Home.

I’m officially home and back in my apartment on campus.  Since I got home, things have flashed by as I unpacked, repacked, slept, and moved back in.  It’s still kind of weird to be home.  I wake up expecting to be in my room in Mendoza.  Instead I’m in Wisconsin, freezing.  I miss my host family and all of the wonderful things I got to do in Mendoza.  

I feel like I’m not ready for this semester.  I hardly had any time to prepare, and I really just want some time to sit back and reflect on my month abroad.  But I have classes and internships and jobs to worry about.  

I plan to talk to everyone I can about how wonderful Argentina was.  I want people to know about the wonderful family I had- how kind and generous they were.  At the airport, they told us that whenever we want to come back and visit, we’ll always have a place to stay with them.  I really do hope I can visit them again.

I also want people to know how wonderful my biological family is- how supportive they were.  Not everyone’s parents would be okay with letting their kid go off to Argentina for a month.  I’m so grateful to have them in my life and I’m sad that I hardly got to spend anytime with them at home before I had to come back to campus.

Although my journey to Argentina is technically over, I hope that it will never truly end.  I gained so much from this trip.  I know my Spanish improved, so I hope to keep that up.  I like to think that I became more adventurous, more fearless.  I tried a lot of different foods and a lot of different things.  After all, I jumped off a mountain.:)  I met some incredible people and I would like to keep in touch with them for the rest of my life.  

Argentina was so much more than a school trip.  We may have only been there for a month, but I feel like I’ve known the people I was with for a lifetime.  I don’t think things will ever be the same after this trip.  Something will always remind me of Buenos Aires or Mendoza or my host family.  And I’ll always want to go back.  Until I can make that happen, I’ll just have to remember the incredible adventure I had.  Por Siempre Argentinas! 

Advertisements

Home is the pla…

Home is the place where your feet can leave, but not your heart.

I have never found this quote to be more true.  I have found a new family here in Mendoza.  Everyone has been so wonderful and generous and I have no idea how I’m going to say goodbye.  It’s hard to comprehend that I may never see these people again.  I know that we’ll stay in contact, but it will be hard to wake up tomorrow and not be surrounded by the people who have become my family.  I’m happy to be going home to my family and friends, but it’s hard to leave the people here behind.  I have grown so much from this trip and I am so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to come here.  I love this place and I hope to return some day in the future.  Until then, Chau, Mendoza!  And thank you to all of the people who have made this an incredible experience!

Cacheuta

Cacheuta

Yesterday we went to some thermal pools in the mountains. It was really cool, even though it was kind of chilly. We put our feet in some of the warmer pools. It was a great way to spend our last full day here.
Our host parents gave us gifts last night and when we got back to our room the tears started falling. I’m going to miss this place and the people so much!

Jueves

Jueves

Today was our last day of school at UNCuyo. I can’t believe how fast time has flown. We gave presentations about the different topics we covered in class and had an oral exam with our trip leader.
We went to the center again and did some shopping. I ate some ice cream- chocolate with dulce de leche and melon- my two favorite things from here. I bought a huge thing of dulce de leche to take home, but I won’t be able to bring any melon home with me. I’m going to miss it lots. The fruit at home isn’t the same.
Tomorrow we’re going back to the mountains to swim in some thermal pools- it’s going to be a really cool experience and I’m glad we’ll be back in the mountains one last time before we leave.
I have most of my stuff packed up, which makes me sad. I’m not ready to leave yet, especially because the temperature difference is so big. I miss everyone from home, but I’m going to miss everything about Mendoza and Argentina- the warmth, the melon, and most importantly, the people.

Dog Shelter

DSCN2142

Yesterday we went to a dog shelter. It was interesting to see how shelters compare to those in the U.S. Shelters here don’t get any help from the government, so it’s up to the people to run them. I’m glad that there are people who are willing to help.
The dogs were adorable, especially Carmela, a little puppy. I wanted to take her home.
The shelter was in a very poor area of Mendoza. People were living in ‘homes’ that had brick walls and tarps for roofs. I’m so grateful to live where I live.
On another note, today was our last day at UNCuyo. Hard to believe that it’s almost time to pack up and go home!

Fleming

Fleming

Yesterday we went to a children’s hospital and got to visit a couple of kids. We gave them candy and it was nice to see their smiles. We got to dress up in surgical garb to check out the operating rooms, which was pretty cool, even though we looked ridiculous. We met two of the hospital’s clowns. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Last night we saw a movie in the park. The movie wasn’t the best, but the atmosphere was really cool. It was fun to see everyone out and about.
We leave Saturday night and I can’t believe that our time here is almost up. I have enjoyed every minute of this trip and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I’m going to miss the wonderful people I’ve met and of course, the warm weather.
This evening we’re going to volunteer with a refuge for all the dogs that are on the street. I’m pretty excited about that!

Paragliding!

Paragliding!

I jumped off a mountain and flew today.
It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. I don’t have the words to describe how incredible the experience was. I was a little nervous right before we jumped, but once we were in the air, I was really comfortable and got to sit back and enjoy the view. It was awesome to see the mountains from above.
I’ve had so many wonderful experiences here and I’m glad I got the opportunity to travel. I’ll never forget this day or this trip!