Dear mom, Today I snowboarded in the Andes and ate a goat.
That is what my letter home would have said this week, if it didn´t cost nearly two dollars to send a letter home and three weeks for it to arrive. Thankfully, we all live in the age of email, facebook and blogs, so my mother received an email regarding the above statement the following night. Life is insane here. Everyday I have to remind myself that this is real life. Even the classes can´t make it feel like school.
Last weekend, I went with another girl in our program to Las Leñas, a well known ski resort in the Andes. It is a valley right in the middle of the mountain range, and it was beautiful. We had clearly just made it because even though it isn´t low season yet, the snow is quickly melting from the beautiful weather we´ve been having down here. Still, there was enough snow to make the snowboarding worth while, and I never imagined I would snowboard somewhere where everywhere you looked was a beautiful view of the Andes.
We had taken an overnight bus to get to las Leñas (about 6.5 hours), so we had all day to ski/snowboard. We stayed the night in a hotel 15km away called Los Molles, and were so excited that we got to return for a second day. Our hotel had a beautiful view of the mountains, friendly guests with whom we watched the Godoy Cruz soccer game (where a bunch of our friends from the program were) and played ping pong, and dinner. Dinner was three courses and one flat price. Empanadas, Chivo, and a choice of desserts. What is Chivo you ask? Well, I asked too. Our new friend tried to explain it to us, confused, asking his friends, how do I explain Chivo???¨ Finally, he was just like, ¨Es como cabra, sabes que es cabra?¨ Cabra= goat. It wasn´t the most delicious thing, but I made a sandwich with it, and could pretend it was a steak sandwich. Anyway, I crossed eating goat off the lifelist, though I never thought I would ever it a goat… haha. Also at dinner, we made quick friends with a couple that wanted to bring us to Las Leñas in their car. (it was cheaper for everyone involved).
In the morning, we met our new friends during breakfast and were on our way!! We even got to see a cool well called the well of souls. (Pozo de los Animes). No one has ever reached the bottom, so they think it connects somehow with the sea. Our second day of skiing was just as beautiful as the first, but a bit colder.
This week has been pretty awesome too. I tried out a new tango class which also teaches folklore and loved it!! There were three of us from the program in the class, and the girls studying dance seemed to enjoy helping us figure it all out. Not to mention that the professor was not only awesome, but very attractive. For next week, we need skirts and handkerchiefs, but a woman in the class is making them for us!!! Some people here are unbelievably nice. Tuesday, I went with a new Argentine friend to Cerro de la Gloria, which is amazing. It is a huge monument to San Martin, a true work of art. I was, however, unaware that ¨Cerro¨ de la Gloria meant that it was going to be on top of a small mountain. So, that was an interesting surprise when we arrived and the bottom and he was like, subimos (we´re going to climb it). Every day, a surprise. But, it was worth the climb.
¨Cuando alguien desea algo debe saber que corre riesgos y por eso la vida vale la pena¨-Paulo Coelho.