have not yet mastered the advice I am giving, for as we all know, there are times in life when we may feel unhappy or that life is hard. But I have learned how to get there-and most importantly-I am on my way!

I have also learned that I feel the best when I make others feel good. I have known this for a long time. But, as I have matured I have learned that in order to do this, I must first feel good myself. It seems like a puzzle, or a math equation, but once you solve it, you always can follow the same steps to reach the solution.

So-I have discovered that the key to starting each day fresh and for it to be the best it can possibly be, is to wake up feeling good and to EMBRACE the beginning of a new day. Personally, this means it is important to sleep well and to wake up with something to look forward to-whether it is simply my morning cup of coffee, or the destination (known or unknown) of my morning run, or what friends I will see or make that day, or what new fact I will learn, or what new food I will try or new yoga pose I will master…little things, that keep my brain spinning and provoke my eagerness to hop out of bed and to live life to the fullest.

The definition of what feels good to others is unique to mine. But I have found that it is easily as important to EMBRACE this about each and every one of the people in my life. It is important to realize that what makes you feel good, does not always mean it makes others feel good. For example, I crave waking up and heading almost immediately out the door to go on a run. Let’s be honest, most of my friends would not agree that this makes them feel good. I have a friend who would rather snooze 5 times before opening her eyes, another who needs to shower the instant she gets out of her sheets, and another who needs her bowl of cereal in her belly before she can even think. Oh and for my mom-her diet coke. These are things that I would not necessarily say make me feel good, but I know that they make others, and therefore, by realizing this and EMBRACING these things for others, I feel good. And, when others embrace this for me, it feels even better.

How does this play in to my time here in Argentina? In oh so many ways.

In the past few years of my life, I have been able to learn, discover, and explore many parts of this gigantic world, filled with so many different people, cultures, ideas, languages…and to be honest, I have done so primarily independently. I am a very outgoing person and need interactions on a daily basis, but I am also an only child and very independent. I crave adventure with unexpected results and encounters, but I also crave alone time to think, relax, dream, and to write…

I am here in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Alone. HAHA jokes.
Well, this could technically be true if I wanted it to be…but as you already know, if you know me even a little bit, I could never let this happen. I have been asked several times by Argentines (and I did many times by Chileans in Chile) if I miss my home, the US, my parents, my friends, my life… If my parents miss or worry about me and even why I came. My go to response has now evolved into being “Estoy acostumbrada” or, “I am used to it.” Yes- I do miss home-going to Trader Joes with my dad on a weekly basis, holding Connor’s hand whenever I want, my brand new bike, picking up the phone and calling my mom whenever I am bored, listening to good music, the summer sun, cottage cheese and almond milk, seeing familiar faces wherever I go, sleeping in my own bed, that comfort… I know those things will always be there though…
By now, I am used to being alone, in a new country, without my friends (my friends from the states at least), and living alone. This amazes people. They are confused, shocked, impressed, and eager to learn more about me.

One of my closest friends here in Argentina calls me “una genia” on a daily basis…a genius…is the direct translation for this. Can you imagine what it feels like to be called a “genius” everyday? She also calls me “una grosa” frequently. “Que significa una grosa!?” I asked her. “Sos MUY buena. Maravillosa. You are awesome!” She answered. Everything I do, she is impressed with, yet she is 10 years older than me and just met me about a month ago…She has already invited me to live with her anytime I come back to Argentina, she has invited me over for Argentina’s independence day, she has asked me to get coffee, she has offered to drive me to the airport when I leave for Chile…Why? What does she see in me? And what makes me “una genia?” She continues to tell me I have such a positive energy, that not everyone has, and it is special and hard to find at such a young age. She said she noticed my energy right away and that she believes this type of energy fills the soul. I have discovered that she likes my willingness to be here, in Argentina, alone, working for a non-profit legal organization, speaking another language the whole time, living outside of my country for the third time, going to law school next year, being “more argentine than any other argentine she knows” by constantly being eager to learn as much as I can about the country while I am here, smiling on a daily basis, running “fast,” and being “so friendly..” or so she says…
I must say, being “a genius” in somebody else’s eyes is a pretty cool feeling. Each time I am with her, or with any of my new friends here, I EMBRACE each moment. For I know they will not last forever…

I have always imagined my dream job as one that will allow me to continue my journey of travels. I love living in new places, meeting new people, and it doesn’t bother me that at times I have to live alone or be outside of my comfort zone. It is exciting! But then things like this happen. I meet people that I make instant connections with, quickly and deep. And then I have to leave? Is this good or bad? Do I want to have people and places come and go so quickly throughout my life? Will I feel empty inside if I constantly have to resettle? These thoughts cross my mind often.

Especially after being here in Argentina for just 5 weeks and already feeling like I am leaving something so special behind. Even the little things. Like my friends I have made at the fruit and vegetable store across the street or at the mini grocery next door, for example. I stopped in tonight to grab a broccoli stalk to add to my dinner and was given it for free…and the grocery cashier gave me $5 pesos back after giving her $20 when I bought 2 yogurts and an alfajor for $17…she is used to seeing me now and she knows ill be back, if not tonight, tomorrow. But she doesn’t know I won’t be back next week. Or maybe ever. But then I have to think about my personality and how I have handled this in the past.

Luckily, in addition to my passion for trying new things, I also take pride in my relationships and maintaining those that are important to me. I maintain great relationships with my friends across the globe, and to be honest, I am closer to some of my friends on the other side of the equator than I am to friends I see everyday in Chapel Hill. This is wonderful, yet hard. However, the challenge of maintaining these relationships makes for an infinite amount of adventures.

I am lucky enough to say that I do actually think I will maintain the relationships I have made here in Buenos Aires in just 6 weeks. And I am even luckier to say that I know I will be back. I said this the first time I had to leave Chile after studying abroad there for 5 months. I made it back (due to my dedication, perseverance, and persistence) last summer for 2 months and in just one week I am headed to Santiago once again for 3 more weeks. I would have NEVER thought this was impossible until I did it once. Now returns are addicting and important to me. The relationships I have made will not cease, but continue to grow, and it makes me feel so special that this feeling is reciprocated, in many parts of the world. A group of my Chilean friends came to the USA last November for the NYC marathon and immediately invited me to come with them. We road tripped from NYC, to DC, the my home in Chapel Hill together; this time I was the guide given them a tour of my country. And then my best friend Cata came to visit me, not the US, for 10 days in December where our relationship progressed to even a deeper level. Despite the miles, the countries, and the costs that make these journeys seem impossible, they happen, and now I know they can continue to do so.

With all that being said, I am very sad to leave Argentina. Six weeks is just long enough to get settled. I know that I could do so much more work with my internship, make many more connections, strengthen the relationships I have made, eat many more yummy new foods, continue to improve my Spanish…all of the things that come with patience and time…BUT I am SO lucky to have been given the opportunity to experience all that I have and I sure have loved every, single second of my time here. It is worth the mixed feelings entirely. I have learned SO much; much more than I ever could in a summer class…and especially about life and myself. I have EMBRACED each second of my time here. Both the high times and the low times. And I have learned that not only has this experience made a difference in my life…but my experience has made a difference in the lives of others who I have seen, met, and will be friends with for the rest of my life. Because I have learned these things about myself, I have been able to teach others and simply make others feel good. This is what life is for! And man-does it really does feel good.

Wow-I was not expecting to share as much as I just have-but I am glad I did ☺ Now I am off to get some fresh air after a rainstorm today. I think a walk and maybe an alfajor will make me feel the best right now ☺ What will make you feel the best right now? GO EMBRACE THAT. Besitos ❤

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

VAMOS Argentina-A GANAR!

Wow! So I would have never IMAGINED having the opportunity to see as much of Argentina (and Uruguay) has I have in the last month. Although my internship has kept me busy (I have been working on my projects concerning women’s rights violations due to the World Cup, Nigerian kidnappings and Prostitution, went to a breakfast with the “women for equality” this morning at the National Congress of Argentina, and currently analyzing the Hobby Lobby case both in Spanish and English) I have also made the initiative to check things of my “Argentina Adventure” list.

I was able to go “Tigre” a small province about an hour train ride north of Buenos Aires with Kelly’s friends Courtney who just finished studying abroad here. The town sits on an island created by several small streams and rivers and was founded in 1820, after floods had destroyed other settlements in the area. It was like a mini Venice, Italy because it was all on water and we took a boat to get around rather than a subway.

I then made a point to go to “La Boca” for a day which a famous historic neighborhood of Buenos Aires that has a huge European influence. La Boca is a popular destination for tourists visiting Argentina because of its colorful houses and pedestrian street, the Caminito, where tango artists perform right in front of you! I went with Julia and her friend and tried my first Submarino (steamed milk with the side of a dark chocolate bar you dip inside to make your own hot chocolate!)

Then, I was truly luckily enough to be able to travel to IGUAZU FALLS. I have wanted to go since I was in Chile and dreamed of going with the thought that I would be in Argentina, but I NEVER thought it would actually happen. When Shelby, my friend from UNC, said she and 2 of her study abroad friends were going just for a weekend and invited me, I decided in basically 10 minutes to buy my tickets and just GO FOR IT. For those of you who don’t know, Iguazu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentina province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. The river flows through Brazil for most of its course, although most of the falls are on the Argentine side. These waterfalls have been ranked as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and led Eleanor Roosevelt to say “Poor Niagara.” I completely agree with both of the above statements. I saw dozens of rainbows, what seemed like hundreds of falls, the weird raccoon like animals called Coatis that were fierce! And even took a boat ride that took us head first into one of the falls. WOW talk about an experience of a lifetime…

And THEN my friends from the STATES came to visit pretty spontaneously!! Well-somewhat. Nicole’s dad is from Buenos Aires AND her mom is a flight attendant. So with these 2 connections (and the fact that I am here most importantly hehe) she decided to HAD to come. Because I have working during the days she wanted a friend so she asked Jillian to come with her a week before, and just after a day of thinking about it, Jillian decided to jump on the opportunity! and she was able to!!! It was WONDERFUL having them here. We explored the city together, took a yoga class at my favorite studio, went out to eat a few times, drank some yummy wine (and met some interesting taxi drivers ;)), took a tango lesson, went out to a party with my running friends, drank mate in a park (a very typical Argentine activity) and went to the cities of Colonia, Uruguay (one hour ferry ride from Buenos Aires) and then to Montevideo, Uruguay (3 hour bus ride from Colonia) which I knew I wanted to do as soon as I got here but really wasn’t sure who I would be able to go with-so it worked out perfectly that they were able and wanted to travel with me! Julia also was able to join us ☺ We came back now knowing another country that none of us knew and with new stamps on our passports! I wish we had more time, but to see-even briefly- helps to grasp a better outlook on the world…This is why I want to see everywhere and everything!

It was also perfect timing that they were able to come during the World Cup because Argentina has been playing AMAZINGLY and every fan is a fanatic, therefore we have had a blast watching the games on the HUGE plaza San Martin right by my house and the one they stream on ESPN. Argentina plays again TOMORROW-Everyone better be cheering them on no matter where you are in this world! I am sad my girls had to leave, but I do have a lot of work to catch up on and Argentine people to spend time with…

I cannot BELIEVE I just have ONE more week here before I venture to Chile for 3 weeks…

It is kind of bittersweet. I have made great relationships here in such a short time but I feel like I am now actually really settling in and I have to turn around and leave again…It is sad to hear “No te vayas Miranda” (Don’t leave Miranda). It makes me happy that my friends here do not want me to leave, but sad to know I truly have to…Well, my motto has always been “No voy a decir “Chao” Voy a decir “Nos Vemos!” (I am not going to say bye, I am going to say ill see you soon!) Because its true. I WILL be back. NO questions asked ☺More to come on traveling relationships in the next post…I have really been inspired by this lately. Stay Tuned 🙂

BA IMG_4453 IMG_4541 IMG_4598 IMG_4626 IMG_4633 IMG_4567 IMG_4658 IMG_4670 IMG_4530

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Argentina vs. Chile!?

Now that I have lived both in Chile and in Argentina for an extended period of time, many people (in the US, in Chile, and here in Argentina), are asking me which country I like better-Argentinaor Chile? Each time I stop to think before I answer my mind’s first instinct is-How in THE WORLD can I have an answer to that!

All of my Chilean friends push me to say Chile, while all of my Argentina friends (who have the reputation of thinking they are better than Chileans and do not deny it…) urge me to say Argentina. Honestly, I love living anywhere new, for each day is different than the last. Therefore my most common answer has been: I love both.


Of course my heart will always find its first Latin American home in Chile, for I know the country of Chile probably better than I do the United States, I have friends in Chile that I feel like I have known for a lifetime, and I had experiences and have memories that will never be forgotten or be able to be fully explained. This does not mean, however, I ONLY will find a home in Chile. This is one of the reasons I decided to spend my summer (well, most of it ;)) in Buenos Aires instead of Chile this year.

Before deciding exactly where to study abroad for the first semester of my junior year, I had narrowed it down between Santiago and Buenos Aires. After going back and forth many times, I finally decided to study in Santiago, and semi-ironically Kelly did too. That didn’t mean we had anything against Argentina and we both still were dying to go to Buenos Aires! Unfortunately we didn’t make to Buenos Aires during our time abroad in Chile, but I knew I would go one day, and one day soon! Luckily I was right. Here I am in Buenos Aires and LOVING IT.

But is Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, the same as Santiago, the capital of Chile? Language? Food? Activities? Weather? People? You may ask. Well, this is what I have discovered so far…


Spanish form: Argentines actually say “vos” instead of the “tu” form. It is just a slang form, not the use of vosotros (thanks to my beautiful friend Nicole for informing me of this hehe) For example “vos tenes” its just slang for tu tienes. So in Chile I would be asked “Tu eres de los Estados Unidos? (Are you from the United States?) But in Argentina I am asked “Vos sois de los Estados Unidos?” Chile: Tu tienes hermanos? (Do you have siblings?) Argentina: Vos tenes hermanos? I thought this would be hard to get used to but I already find myself using Argentina’s form.

Accent: Yes, Argentines have an accent. They pronounce their “y’s” like “j’s” as well as the double l’s (ll) instead of pronouncing the double l’s like a “y”. So in Chile I would say: Me llamo Miranda (My name is Miranda- pronounced like Me YAmo Miranda) but in Argentina I say “Me JAmo Miranda.” I am also pronouncing “ella’ (she) “eJA’ instead of “eYA.”

Argentine Slang: Just as there were “Chilenismos” in Chile, there are words that are distinct to Argentina, too. I still have MANY to learn but here are I have learned:

  • Bus: Chile: Micro::Argentina: Colectivo
  • College: Chile: Universidad::Argentina: Facultad
  • Doorman: Chile: Conserje: Argentina: Portero
  • Dude/man: Chile: Weon::Argentina: Che, tipo
  • To be drunk or tipsy: Chile: Arriba de la pelota::Argentina: vivir en nube de pedos
  • Club: Chile:Discoteca/Carretear (to party)::Argentina: Boliche
  • How are you? Chile: Como estaiiiii?::Argentina: Como andas??
  • Girl: Chile: I was often called reina/princessa (queen or princess) Argentina: nena o mina
  • You’re welcome: Chile: De nada::Argentina: Noooo, por favor!!
  • OK: Chile: bueno::Argentina: Dale!
  • Maybe: Chile: posiblamente::Argentina: Capaz
  • Wow!: Chile: Bacan (cool): Argentina: Mira vos! (look at that!)
  • What a mess: Chile: un disatsre!::Argentina:Esto es un quilombo


  • Asados (barbeques but not like your NC barbeque) These are outdoor partys with an outdoor grill that is for cooking almost every type of meat possible. On fathers day I went to an asado with about 3 different kinds of sausages, beef, pork, intestines, and chicken. This is the same in Chile but here they are also called Parillas.IMG_4248
  • Milanesas-thin, breaded and deep fried or baked slice of beef, chicken, or sometimes pork, and even eggplants or soy (Literally EVERY restaurant has this as an option)
  • Pizza-Holy cow! I had NO idea pizza was such a popular thing here. Yes-I knew Buenos Aires had a big Italian influence but wow do these people LOVE their pizza. The most popular kinds are Caprese and Fugazzetta (onion and cheese) and Faina-the garbanzo bean flour bread-is placed under the crust.
  • Pasta, gnocchi, polenta
  • Jamon and Queso sandwiches EVERYWHERE
  • Hot dogs topped with fried onions or potato chips? In Chile the common hot dog is a “Completo” (topped with TONS of mayonnaise and avocado) but here its potato chips…why??
  • MATE-The national infusion drink of Argentina. It is similar to tea, caffeine enriched and made of yerba mate leaves, which are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba. Hot water is then poured over the leaves in a “mate” or gourd like cup and is sipped through a “bombillo” a metal straw. It is very earthy tasting, similar to a green tea, but also gives you a sort of mysterious buzz…Argentines drink this constantly; in parks, during running practice, walking on the street, etc. It is kind of a social tradition and one mate will be passed around in a circle for everyone to share. There are even hot water stations at some stores where you can stop to fill your mate thermos if you run out. I even went to the Mate Museum in Tigre, Buenos Aires. SO cool.
  • mateIMG_4327IMG_4316
  • Medialunas/facturas (crossionts)
  • Chipas-small, baked, cheese-flavored rolls made with yucca
  • VINO-SO much. SO good. Mostly Malbec J
  • Fernett-the typical liquor here that everyone loves and drinks with Coke. (Comparable to a piscola in Chile made with Pisco and coke).
  • Quilmes, the national beer vs. kunstmann from Valdivia, Chilequilmes
  • Café-although the café here is often served in tiny tea cups, a café con leche (coffee with hot milk) is VERY good and strong. In Chile Cafes really did not exist (only starbucks) but the culture of going to a café and having a coffee with a treat is a very popular afternoon activity here. THANK God!
  • Submarino- When you order a submarino, you’ll get a hot, steaming cup of milk and a chocolate bar. It is tempting, but you’re not supposed to eat the chocolate! Submerge (hence the name submarino) the chocolate bar in to the milk, and stir it around until all is completely melted. Basically now you have a hot chocolate!submarino
  • Dulce de Leche vs. Manjar (a “fake” dulce de leche in Chile) Real Dulce de leche is so much better!
  • Alfajors-very popular sweet layered pastry, kind of like a cookie sandwich with dulce de leche in the middle. These are popular in Chile too but made with manjar…
  • Helado- (ice cream) I’m not a huge ice cream fan but in Argentina it is SO much better and in Chile it was SO BAD
  • Picada-Meat and cheese trays that you can find on almost any menu
  • Empanadas-prevalent, but not as prevalent as in Chile and in Chile there were SO many more kinds. Apparently they have a “humita” flavor here though but I have yet to try it. Humitas( corn sautéed in cornhusks) are popular in Chile as well, but mainly during the summer so I never tried one.
  • Similarities: Milk and yogurt in bags often not refrigerated (YUCK), lots of bread, lots of WHITE bread, lots of MEAT (it is always surprising and confusing when I say I am vegetarian), papas (potatoes) make up a lot of your carbs, as well was white rice and lentils, crackers and chocolate bars are sold on every corner in “kiosks,” everyone eats SO late (dinner is on average around 10pm!-aka my bedtime!! 😉
  • Activities
  • Futbol, futbol, futbol! Everyone plays it and everyone watches it…ESPECIALLY now during the World Cup! Everyone is wearing Argentina jerseys around right now, mostly with the number 10 for MESSI-even me hehe. Soccer was NOT that big in Chile but that is probably because their National team is not nearly as good…messiIMG_4071
  • Tango
  • Drinking Mate
  • Transportation-CHEAPER. In Chile it would cost me about $1.35 to ride a subway or a bus ONE WAY-Here it is about $0.25. There is also a Mitre (train) that takes you to farther suburbs which cost the same as a bus and TAXIS are SO much cheaper. Phew!



  • Sunny almost everyday, getting colder at night-In Chile, many winter days were gray…
  • Rain, but normal. It Santiago it hardly rained but when it did rained it POUREDpanarama

People For the most part, Argentines can be compared to Chileans. Although there is a much greater diversity here in Buenos Aires than there is in the city of Santiago, Argentines are just as nice as Chileans and are very nice to me 🙂IMG_4236

Overall, Chile and Argentina have both their similarities and differences. Although I love living in this new city and exploring each and everyday, I do miss my Chilean friends and I am SO excited to go to Santiago in less than 4 weeks to visit them all! In the meantime, I better keep chugging my café before I will have to go through withdrawal in Chile 😉

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dora la Exploradora!!

One of my favorite things to do is explore. Especially in places I know nothing about. It is something about not knowing where you are going that is exciting and addicting. Without having expectations, every destination is satisfying, and for me this is what I find in traveling.

Initially I was very nervous to come to Buenos Aires, pretty much alone. Sure, I have some contacts here and there, I have suggestions from others of places to go, what I should do, how to get around etc., but this all means nothing until you arrive and know what everyone is talking about. It was not like returning to Chile, where I know my surroundings just as well as I do in America and where I have friends that are pretty much my second family. But this made my trip to Buenos Aires that much more exciting.

I have spent my first two weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina purely exploring. Lucho has often called me “Dora la Exploradora.” In addition to all of the Argentine things Lucho has taught me and everything I have learned from my internship thus far, I have learned the most by venturing out to new places, desperate to meet to new people, urging to try new things, and craving to see new sights that may be secrets to others.

These are some of the treasures I have found so far:

La Reserva Ecologica de Buenos Aires-My new favorite place to run that is only ½ mile from my house. All dirt roads, no stop signs, fresh air, right next to the Rio de la Plata, great views of the city, wonderful wildlife, and only runners, walkers, bicilists and birdwatchers are found here. IDEAL.IMG_4056

As Connor always quotes and as I always agree- “Life rewards those who take time to explore.” WOW was I really rewarded for exploring this place!! We both seek adventure for that is how we learn the most. And that is what we are each doing: Connor now in Malawai and me, in Argentina, running and exploring our own countries for the summer, but always sharing our passion for exploration.


Tea Connections-The BEST vegan/vegetarian restaurant I could possibly ask for in a country full of MEAT. Butternut squash soup, whole grain bread with pumpkin spread (YES “calabaza” which is really either butternut squash or zapallo (another type of squash) is really popular here yayaya!!, smoked salmon salads, all sorts of herbal teas and unique tea lattes, yummy vegan desserts, and lots and lots of veggies-does this scream Miranda or what!?IMG_3901

MALBA-The Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires

Juan, my boss and new friend, teaches photography classes at a University here in Buenos Aires and he invited me to join his class on their field trip to view the photography exhibit “Maria Testino: In Your Face” This museum is one of the most famous museums in Buenos Aires and I am really glad I got to go while this exhibit is here.IMG_4180

I learned that Mario Testino is one of the most famous fashion photographers in the world. He was born in Peru but now lives in London. His worked has been published in fashion magazines and has done work for Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Gucci, Chanel, Dior y Lancôme, and many others. I saw 122 of his photos, all very, very unique. Some were very provocative, others were very elegant, all of its own style. Some of the celebraties presented were Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Giseles Bundchen, Lady Gaga, David Beckham, Brad Pitt, and my favorite-Ashton Kutcher of course 😉IMG_4184

MAAS YOGA- After practicing yoga almost everyday before I left America, I was going through withdrawal after a week without it! Luckily I have found my Zen in a “studio” called MAAS yoga. Upstairs in the teachers apartment is a small studio that combines a back outdoor patio with a living room to create a serene environment to practice vinyasa yoga, in peace, within the big city of Buenos Aires, but so far away. I had tried 2 other yoga studios before I found MASS. The first was too basic, the second in English. I guess the third time is a charm. Namaste 🙂IMG_4164tree

Palermo Soho-So I had heard from many that Palermo “SoHo” was the best place to eat, drink, go out, and to stroll down the old fashioned streets filled with colored houses along each side. After visiting the MALBA, I was in an artsy mood and decided, once again to explore. After a few wrong turns, I found my way to this beautiful “barrio” and instantly fell in love. A coffee addict as I am, I had read before even arriving to Buenos Aires, “The 10 best café’s in Buenos Aires,” and about half of them could be found in Palermo SoHo. After spotting a few, I decided to have a blueberry and yogurt muffin paired with a spicy tea latte at place called B-Blue, owned by owners of a Blueberry farm, here in Argentina. Of course, everything on the menu was healthy and organic, from Maracuya (a tropical fruit) smoothies to tostados integrals (whole grain toast), to grilled salmon with pumpkin purree, to every sort of pastry you could want…I guess I will just have to explore this menu some more another time??IMG_4186 IMG_4199

As you can see, I have found many many treasures during my time here so far in Argentina. Not only by seeking, but by letting my life take hold of me, rather than taking over my life.

“Do not worry,

For if you have faith in where

And how,

And when

The world leads you,

The treasure will present itself.”

Connor Belson

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Play hard, work hard? Yes…I actually do :)

Although I have been running my guts out, having a coffee date with someone different each day, making travel plans, and exploring the city each day, YES I have been working as well 🙂

First things first. I live in an apartment that contains mostly office spaces. Therefore, I am one of the only ones who actually sleeps there at night. I also live in one of the main sectors of Buenos Aires, next to one of the main tourist streets. Did I also mention I live directly above a bar that is open Monday-Saturday and opens at 11pm and closes at 5am…the music is unreal. It doesn’t stop and it keeps getting louder and LOUDER as the night goes on…as well as the shouts and screams from the people outside…No this is not like live music at He’s Not loud, this is like Bonaroo CONCERT loud…I am usually a pretty deep sleeper but I don’t think ANYONE could sleep through this…

Well, let’s just say I have had well worth my experience as a practicing lawyer dealing with this problem as I have had working for my internship. This project has included speaking with Kelsey, having her write an e-mail to all 3 of our bosses, talking to Juan numerous times, calling the police, speaking to my doorman, speaking to the owner of the building next door, filing online complaints, drafting a letter for the owner of the bar, and buying “tapones para oidos” EARPLUGS I have learned A LOT about how the law works here in Argentina and how COMPLICATED it is to get what you want done. Although the “ruidos molestas” (bothering noises) have not disappeared, they have tapered (a little) and I have made (some) progress. More details to come…

I am an intern for the La Asociacion Argentina de Mujeres de Carreras Juridicas. This organization builds a clear policy on the fight against gender violence. Along with other branches, the association in Argentina works with other branches to converge ideas and to deliver the shared message to deter violence, condemn it, and return peace to its victims.


It is a Non-Profit organization and I live in an apartment within the office in downtown Buenos Aires. Thus far I have attended an all day conference on gender roles in political careers. This was led by two Argentine lawyers and I worked with many professionals all day discussing how the theme of gender roles play a part in today’s professional world. It was very interesting to compare and contrast gender roles both in legal and other professional careers, but also in Argentina and the United States.


I have also met with one of my bosses Juan on several occasions to discuss projects I can be working on. He is from Spain and works with the organization but also teaches Photography at a University here in Buenos Aires. He also LOVES coffee and has taken me to a few VERY yummy coffee places here. This is definitely a huge difference from Chile. It took me FOREVER to find good coffee, let alone cute cafes in Santiago. Let’s just say my coffee taste buds are much happier here in Buenos Aires.Image

In the next few weeks I will be working on a project with Kelsey on “Shelters for women who have suffered from domestic violence throughout Latin America.” We are trying to compare and contrast the shelters located in many of the major cities in South American to learn which practices are working the best. We want to bring these ideas to Argentina because right now there is only one shelter for Women in La Boca and is not functioning very well. My work this week included drafting an e-mail to the city council offices asking them about the shelters in their city. We want to learn how shelters are dedicated to gender-based violence in that city, where the shelters are located, what services are available in the shelters, such as if there is psychosocial care available, interdisciplinary teams, or if there is aid provided to women who have children or if these children have access to schools. We are hoping to send this e-mail out to cities such as Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Bogota, Santiago, Caracas, Quito, and a few more this week.

I am also going to be working on a Project with Juan for the President of the Association. We are going to make a presentation on the citizenship requirements for women immigrants who immigrant to different countries within Latin American. We want to learn of the rights that they have and the rights that they lack. The project will be called “La Ciudadanía de las mujeres migrantes en Latinoamérica” and our boss will be able to use this in conferences when she travels outside of Argentina.

This past week I also worked on drafting a letter our organization wants to post on our website explicitly explaining that the government in Mozambique is violating women’s rights currently. I read many articles and did some translating to English which will be posted on our website this week. My draft is listed below:

“In Mozambique, a new Penal Code that promotes a culture of violence and discrimination is about to be enacted. Despite the revisions made, there are still dispositions that lack the necessary rigor to define what is rape, in or outside marriage. In addition, forgiveness is also given to the offender if he marries the victim. Together, these provisions result in greater impunity for sexual crimes, which violate the rights of women enshrined in various instruments of universal humanitarian law.

The International Federation of Women in Legal Careers (FIFCJ) denounce that this new Penal Code must be revised immediately and be made suitable under existing international commitments. This denouncement will also make a global call to inform that the document represents a step backward in the protection and promotion of women’s rights in Mozambique.

We also denounce that the new Penal Code, if approved, constitutes a flagrant violation of the Maputo Protocol, which was adopted by the African Union in 2003 and initiated into force in 2005. The Maputo Protcol -without precedent for African women- extends and reinforces their rights under other international instruments.

The FIFCJ is aware of the difficulties to be faced by the actions of religious and traditional leaders who threaten the full enjoyment of human rights of women in Africa. 

We urge all members of the FIFCJ to continue working to realize the full potential of the Maputo Protocol. Therefore, we demand that governments redouble their efforts in this regard, especially in the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020), during which compliance with the commitments is expected.

Furthermore, we recall the Maputo Declaration of the Federation, signed in September 2008. It is the duty of every member of the FIFCJ to observe and to enforce the obligations imposed by our Statutes which merit to issue this statement.”

I have also already met the lawyer for our organization and have been to her office, which is right down the street. She seems very intelligent and I cannot wait to work more with her.

Overall, I am learning so much from my internship thus far and I love not only the people I have been working with but the atmosphere and ideals they have. Thank you Kelsey, again, for sharing this opportunity with me! If only I could do half as much as you have for this organization I would be ecstatic! Besos!!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



WHERE do I even begin!?  If I haven’t already overwhelmed you enough with all this running talk-BEWARE-this post is only a continuation, but worth your while-Promise 🙂

After not having been able to run at my full potential since Spring Break, really, the thought of running a HALF MARATHON (21km/13.1miles)-my usual favorite distance to race-was quite daunting for me.  Not only had I not been able to run that distance since my last marathon training run when Sarah, Caroline, Connor, Daniel, and I ran to Saxpahaw (19 miles), but I have not ran in race (well disregarding the Cooper River 10km race I ran in April when I was injured…) since Cross Country season where we only ran 5km and 6km distances. The last half marathon I had run was in Chile, the week before I left in August, to return to the states. This race was sentimental for me because I had run in the exact same race, the year before, with Felipe, during my second week studying abroad. My goal was to get my personal record and everyone on the Nike team wanted me to win a “podeo.” Well despite the fact that this race was 75% hilly, including climbing the highest point (Cerro San Cristobol) in Santiago, I managed to get my personal record AND to win 2nd place over for women, only behind the famous Chilean marathon runner Natalia Romera. My coach and really good friend, Carlos Warnke, ran with me the entire way as my “pacer” and I owe my time to him.half in chileAnyways-with these experiences in mind, I was very nervous, yet very excited to run another half marathon-this time my first week in ARGENTINA and with my new friend Lucho-who was planning on running with me the entire way as well. We had planned on aiming for a time of 1:30:00 and although this time would seem reasonable to me normally, I was nervous I would not be able to maintain this pace for all 13.1 miles considering my stress fracture and not running for a couple of months.

I tried not to think about any of this, however, and to focus on the positives .This past week has inspired me to preserve as a runner always, wherever I am, whoever I am with, and to always do the best that I, individually can, at that moment. I was ready to race!!IMG_4088The night before was veryyyy disorganized as I tried to meet up with Carlos and the other Chileans who were going to be running. Lucho and 2 of his friends ventured with me in search for them and without any luck we ended up eating at 10pm, putting me back at my apartment at midnight when I had to wake up at 5am. THEN-long story short-I had to call the police at 3am because there is a bar under my apartment that plays music louder than I explain from 1am-5am every night…more to come on this later..

BUT despite all of these circumstances, I woke up at 5:00, met Lucho at 5:45 and  headed to the race downtown in Parque Palermo to unite with the 10,000 runners who were to run the NIKE WE RUN BUENOS AIRES HALF MARATHON. race2The event was HUGE-even though it was still pitch black out, the park was filled with tons of running groups, tons of people, music, lights, people. Although I was running (literally) on MAYBE 2 hours of sleep, I could not have been more pumped to RUN!IMG_4092

Due to Lucho’s awesome radio job, we were invited to enter the NIKE VIP tent where the elite runners and all of the Nike groups-including NIKE CHILE, could set, stretch, drink COFFEE, and have unlimited access to lots of yummy snacks both before and after the race. WOW I wish I could have a tent like this at every race!IMG_4102Distracted by so much excitement, before I knew it, it was time to line up at the start. Lucho and I entered the elite corral, on accident, and when the whistle blew we were OFF-FLYING.

I felt wonderful. Running next to Lucho, (a new really close friend), running at such a great speed (something I have missed terribly) and running in BUENOS AIRES (something I still cannot believe), made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. It was these sensations that kept me going throughout the entire race.photoLucho’s watch died before the race even begin and I didn’t have time to change my watch from miles to kilometers so neither of us really knew how to pace each other…However, we kept each other distracted and motivated each other to keep running strong. At times I had to scream out loud “si se puede” in order to keep myself going. Lucho ran ahead of me for a few miles, which allowed me to keep my pace up, trying to catch up to him. Near kilometer 18km, I finally caught up to him and said “Corre conmigo, POR FAVOR!!” He responded “claro, vamos!!” We ran together for the next 2 kilometers but when we were approaching kilometer 20km I was more than ready to be DONE. I sped up, Lucho screamed “DALE” and I let my feet and legs carry me to the end. run!!Yes-there were ups and downs throughout the race, as there always is, but the whole experience can be described as unreal. I finished, just 30 seconds ahead of Lucho with a time of 1:29:14, passing our goal of 1:30:00. Although not a personal record, I never would have imagined running this fast after being injured, taking so much time off, and not training. To say the least, as I crossed the finish line and I was given a medal (later to find I won 12th pace for women, out of 10,000 runners!!!!), small tears of disbelief and happiness started dripping down my sweaty cheeks-not kidding. WOW what an awesome feeling it is impossible to describe in words…

I felt like a champion the rest of the day as I hung out in the VIP tent, caught up with Carlos, went to a Chilean rock concert and out for drinks with Carlos and my new Chilean friends, and as I went to bed (finally to sleep!!) that night.race6IMG_4113IMG_4114IMG_4131There are events, experiences, and feelings that are remembered for a lifetime and I know this experience will be kept in my head and my heart forever. IMG_4111

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Feliz INTERnational Running Day

This past Wednesday was National Running day. This day is meant for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to begin their journey of a life-changing commitment. I, a runner in Buenos Aires, would like to change the name of this day from National Running day to INTERnational running day. These past couple of days have ironically, yet magically, revolved around the sport of running for me. I have thought about what running means to me and have discussed with runners both here in Argentina and back in the states what this sport means to them. Connor and I discussed the importance of this sport to us because it was running, among other things, that brought us and has really kept us together. Runners share the same passion for the sport, for life, and for adventure, and my first week here in Argentina has reaffirmed my belief that running is a universal necessity for life.


I could tell you why I love the sport of running-but this could take pages. On Thursday night, I went to a charla that was called “De Corredores, para corredores.” This was an inspirational talk about running and almost everyone who spoke and who listened were runners-all united to hear other runners talk about their love for the sport. It was such an amazing experience to hear this talk in Spanish, with people from a completely different culture, but I understood everything. Not only because of the language of Spanish, but because of the universal language of runners that is shared everywhere. Image

My new friend Lucho, who I met on my first day thanks to some of my Chilean friends who set us up for a “running date”,” invited me because he already knows how passionate I am about running. He has also invited me to train with his running group “trotadores urbanos” while I am here and he has already invited me to run the WE RUN BUENOS AIRES Nike Half Marathon tomorrow with him. He is a journalist for a news radio station but also hosts a radio show about running every Monday and Wednesday evenings. I have now trained with this group twice, and LOVE it. They are all so nice. So welcoming. On tueday we spent an hour doing dynamic stretching and then did a workout of 5×1,000m around the city. I ran with a group of the fastest men and they are already impressed at mi “velocidad” 😉 Is this too good to be true!? Yes. And No. It is ironic how I have already met someone in my new home who shares a love for running, but it is not a surprise to me. I have been running for about 4 years now and have already met so many people across the globe who love the sport just as much as I do.

At this charla a journalist named Daniel Arcucci talked about his love for running, a Biologist talked about the benefits of running for our body and brain, Juan Craveri, the first athlete to run 3 ultramarathons in one year spoke of his experiences, three of the most famous women runners of Argentina discussed how they began running and why they still do, and then Sanya Richards Ross, one of the most famous American sprinters spoke of why she runs.


All of these speakers were asked why they ran. And almost everyone could agree with certain aspects. When I asked myself the same question (and I answered in Spanish haha) I said, “porque me hace feliz, me deja pensar en otras coasas, para conocer a gente, para conocer a lugares nuevos, para explorer, para lograr metas, para ser saludable, y para tener relaciones.

This charla and talking to Lucho and Connor about their passions for running really has made me think. What do I get out of running? Something new each day. A surprise. A new feeling. A new friend. Perhaps a new idea. Or maybe even reminder of who I really am. I must say that I really relate most of my running experiences to Chile-my friends there, the places I’ve run there, the races I’ve won there. And these experiences have given the sport of running something unique for me. I am motivated not only by my personal reasons for running, but for the reasons I ran in Chile. And now in Argentina. How in the WORLD did I meet a man my FIRST week in Chile who invited me to join his running group that is now my family. How in the WORLD did a meet a man my FIRST day in Argentina who has invited me to run with his running group here, who invited me to this charla, who is a radio show host for a running program here, who I will run a half marathon with on Sunday…running truly is a mystery. It ties people and places and things and feelings across the globe together so ironically yet so easily.

After this charla I went out to eat with a few of the runners from Lucho’s old Nike group. Not surprisingly, they were all so kind and interested in talking with me. One of the older ladies was supposed to run the half marathon tomorrow but is injured. She gave me her kit and number, so graciously, so I can officially run tomorrow. SO nice.

Yesterday morning I went on an exploratory run by myself. I was so inspired by the talk from the night before and was craving another adventure. I wanted to run on Puerto Madero, run to the meeting plaza where my new running group meets so I could time how long it takes to get there, and then I wanted to explore the reserve ecologica-a wildlife reserve that I had been told was a great place to run on “tierra” or dirt, a lado que el rio de la plate. Little did I know this parque is INCREDIBLE!! It is, private, quiet, beautiful, right by my house, right next to the city, right next to a HUGE river that looks like the ocean, and it is HUGE. I had definitely not expected this reserva to be SO perfect for running. Lets just say I will be running here a lot this summer, I mean look-can you blame me!?


Yesterday I went to the NIKE expo to check out all of the runners picking up their kits. I also got to see Lucho live in action talking about the race on the radio 🙂


Tonight I am getting dinner with Carlos, my great from Chile who not only coached me all last summer, but ran with me almost every morning, and paced me in the last half marathon I ran up Cerro San Cristobol. Who knew that the next time we would see each other would be at another Nike race in ARGENTINA!?Image

Tomorrow I will run the 21km with Lucho. It starts at 7:30am so this means I am meeting Lucho at 6am to take a taxi to the start which is at Parque Palermo. This will be the first time I have run 13.1 miles since my injury, but I have been running for about a month now and am going to take it easy. I am so excited to not only run, but to meet new friends, and to run with others who will all join together, from all around the world, to share and express their shared passion for RUNNING.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment