“Cada persona es un mundo”
Well, week 3 of my study abroad experience is over…. Seriously, where does the time go? I guess it really does fly when you’re having fun- and I’ve been having a blast! The weekend before last, a few students from the IFSA program and I met up with some new friends we met at an orientation meeting at the University of Cuyo. This meeting was specifically for international students, so we met students from all over the world! Anyway, on Friday, we went to La Via Blanca, a parade to celebrate the festival of La Vendimia, the huge harvest festival that takes place every year in Mendoza. It was somewhat like the parades I’ve seen in the US, except for one big difference; instead of throwing candy, people were throwing all kinds of crazy stuff from the floats! Grapes, melons, bottles of water- even small bottles of wine! It was kind of crazy but a ton of fun to see. After that, we went to a bar with our new friends, and after that, we had our first boliche (dance club) experience in Mendoza! It was a ton of fun, but EXHAUSTING! We got into the club around 1:30 or 2 didn’t leave until around 6 am! After a visit to the pancho (hot dog) shop, we headed home- I got in around 7 am. I gotta say, there’s something quite satisfying about dancing until the sun comes up- literally 😉 We did the same thing on Saturday night, so I was pretty ready for an early bedtime on Sunday
It’s been really fun meeting people both from Mendoza as well as all over Latin America- this week I spent a lot of fun hanging out with new friends, and it’s pretty cool to be able to connect with people like this in another language. I heard the quote, “cada persona es un mundo”, from a Mendocino I met last weekend. It means, roughly, “each person is a world”. It’s a phrase they use here, and it’s pretty cool- basically, it means that each person has his own story and views the world according to his own personal experiences, making each person completely unique and distinct from everyone else. It’s a good quote to sum up my experience here so far- each person I’ve met, no matter where they’re from, has their own story, and it’s been amazing being able to hear about their experiences. My friends all know how much I love to talk and meet new people, so I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise to many 😉 But honestly, I’ve never been in a place where it’s this easy to make friends!! Everyone here is incredible nice and friendly, and from the second you start talking to them, they want to get to know you and be friends. This is something I’ve noticed in both Córdoba and Mendoza, and it’s a beautiful part of Argentine culture.
This past weekend we took an IFSA excursion to San Rafael, a beautiful mountain town about 3 hours from Mendoza. We spent the weekend hiking, swimming in the lake, drinking mate, and to top it all off, zip lining! There was a course set up that is apparently one of the best in all of Argentina, and it was a BLAST! We went from one point in the mountains to another, soaring over a huge lake and screaming our (or maybe mostly my) lungs off. It was a great bonding experience with the group, but we were pretty pooped when we got back.
On Monday, I celebrated St. Paddy’s Day Argentine style- something I never expected to do before coming here I went downtown with an Argentine buddy, and we met up with a bunch of people at an Irish Pub. There was green beer, people singing in the streets, and even a random fire-breather who just showed up to entertain the crowd! It was a very fun night, one I won’t soon forget
Anyway, things are still going great here in Argentina, and I’m still loving every minute. I’ve adopted the phrase “la vida es una”, an equivalent to Carpe Diem in Spanish, and I’ve been making the most of my abroad experience. Speaking of which, tomorrow I’ll be leaving to go to Chile with some friends from the program. We’ll spend a few days in Santiago, Viña del Mar, and Valparíaso before coming back to Mendoza. I’m super pumped, but a little nervous for the Chilean accent- I’ve heard it’s pretty incomprehensible, even for native Spanish-speakers! That’s all for now- I’m sure I’ll have plenty of stories to share when I return!