Tuesday, May 19, 2015

¡Buenos Días, Buenos Aires!

Surprise! I'm in Argentina for a month.
My morning view!

Sometimes I feel as though the Argentines are speaking a completely different Spanish than the one I know. They speak heavily with the "sh" should and throw in a 'che' and 'vos' every now and then for good measure. It's fascinating to hear them talk, I've been so quiet this trip because I'm mostly just intrigued and want to hear everyone keep talking! I'm not sure if I can quite describe the city. When I first got here, someone told me that Argentines are Italians that speak Spanish, who wish they were French. I'm starting to think that there's some truth to that statement.

Buenos Aires has New York City traffic with the most incredible parallel parking skills I've ever seen. There are no stop signs in most of the neighborhood street and I am amazed that I haven't witnessed one accident yet; several close calls, but no scratches! The one way streets signs are hidden and there will be places where two way streets suddenly become one way. I've been in a situation twice already where the car has been going against the flow of traffic!

The cuisine: meat, pastas, and empanadas with a strong emphasis on ice cream and cute little pastries. The pastries are so pretty and dainty—if I had to personify them I'd even go so far as to describe them as poised.
My breakfast. every. morning. It's very European here, very continental breakfast-y. Although, usually this would be accompanied by coffee or a strong tea. 

I often have to remind myself to look up when I'm walking around the city which is hard to do when I'm trying to sidestep dog poop. It's everywhere. It makes for an obstacle course on the way to work in high heels. Truly.
(Each building in Buenos Aires is responsible for maintaining it's own sidewalk. It makes for a mosaic of patterns every couple of steps you take. There is no boring concrete in this city, it's all splendid tiles)

My first Saturday here, the Senior missionaries invited me to go with them to an Estancia. Think of Estancias as the gaucho version of the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is fall here and I am grateful to be able to wear sweaters!
Horse stalls that have been converted into a hotel
Argentines are well known for their meat. It is tasty, but I have to admit, I'm not much of a meat person. (oops!)
Typical side dishes. Bread with olive oil, basil, & vinegar; carrot shreds; a tomato-lettuce-onion salad; and a waaaay less fatty version of potato salad.
GUYS. The horse just went limp and did whatever the gaucho asked him to do—horse whisperer!
A pastry stuffed with membrillo (apparently the english word for this fruit is 'quince?')—I hadn't heard of this in my life! If I had to compare the taste I'd say it's similar to guava. kind of?

There is a beautiful bookstore here called 'El Ateneo' it is literally an old theatre that has been converted into a four story bookstore. It was an incredible sight!
This is Julia. She is a native of Argentina, who hasn't spent too much time in the country the last couple of years and she's headed to BYU for summer term, so we're essentially going to try and see all the sights together before our time here runs out!
^^That my friends is an helado from 'Un Altra Volta'. Argentines are VERY proud of their ice cream and I'm beginning to understand why. I had a scoop of Dulce de Leche Volta (dulce de leche with almonds and hazelnuts covered in carmel) and Chocolate amargo (Dark Chocolate). 

This past weekend I had the greatest blessing to go to do a session in the Buenos Aires Temple. Literally, that was the first thing on my Buenos Aires bucketlist. No matter where I am, once I step into the temple, it feels as though I am home!
This weekend was extra special too, because it was the dedication of the Cordoba Argentina Temple. I went to Julia's house and watched the cultural celebration with her family and then on Sunday watched the broadcast of the dedication. I can't begin to describe how wonderful this weekend was. There are some things that happened this weekend that are just too personal to share on a public blog, but let it suffice for me to say that I know I am where I am supposed to be right now.
Julia MADE me try mate. ^^that was my reaction.
These are alfajores. They're like the Argentine version of tea cakes. I probably would love them if I actually loved sugary sweets, but they just aren't my favorite. Honestly, I've been wanting popcorn SO badly. There are hardly any salty snacks here, every time I step into a corner store or pharmacy I'm met with nothing but cookies and candies. Salty food, I miss you!
Sunday evening, I joined the YSA at a FHE at the Bishop's house. The topic-->hermanamiento (fellowship). The topic was absolutely PERFECT. 

You see, 6 hours before I left Provo I got a call from my Bishop asking me if I would serve as Relief Society President. Seeing as how I'm 1000s of miles away, I've been having meetings via skype every Sunday with RS leadership. We have a goal as a Presidency to really focus on fellowship and so you better believe that I was writing down all the ideas that were presented at this FHE. Inspired, I tell you!

More than the sights or the food, I have loved getting to know the people that surround me during this trip. I love the people of Buenos Aires.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Package for the 'Greenie'

I have this really ambitious goal of sending Devin a package every month. I know he'll love them, but mostly I really enjoy putting packages together. I'm a natural born planner—planning things brings me happiness. I already have a Pinterest board dedicated to package ideas. 

When I was on my mission my Mom sent me a 'greenie' package. (Greenie is a nickname in mormon culture given to missionaries who are brand spankin' new) I wanted to pass it on so to speak and send my brother a similar package. For the past month every time I've gone to the store I've collected little green things that I find.

I rolled up the message, "Becoming A Consecrated Missionary" by Elder Tad R. Callister and tied it up with some pretty string. Elder Callister came to visit my mission a few times and this message was one that my Mission President had us all read before his visit. The message is about giving your all to the Lord especially when serving him as a missionary. I thought it would be the perfect message to send to my brother as he begins this two year journey. I found the message here.

This is my brother as a cute little missionary at the Mexico City MTC. It's been just over a month since he left and I can't believe that next week he's off to Chile!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Law School is...

For the past school year, this beauty of a desk has greeted me every morning at 8:30.
Saying "farewell for now" to my law school classmates today was the saddest thing and felt oddly similar to memories of high school graduation.
I was in a bittersweet funk for a better part of the first half of the day.

Coming to Law School has been one of the greatest decisions of my life thus far. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it is to be HERE! The professors, the courses, my fellow 1Ls. I'm feeling really nostalgic about the whole thing right now and can't believe my first year is done! I haven't been the best about posting moments, but I thought I would kind of do a collective "catch-all" of how amazing my year has been. :)
Ms. Caruso for the plaintiff (the greatest trial partner I could have) and Ms. Flores for the plaintiff 
The building where I live; I mostly just sleep in my apartment
Dinner party upon dinner party with the greatest people
Being treated to a Chinese dinner by Laura who used her $50 chow mein eating contest gift card to spoil us
Fancy caravans to Salt Lake in the Toyota Sienna, complete with take home centerpieces
The view from our luncheon of one of the happiest places on earth!
Fulfilling our lifelong dream of making "#1 lawyer mugs" after watching this documentary based on a case we read in Torts.
Movie nights where we'd watch movies that were referenced in class. cough cough Minority Report, cough Princess Bride.
Finding my long lost sister and having mini panic attacks every time a professor said, "Ms. Flores"
When life gives you law school finals...
We saw the greatest things in Crim law.
AA's army. We have a special place in our heart for our Torts professor.
The greatest greasiest apple fritters known to mankind. 
Partying at the Barrister's Ball (aka Law School Prom) with some of the most wonderful people you will meet!
We had class shirts made. On the back are written the words, "not yet admitted to the bar." It's a bit of an inside joke with our class because during orientation, our Dean explained that after graduating that's what his "title" so to speak was.

Lauren Flores, not yet admitted to the Bar. :)
Guys, I'm officially a 2L!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Treat Yo Self 2015.

So remember these little invitations? I'm going to be honest, I had heard the phrase "treat yo self" but I didn't know where it came from. So I went about educating myself, and watched this clip of Parks & Rec. The show has been recommended to me many times, but I just can't afford to get addicted to a TV show right about now. 

Law School finals prep time is BRUTAL—we literally stay in the library from sun up to sun down—so we came together and thought we'd put together a 1/2 done with finals party. The evening after our Criminal law final a group of us drove up to Kathryn B's house in nearby American Fork and just relaxed for an evening. 
Last semester we heard about how a Professor rented a puppy for her law school class, thankfully Kathryn's family has a dog which fulfilled our puppy de-stressing needs.
Table 1. If you look closely, you can see these little bowls that we put conversation questions in. As law students, law school tends to creep into every conversation. We decided law school was a taboo subject and so if it was mentioned, you had to draw a question!
Table 2
Remember how I had mentioned the CREAC RSVPs? Well, these three had the top three CREACs. Naturally, we required a dramatic reading of their CREACs in order to be able to award the "4.0 prize."
For this picture, Kathryn's Mom said to show how we felt about finals. :)
Mike earned the 4.0 for his amazing RSVP CREAC. The prize? Well, one of our professors would give us a handout every class period with a "little nugget of wisdom." So we compiled them together & created, "Chicken Soup for the 1L Soul—what I learned at Yale, and Oxford, and Georgetown." We tried to get the copy signed, but our Professor was conveniently out of town for finals week. :) Well done, Mike!