Today was so much fun, and any high schooler looking at Plus3 should come here. We got to sleep in late today, and then we boarded a bus to the Estoncia ranch. I knew it was going to be a memorable day when our tour guide asked us if we had eaten breakfast and we said yes and she said, “Bad idea” because of how much food they were going to give us. Upon arriving, we were given homemade empanadas which were to die for. Everyone went back for seconds, some even thirds! Then, we walked through the now hotel which once was the main home of the gaucho ranch owners. A gaucho is similar to an American cowboy in the fact that they live on ranches away from city society with horses. With our free time, we took a horse-carriage ride around the land. We got to see lots of horses, sheep, pigs and even some alpaca! Lunch was a whole event. We sat at long tables in a huge barn type building and a stage front and center. There was so much food. We started with bread and salad on the tables, only to be followed by french fries, sausage, chicken, steak, and flan with dulce de leche for dessert. The food never stopped coming. During the show part of lunch, there was an amazing singer. He sang general Argentine songs as well as a song for each country that was visiting. The countries included USA, Canada, Taiwan, Brazil, Venezuela, Japan, and Ukraine. It was fun to see each country’s people belting out their song. Following lunch, we went to another show where workers reenacted gaucho games with horses. On our way out, they gave us more food and we got to try matte, a tea that is very common among Argentines, but I didn’t like very much.
All in all, this was such a cool cultural experience. Gauchos are important to Argentine culture, so it was nice to see first-hand a piece of their history. Overall, after one full week of both site visits, lectures, cultural excursions and free time, I am so happy and feel so lucky I was able to go on this trip and to Buenos Aires specifically. I have made new good friends traveling here, and I am excited to go back to Pitt and see everyone around campus. Also, since it’s Mother’s Day I wanted to say thank you to my mom at home who let me be able to come on this amazing trip! One week down, one to go!