A typical day as a JSC multi-week volunteer in Buenos Aires :)

Now that I've completed 4 full days of work, I can tell you a bit about what it's like.

I am set to work Tuesday to Friday, 10:30 ish until 4 ish at JDC's Baby Help center in the Chacaritas barrio of Buenos Aires.  Since a lot of holidays are coming up, it's easier for me to not work on Monday's since I'd probably have them off anyway.

Usually, I'll wake up at around 9, get ready, prepare myself some lunch to take with me, and walk about a block north to catch the 39 collectivo (bus) to take until the last last stop of its route... the bus depot actually. The center I work at is just across the street from there. 

Catching the bus can be a little tricky and sometimes really annoying actually. Unlike in NYC, you have to stick out your hand and hail a bus. This works well, and keeps congestion down a bit I think.. Unless the bus you want is in the outside lane and can't see you because a car is blocking it's view, or doesn't feel like maneuvering in in time, causing you to "miss your bus" and be a bit later than you wanted. Grr.... The "metrocard" they use here is called a Sube. Unlike other cities I've been to, it's personalized for everyone. I had to bring my actual passport, not just a photocopy, in order to get one. From there it's rechargeable.  When you get on the bus, you can either tell them where you're going and they tell you how much you're going to pay... or you can just tell them $1.10 or $1.25, the average amount for a ride without too much fussing. The metro is more straight forward.. no hailing trains down :) and it's $2.25 without having to check out with your Sube as you have to do in DC or Paris.

Once I get to work, I am almost always with the 6 mo. to 2yr. olds, and only a couple of times, when they needed more people, or if someone was really shy or misbehaving, did I watch some 2yr. and up year olds.  When I arrived with Katina on my first day, I didn't really have a preference about what I was going to do.  Since they have anywhere from two to four 6 mo. olds who need to be carried and feed them, and only have two adults who work there normally, my extra hands were definitely most useful there. Although I don't really get to practice my spanish with some little ones, who have a similar level of spanish to me (haha) I get to talk with my co workers a bit, who are really great and friendly.

Every day is something different with the kids, but usually is playing until lunch at 12, nap time right after at about 1, until about 2:30ish some more playing or some sort of activity, and then snack time, after which the parents start trickling in. During the nap time I'll eat and they help if they need things set up, or help with some really young babies- there are only one or two.

On Fridays, since it is a jewish center, the kids learn about different holidays and do a little Shabbat snack time.  This aspect is super cool for me to see. Although not everyone who works there is jewish, it's really awesome for me to see all these little kids who are jewish learning about the culture and religion.  In addition, the more I'm down here in BA, I'm really amazed at how the whole jewish community comes together, and is in fact really quite large.  It's always been interesting for me to see and meet jews from different countries, and it never stops surprising me how much of a global community there really is.  This doesn't mean that everyone is super religious or observant by any means, but we know that we have something in common, which is not always the case when traveling far and wide. I'm excited to get to know and share more about the community while I'm here, as well as more details about how Baby Help works, who's involved, and what that's like in the context of living in Argentina.

If you want to see more about my life in Buenos Aires apart from my work at the Baby Help center check out my blog at roamingreebs.blogspot.com 

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