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Settling into Cordoba

This is my fourth packed day in Argentina.  Emily Cohen and I met another intern, Stevie, from NYU my first night in town and we’ve been looking for an apartment and getting a feel for the city together.    After sharing several bottles of very cheap and (generally) very good wine, we keep forgetting that we have only known each other for a few days.  

Las cordobesas, as Córdoba’s residents call themselves, have a very strong, distinctive accent.  After a terrifying cab ride from the airport and a barrage of absolutely unintelligible questions from a woman on the street, I was feeling pretty unequal to the task of understanding enough Spanish to hold a conversation.  The following day though, we all headed to the office to have breakfast and our initial meetings with the CEDHA staff.   We all struggled with the language a bit through breakfast but as soon as my supervisor starting talking about my work and the new World Bank transparency policies on which I'll be focusing, everything clicked.  I instantly felt that I’d made the right choice in coming to Argentina and, for a few minutes, the language barrier seemed to disappear almost completely.  Since then, things have been getting progressively better language-wise.  I have learned a ton already and I’m really looking forward to diving into the research component of my internship.  So far, I have just been reading up on the background information and policies of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and working on translating the Spanish portions of CEDHA’s website into English.  

We are bouncing back and forth between hostels at the moment, looking for a more permanent place to settle down and spread out.  Our current hostel is wonderful, but a little loud for an old working lady like myself.  (I’m  sad to report I was not an active participant in last night’s 3 a.m. Justin Bieber sing-along.)  This weekend Emily and I are headed to the nearby resort town of Villa Carlos Paz for an international rally race, while Stevie is stuck in Córdoba finishing her journal write-on competition.  Emily and I are not jealous.