Havanna & Community Service

Today when we arrived to school, many of us had one thing on our minds: exchanging our US dollars for pesos. There were so many things we wanted to get but because of the banks closing too early some days, we had yet to exchange. Many of us wanted to buy treats for our families back home, but while we stood around waiting for the bus to pick us up, we found the single greatest use for our new found pesos: chicken nuggets. When we finally left we went to a factory in Mar Del Plata that makes alfajores, a tasty cookie like snack that is very popular in South America. Hair nets on, we took a tour of the factory and saw how the “dulce de leche” was put onto the cookies, watched the conveyor belts carry the cookies all around the factory, saw how they were packaged;it was a very cool experience. These alfajores are very popular in Argentina and the ones from HAVANNA (the factory) are some of the best around. We went to the gift shop and purchased gifts and some cookies for ourselves, and then went back to the school to have lunch.

After a lunch with a severe lack of chicken nuggets (due to our mass consumption earlier) we went out to do community service. Half of us went to an elderly home and half of us went to play with children and help out a group of volunteers who provide necessities to the underprivileged. Luckily for this blog the two of us went to different locations. The elderly attendees are people that from less fortunate families who are dropped off during the day.  They play games, eat, and hangout all day until their children pick them up and take them home after work. At the elderly home we sang songs in a group along with one of the ladies from the school. She sang some songs for the elderly in Spanish, but insisted that we sing some in English. Michael and I (Dillon) played the guitar a little and we all sang “wagon wheel” as a group. The abuelos loved it and the hour flew by.

Meanwhile at the other location we were debating the rules of hopscotch and preparing food for the families to take with them. Unfortunately there weren’t many kids there so we did other jobs around the building to help out. We had so much fun and may have snuck a cookie or two. Afterwards we headed to our last stop, an art museum based in a house owned by Victoria Ocampo, a famous author. They let us in before the actual exhibit opened that night, a showcase depicting works from various artists around the idea of a coat hanger. All of the art was so cool and we finished up by watching a video on the house, which seriously tested our Spanish skills. After the museum, we had to walk many blocks back to the school after a very long day…but it was the conclusion of an awesome and unique experience.

– Leah Cooper & Dillon Jacob 

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