Monday, December 20, 2010

Latin Time

So this blog is really really late and as much as latin time is a valid excuse here, it really can't justify nearly two months without an solid entry. Yes, my littlest laptop who could broke about a month and a half ago and is still out of action but my family has a computer that I've been using. Actually I have the worst luck with technology. On top of a broken computer my camera broke too. One hour before getting on the bus to go on the South trip there was an issue with the zoom and now it just doesn´t take pictures. Not fair, not fair at all because I didn't do a thing to my computer or camera. Did't drop them or go on freaky websites or anything. So I was more than really bummed when my camera broke just an hour before going to the most beautiful and scenic part of Argentina, but as the tears were welling up in my eyes over the stinging injustice of it I had to remind myself of the serenity prayer. To accept the things in life that I can't change and have the courage to change the things I could. So I put my camera and computer out of my mind the best I could and went to Patagonia hoping to develop my photographic memory.

I had the most amazing time of my life.

(This is everyone. 41 exchange students and 2 adults, I'm not sure if that would fly in the states but we didn't have any problems really. We are on a boat heading to the first european ranch that was built in Tierra del Fuego. We passed a penguin colony and saw some sealions too. We traveled though the Beagle canal, which runs between the limits of Chile and Argetnina. So I´ve seen Chile, been so close I could have swam to Chile if the water was warmer and I've even been in the air above Chile, but never actually set foot there.)

Okay so I have been really busy during the chunk of time I didn't write too, I went to Córdoba with the city band that I play in, my family took me to Sierra de La Ventana and the most amazing beach in Monte Hermoso and finally got a tour of the city (the cemetary is so strange to me here, nothing like the states at all. Picture graves as poor as a mound of dirt and a wooden cross to huge houses of marble for a whole family or what looks like a tombstone you could find in the US except that there's the whole family down there stacked on top of eachother or a wall that reminds me way too much of a post office on a much bigger scale and with out letters inside the little doors. And then there is a seperate place for all the Jews. Like i said it was a very differnt experience.) But this blog would be miles long if I went into that in detail so I will stick to what is most recent.

(Some Americans showing off Old Glory in front of the glacier Perito Moreno. Yes, all of that giant white mass is a glacier. It was breathtaking. Everything was post card perfect. There were actually like 12 Americans, all girls for some reason, but this is Katie from Cheyenne, WY (never thought I'd find another person from Wyoming in Argentina), then me with my eyes closed, Emily from Fort Collins, CO and Julia from Ojai, CA.)

So we did some amazing things in the south of Argentina, just amazing simply to BE in the south of Argentina because it is so beautiful. I'll try to sum the whole week up as best as I can. Started with a tour of La Boca, one of the most famous neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. And without a doubt one of the most colorful. We flew to El Calafate, a town in the way south of Argentina where the wind in the summer can blow up to 80 miles and hour and pretty much never stops. We went to the glacier national park and saw the Perito Moreno glacier (above) and also got to strap on some crampons and HIKE ON IT. In addition to drinking the glacier melt right off of the glacier, that was some really cold water, we also got to have whiskey with the glacier ice once we got to the top. No I'm not kidding. Rotary approved whiskey on top of a glacier with an alfajor on the side. Life does't really get any better or stranger than that. The whiskey was because of urban myth that if you drink it with ice from a glacier then you will return to Patagonia someday. Right.

(Cheers to Argentina!!! And so this is how I discovered that whiskey is nasty, no matter what kind of ice you put in it.)

The next day we traveled to El Chalten which is just increíble! Took some pictures and hiked around a bit. They put in a movie during the trip back about a rebellion that took place in Patagonia and I was following it pretty well and feeling pretty good about my spanish when I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle and everyone was shooting each other and nothing made sense anymore so i just went back to sleep. Something bad happened in Patagonia in 1921 but I'm not sure what or who won....

So the next day we went to Ushuia, which boasts of being the southern most city in the world. Which is hard to grasp when you are there that in reality you are as close to the pole as you are every going to get. To find Ushuia you turn a globe upside down, that's how far south we were. Crazy crazy, mind blowing crazy!!! But that was the most stunning town I've ever seen and when we landing in the plane, flying over the Beagle canal with the sunlight just barely coming through the clouds, wow. Just wow. I wish I could have captured it.

So in Ushuia I held the inner ear of a dolphin while standing in the largest whale bone museum in the world and understanding our guides explaination in spanish and that was, without a doubt, a moment to remember. We walked around in Tierra del Fuego national park, dressed up as prisioners from the old jail in Ushuia for a theater tour and got screamed at by the guards,learned some super interesting history, saw penguins, sealions, and Chile, I met a woman from dear Washington state (first one I've met here) who didn't know what to do with her life so she set out to learn spanish three years ago in Mexico, fell in love with an Argentine and now lives in Ushuia as a tour guide speaking flawless Argentine spanish (rock on!)and also held snow for what will be the only time this Christmas. I also made 40 new friends from all over the world. It was an amzing week to say the least. Oh. And I got pooped on by a falcon. In Tierra del Fuego. So it wasn't half bad.

(the american girls being American girls in El Chalten.)

So that was the south in a nutshell. I promise to be more frequent with my posts and will try to fill in the gaps I missed. I'll get one more in before Navidad but if I don't, Merry Christmas to all and enjoy the snow!!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who made this trip possible, my parents, my amazing Rotary club back home who I have learned to appreciate so much this year, my friends from here there and everywhere, Jorge Cantar and Chechu for taking on the task of controling 41 extranjeros, Robin and Richard DeRock, Micha for giving me a job to help pay for this amazing experience and to EVERYONE who helped me out financially to make this dream come true! Couldn't have done it without you!

Love from the girl who misses mountains,