Wow, time really flies by when you’re studying abroad. I’ve been here for almost 100 days now and have much less than time left than has passed thus far.
While I’ve made great progress assimilating in to the porteño culture, and have gotten to know the city so well, there’s one thing that I’ve yet to make a lot of progress on: traveling around the rest of the country! I went to Iguazu Falls one of my first weekends here, but since then I haven’t ventured outside of the metro area. There are so many other areas in Argentina to explore, such as Patagonia, the glaciers, Mendoza, Bariloche and more. Though those places are still on my list, the IFSA-Butler staff gave us an unbelievable trip at the end of September.
Our program director, Mario, owns his own sprawling estate in Colonia Uruguay, and he invited our group of 15 students to stay at his bed and breakfast for the weekend. IFSA bought us all ferry tickets for the boat trip to Uruguay (it’s only 3 hours across the Rio del Plata). We left on Saturday morning and it was a beautiful day. Once we arrived, we took taxis from the center of Colonia to Mario’s and there, his staff served us an unbelievable traditional asado lunch. Asado is basically when all types of meat are grilled together and served on enormous platters, and it tastes absolutely unbelievable.
Later, we took a walk on the beach a half mile from Mario’s house and returned and relaxed. He had a full pool, lemon orchard, and ponds in his backyard. It was incredible to relax in the Uruguayan sun, without any of the noise of traffic that pervades Buenos Aires. At night, we went to a great restaurant in the center of Colonia. The next day, we walked around and took pictures of the area and eventually returned on the ferry.
After taking this trip, can definitely say that although it is definitely important to spend time in the city where you are studying and get to know it, it’s just as important to travel around. This is an opportunity that you only get once, and there are so many places to go and see!
Well, that’s my post for now. For more detailed experiences and good reflections, check out my personal blog at http://jfrake.wordpress.com/