Hidden Valley Ranch

I’d like to start off this blog post by giving thanks to someone who loves new cultural experiences just as much as I do, my mom. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me and instilling in me such an appreciation for art and culture. It is my hope someday we can come back and visit here together so you can try the empanadas and tango for yourself. That being said, I absolutely loved our visit to Estancia Don Silvano in the Pampas region of Argentina. Las Pampas are best described as long rolling plains with very little native vegetation. They are also known as the home of the gaucho. As soon as we arrived, we were served a small breakfast of homemade empanadas, stuffed with both beef and my new favorite “choclo” variety of corn, cream, and onion. They tasted as though they had been made by little abuelita herself, bursting with juice by the seams and savorously dissolving in my mouth. The crisp air was a nice refresher from the hustle and bustle of the city, and it was nice to be able to take a step back and soak in the landscape. I can definitely see the attraction in the gaucho lifestyle. My favorite part of the visit today has to be the live entertainment we received during lunch. The strumming of the guitar and the folk music being sung really created an atmosphere that encapsulated the farm lifestyle. The syncopated rhythms had me dancing in my seat, that is until the performer called us up to dance a basic tango. While my feet were embarrassingly clunky to start, by the end I was sauntering around the floor with at least a small level of confidence. What has separated this Plus3 experience from any other trip that I have had is its spontaneity and constant surprises. This is the first year that it has run, and mishaps are to be expected, but I enjoy being able to find my own path and navigate such a rapidly changing environment. Why I would recommend this specific trip over the others is the dynamism of the host country. Argentina is a country at a crossroads, and it will be extremely exciting to see how things will play out in the years to come. In addition, there are very strong parallels between Argentina and the United States, both historically and in their healthcare system. I have learned a lot and I hope to keep learning, entering into my final week here in Buenos Aires.

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