I’m grateful for a lot of things today. I’m grateful for this trip. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made here. I’m grateful for my mom on this Mother’s Day.

In my opinion, today was the highlight of the trip, as we visited Don Silvano Estancia. Don Silvano Estancia is a ranch that used to operate in the past, but now caters to tourists and gives them an authentic gaucho experience. When we arrived, we were met with the most delicious empanadas I’ve eaten all trip (and I’ve eaten a lot of empanadas here!). Then, we took a walking tour of the various buildings, one of which has been converted into an 1800s-style hotel for guests. Next, we took a carriage ride around the outer fields of the property and saw horses, peacocks, and llamas! My favorite part of the day came at lunch time, where we had Argentinian asado and were entertained by singers and dancers performing traditional songs and dances from the different regions of the country. At the end of the show, the singer performed a song from each country represented by tourists at the estancia that day to show unity and cultural appreciation. We also practiced our tango skills! After lunch, the gauchos showed us their skills on the horses and we had yet another snack.

To all the high schoolers considering coming to Pitt, or anyone considering doing a Plus3 trip: do it! One of my good friends convinced me to apply after she went on a Plus3 to Vietnam last year, and I am so glad she did. She still speaks so fondly of the memories she created abroad and all of the things she learned a year later, and I hope to do the same. Healthcare and Spanish are two of my greatest interests, and coming to Argentina has allowed to dive deep and immerse myself in both of them and learn so much about things that truly matter to me. I have also learned a lot about myself as a person and as a traveller, and these are lessons I will take with me for the rest of my life. Being one of only four nursing students on this trip, I didn’t know a single person when I showed up to my first pre-departure class. However, traveling halfway across the world with people you don’t know is a true test in forming connections that will last a lifetime. My friends and I here joke that if we can make it through two weeks of non-stop contact in a foreign country together, we can make it through anything.

I can’t end this blog post without acknowledging my gratitude for my mom on this Mother’s Day. I have so much love for the most fearless, kooky, Adele-loving, intelligent, and hard-working mother out there, and I’m so grateful that I am blessed to have her as my mom. I didn’t tell my mom I had a blog because I didn’t want this to be spread to the furthest corners of my family on Facebook, but my mom’s very nosy, so Madre, if you’re reading this (I know you Googled my name and found this), I love you and thank you for everything!

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