Welcome to a world where poverty propels entire families to steal old building supplies to build a makeshift home of their own, where men slave in the fields and their wives sell bread on the side of the road for what some would consider mere pocket change just to make ends meet; this is Argentina. This year’s summer excursion brought me to Bariloche and Cordoba, Argentina. I intermingled with the Argentinean culture and enjoyed the sights of Patagonia while snow skiing the mountains of Cerro Cathedral with my family.
While switching airports in Buenos Aires, the taxi ride gave me a glimpse of what a third-world major city looks like, with poorly constructed homes and industrial properties. Despite the despair, I immediately fell in love with the surroundings. Here the wonders of metropolis and the serenity of nature are only a couple hours drive from one another. Argentina is home to Patagonia, one of the world’s largest untouched lands and national parks is truly a sight not seen else where. One can go from lakes of infinity to humbling mountain ranges just by scanning the horizon, for they are all joined as one in a beautiful balance of entropy.
Out of all of Argentina’s fresh and delicious cuisine, the sixty cent loaves of bread sold by a woman on the side of the road while traveling to Cordoba whose husband had grown the wheat himself were by far the best treats that I had savored on my trip. One can truly appreciate the freshness of the ingredients used to prepare every meal. Almost all of your meal was made where ever you were enjoying it; the breads were prepared and baked at the same restaurant you were seated and the fruits of the juice you were drinking were grown only 10 kilometers away and juiced on site.
Once in Cordoba, we spent four days with my great aunt and uncle, visiting many historical sites, shops, and malls. My thirst for learning the culture prompted me to learn the history in which the culture of this foreign country was built upon.
While in Cordoba, we drove forty minutes outside of the city to visit the gravesite of my cousin, who had passed away when he was three days old; he was buried in a beautiful cemetery nestled in the badlands of the Cordoba providence.
Shortly after, we traveled to Bariloche, which was described to me as “the Cancun of South America for high school students.” Bariloche was located in the middle of many lakes and mountain ranges, in the heart of Patagonia. The view from six-thousand meters above sea level was breathtaking and made this trip a truly unforgettable life’s journey.
My travels also took me to an Argentinean teen disco club at which I witnessed how kids my age spent their school vacation nightlife. The music surprised me for it was mostly from the United States, and my familiarity of the words and the ability to recite them without an accent made me an instant hit with the Argentinean youth.
This trip has truly broadened my horizons and impacted my life. It has opened my eyes to yet another country and a completely new culture. I traveled across the world and experienced moments unique to Argentina that I could not have experienced while at home. Argentina has continued to make me realize the beauties of a foreign land and culture, and it will not be my last journey into another country full of unique cultures and breathtaking sights.
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