Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tierra Del Fuego

Winter is in full affect here in Argentina, and I just got back from maybe the coldest place in Argentina, Tierra Del Fuego. TDF as we will refer to it is an island on the very bottom shared by Argentina and Chile. To get there I road the bus, 45 hours! We also had the take a ferry across the Straight of Magellan(?), but never got of the bus. The huge double decker touring bus filled up about half of it! Also crossed into Chile for about an hour, than back out. Quite the hassle, but worth it!
I stayed most of the time in Rio Grande, the largest city on the island. It is on the coast, and there are no mountains, making it VERY windy. I stayed with a wonderful family who have had an exchange student from Belgium staying with them for the whole year, which is actually why I went down there in the first place, because we met on the Rotary north trip!
May 25th was the 200th anniversary of Argentina as a country, and there were many celebrations in Buenos Aires, and also an extra long weekend. For this weekend we all went to Ushuaia, where they have an apartment. Ushuaia is known as the most southern city in the world, and is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and the ocean. There is also a few ski resorts surrounding the city, making quite a "touristy" town. It is also the capital of TDF. I arrived a little too early, and the ski resorts were not open yet, but it did snow once while we were in Ushuaia!
On another note, I return to the U.S. in about 3 weeks, on June 2nd! Very excited!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

North Trip

Hey all! On Monday I arrived home in Cinco Saltos from a 19 day trip to the north of Argentina with a group of other Rotary exchange students.
We started by headed about 12 hours north to Córdoba, where our patagonia group of about 25 spent a few days seeing the sights. After that, we met up with another group ef exchange students living in the north, another 25 kids or so, and headed to Medonza.
We stayed in the capital of Mendoza for three nights, and it was great! One of the days, we went to up to see the tallest mountain in the Americas, Mt. Acongagua. It was really cloudy, so we couldn't ever see it, but got to see some other cool stuff, like a abandoned hotsprings spa, being overtaken by the mineral rich and multicolored rocks around it. I also learned while in Mendoza, that I am now an uncle for those of you who dont know, YAY! After hanging out in Mendoza for a while, we started on our way to La Rioja.
In La Rioja, we went to Talampaya national park, which reminded me alot the grand canyon, minus the river. We had a tour through a gigantic canyon that was spectacular! There were some amazing rock formations and animals in there (including llamas). We left La Rioja, and kept heading north after the tour.
Many hours later, we arrived in Cafayate, Salta, and man was it beautiful! It was a really small city, tucked high up in the mountains, with a gorgeous square, and an impresive church. We spent a couple of night there, one of which was a girl from Quebec's birthday, so that was alot of fun. After Cafayate, we drove to the capital of Salta, where we spent three nights as well. During our stay there, we toured the city, which has a few amazing churches, and some cool artisan fairs. Also during our stay, we took a day trip to the province of Jujuy, which was VERY fun. There were tons of cool native things to buy and see, and a never-ending supply of old ladies selling coca leaves and sombreros.
After Salta, we began the 20+ hour journey to Iguazu Falls. It was Incredible! First day, we went to a mine of precious stones such as quarts and amethyst, which are very plentiful there. The second day, we headed to the falls! We went to the Argentinian side, and it was perhaps the most beautiful thing i have ever seen! Not only did we walk around and see them from above, but also took a boat and went under them as well! The third day, the group went to the Brazilian side of the falls, but the Americans and Canadians stayed behind, because in order to enter Brazil, we had to pay about 150 dollars, just for the day! It's because when brazilians go to the US and Canada, they have to pay the same. So we just hang out and saw a bit of the town.
After that, we began our way home. It was by far the best time I have had the entire year, and I made some friends that I will have forever. Wish it could always be that good!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hello all! Gotta say, not too much going on around here that's noteworthy, but I'll try anyways! Well, it's been pretty routine, just school and such, but on April 14th, me, and all of the rotary exchange students in Patagonia are going on a trip to the north of Argentina. It's 19 days, and we'll go all over the north of Argentina by bus, including Iguazu falls which borders Brazil and Argentina, should be fun! It's starting to get cold again here, while it's warming up in the U.S.! Oh well, can't have summer all year! Well, I'll let you all know as soon as something else exciting happens around here! Nos Vemos!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Visit from Sierra and Parents!

I just had the most amazing time with my parents and Sierra here in Argentina! It was so much fun getting to share part of my life here with them, and really showing them what i have here. When i saw them get off the plane, it was one of the happiest feeling i have felt this year! My host families were so wonderful and welcoming to my them, it was really great to see, and made it so much fun! They really helped by always having fun things for us to do, we were busy everyday! I think they really enjoyed spending time with my host families and getting to know the people that have brought me in and been so generous with me! After and an incredible, and fun filled week, I had to say goodbye to Sierra, again. But it was much easier this time, because I will see her again so soon! My Parents didn't leave until Tuesday though, and while they were still here, we took a little trip to Bariloche! It was a lot of fun, we went to one of the ski resorts even though it is summer, and took the chairlift up to the top, where there was great views! Then we took a road called the 7 Lakes Road, which is a mountain road that takes you past 7 amazingly beautiful lakes! At the end of the road is San Martin de los Andes, a city about the size of Ashland. After staying the night, we drove back to Cinco Saltos, and the next day, they left, and I went to my first day of school. What an aweful combination! But even so, it was by far one of the greatest weeks I have had, and i will never forget it!

Monday, February 1, 2010


A couple weeks ago, me, my first host dad, my second host dad, their two sons, and a friend of theirs, took a motorcycle trip to watch a rally race called "Dakar". It is called that because it used to be held in the African nation of the same name, but a few years ago it had to be moved because of the increasingly unstable political conditions.
Anyways, we rode about three and a half hours on the motorcycles, on normal highways, then came to a sixty mile dirt road. After about one hour, we had gone about twenty miles, and it was getting dark. The reason it took so long was because the road was full of pockets of silt, which once you drove through, instantly sunk into, and lost control. Luckily, because of the horrible condition of the road, you couldn't go very fast, and therefore none of us crashed too hard, and no one was hurt at all.
So we drove back to the nearest town, my host dad called a friend who was coming and asked him to pick us up. We left the motorcycles at a tiny restaurant where we also ate dinner. The friend arrived at about three in the morning, and we were off, finally.
We arrived at the place we wanted to be at about four in the morning, and slept until about seven. Then we headed out into the desert to find a good place to watch.
After a hot, but fun day, we bid Dakar farewell, and headed home, it was quite the adventure.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Navidad, Año Nuevo, y Mucho Mas!!!

These last few weeks have been crazy! Soo much has been going on!

To start things off, christmas was very, very different. First of all, it's summer here. weird. But hey, Santa still wears his jacket, boots, hat, everything. Second, they don't celebrate on christmas day, they do all the celebrating on christmas eve, with the usual dinner/party and LOTS of crazy fireworks, haha. Then at midnight, everyone opens up presents! Then they hang out for a little, then go to sleep. The next day is just like a normal day, except for a special mass at church.

After that was new years, which is pretty much the same, except more fireworks, and more partying. We hung out at the house with family and celebrated, lit off fireworks, etc. Then around 1 a.m., me and my host brother went out with some of his friends. First we went to his friend's house, then went downtown where they had blocked off the streets, the clubs had put their speakers on the sidewalk, and everyone was in full party mode. I went home around 4, but the majority i think stumbled home around 8 or 9 in the morning!

Then, yesterday, i changed to my second host family! They are wonderful! Also, they are my first host family's best friends, so i already knew them quite well. So far, so good, I am very excited to get to know them even more!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Summer in the South

Well, it has been a week of summer break so far here in Cinco Saltos, and so far, pretty uneventful, and VERY hot. One thing that is a bit interesting, we just set up the christmas tree, and it's a little different, to say the least. Nobody has real trees here, they are all plastic, and it is about three feet tall. A little dissapointing, but thats ok, atleast they celebrate christmas! I must say though, it is very bizarre seeing a christmas tree in my living room, while the weather is easily 85 degrees, and sunny! I am excited for the summer, it seems great so far!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Four days until summer break! For those of you who may not know, since Argentina is in the southern hepisphere, and the seasons are opposite from those of the United States, the summer break is also during the opposite time, meaning i get off school on friday! I get about a three month break, and should go back at the beinning of march or end of febuary, I'm not sure.

In other news, the weekend before last, me and my family took a little trip to a place called Villa La Angostura, It is sort of in the same area as the other place, San Martin de Los Andes. It's about five hours from my house, in the mountains, and on the edge of an enourmous and amazingly beautiful lake, it was very spectacular! We drove up on Saturday morning at three in the morning, and once we arrived, explored the town a little bit, had a little lunch, then took a boat to an island in the lake where we took a tour through an absolutely amazing forrest! I also met two American couples on the boat. One was from Colorado, and the other was from Los Angeles. The guy from L.A. was wearing a Rogue Brewing hat, so i asked about it, and it turns out his dad lives in Ashland! crazy. But of course i didnt think to ask his dads name, oh well. On sunday we drove north through the "lake district" to a bunch of different lakes until we got to San Martin, then drove back home. It was a sort but very nice, and breathtaking trip!

Until next time! Chau!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Last Saturday was my host sister Guadalupe's fifteenth birhday, or Quinceñera, and here, its a HUGE deal. It was nothing like any kind of birthday party that i know of in the states, and it reminded alot of a wedding reception. It was very formal, everyone wearing dresses and suits, and there was over 150 people! It started with her entering the room with her father, everyone stands, and she greets her family standing in the back (including me!). After that, her father made a short speach, and then we started dinner. After dinner, she began dancing with her father, and then all of the men took turns dancing with her for a short time. Once that was finished, they turned on a bit more upbeat dancing music, and everyone began dancing. After everyone had been dancing for a while, they brought out the desserts, and everyone gravitated off the dancefloor, and towards plethora of wonderful sweets they had. It was quite an impressive selecton, i must say. Once everyone had gotten there fill of desserts, they began dancing, again. At about 5 in the morning, the served more food, this time beef, and everyone stopped dancing again and ate, again. Finally, around 6:30am, we got home, and slept for the better part of the next day. All in all it quite the event, and not something i will forget. It was also just really fun meeting all of their extended family, who all live about 10 hours away in another province, Mendoza.

Today is the birthday of Cinco Saltos, which dosn't really mean anything, except i dont have school! Oh ya, and my older host sister, Ana, has the same birthday as Guadalupe, but it was a bit overshadowed this year she is now 19. And yesterday was my host brother Juan and his twin sister Catalina's birthday too, 17 years old. But Catalina is on exchange in france at the moment, so im sure she had a great French birthday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

im alive!

Havn't been on here in a while (it seems like all the posts start like that, hm.), and frankly its because not alot has been happening. Got back from San Martin just fine and it was great, incredibly beautiful! I thought my 6 hour bus ride was long, until I found out that there were two exchange students from Tierra del Fuego, 40 hours by bus. wow. While there we had various meetings, and other boring events, but also went to tango and salsa classes, and had a boat ride and a picnic on the most beautiful lake I have been too! Other than that it's been pretty much the same around here, although my birthday was last week. For my birthday i had a party with the kids from Interact, and other kids from school, it was really fun, except, as some of you may have seen on my Facebook, i recieved the majority of my birthday cake on my face. sweeet. Then on my actually birthday all three of my host families, and another family that is friends with mine, came over, and we had pizza and cake. I recieved a wonderful birthday package, (thanks to everyone involved on that!) one the items was the new book by Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol, which i strongly recommend! Also, Argentina is going to the world cup! they beat our Uruguy to do that, and hopefully they can make it all the way! Also, if anyone has any good recipes, and they happen to have them in the metric system, feel free to leave them in the comment box, because im looking for some good grub to cook! chau!