Livin’ La Vida Gaucho

Today was by far the best day of our trip. We went to an Argentinian Estancia or a ranch. We started the day with a long bus ride to the ranch. In the beginning, the lady that served as our tour guide gave us a background history behind Argentinian ranches and a social group called los gauchos. Gauchos were essentially cowboys that rode their horses around South America and had native and European decent. When we arrived at the ranch, it really was a breath of fresh air compared to our week in Buenos Aires. The sun was shining and we were surrounded by nature. We were served the best homemade empanadas of the trip so far. After empanadas, we had a brief tour of the buildings of the ranch which now serve as hotels. Then, we took a horse and carriage out for a bumpy ride around the field. After that, we had some free time to sit out and relax in the sun and explore the ranch.
    Lunch at 1:00 was by far the best part of the day. We walked in to a huge barn area and ate with at least a few hundred people from a variety of different countries. We were served a delicious and gigantic meal of asado, chicken, sausage, fries, and flan for dessert. While we were being served, there was live entertainment of two Argentinian dancers and a very talented singer. At one point, they sang songs from every country that was represented by people in the room. Also, we were given quick tango lessons before dessert. The meal was very entertaining and really gave a glimpse at Argentinian culture. After lunch and a quick stretch, we saw a gaucho show with the horses and some of the ranch workers. It was really cool to see that the guy that was our waiter was actually in the gaucho show. During the show, they showed us different games gauchos used to play against each other with their horses and taught us a lot about the bond between a gaucho and his horse. After the show, we grabbed a quick snack and boarded the bus for a long ride back to Buenos Aires.
    As I mentioned previously, today really was a highlight of the program. Before coming to Argentina, I was anxious as to what would come out of the program academically, socially, and personally. However, Plus3 Argentina has exceeded my expectations on all three of these realms. Academically, I have learned so much throughout the past week about the healthcare industry and Argentina as a country through experiencing it first-hand. Socially, I’ve found a group of twenty people who were all spent at year at Pitt just like me. However, I really didn’t know most of them before coming to Argentina and now I’ll be friends with them for a long time. They’re all amazing people that I really can’t wait to go back to campus with in the fall. Personally, I have really developed as a traveler and learned a lot about myself throughout the past week. So, if you’re reading this and thinking about coming to Argentina next summer, I strongly recommend giving it a try because you never know what you’ll learn about yourself and who you may meet on a once in a lifetime opportunity like this one.
    Highlight of the Day: It hasn’t happened yet but it will be FaceTiming my mom when we get back to the apartments to say Happy Mother’s Day! I am very thankful for her and going on this trip wouldn’t have been possible without her!!!

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