My surprising trip to Argentina | My Family Travels

       For spring break 2009, I went with Explorica to Argentina. On the plane from the capital to Iguazu all I could see outside the window was green. Living in the desert most of my life, this lush rainforest was breathtaking.

     In Igauzu we stayed at the Hotel Carmen. It had vines growing on the outside by the pool, old fashion keys to all the rooms, and was only twenty minutes away from the National Park, home of some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

The next day we went to the National Park to see the falls. When I stepped on the bridge that ran through the middle of twenty falls the temperature went from unbearably hot to wonderfully cool. I could feel the droplets of water all around me.  I will never forget the clear foaming water running down the cliffs of green, the sound of water splashing against the rocks, and the smell of wet fauna in the air.

 We also hiked down to the pool at the bottom of the falls. We pulled on our life jackets and stepped onto a drenched, motorized raft. I knew the falls were enormous but looking up at them instead of down made me feel tiny and inconsequential. Then the captain took us under the falls and huge streams of water came crashing on us as we sped under them.

 Two days later we flew back to Buenos Aires. On the last day my friend Tess and I were heading back to the hotel. We were waiting for a break in the heavy traffic when Tess dashed across the street. I heard breaks screeching, me screaming her name, and a sudden thud followed by a body flying threw the air. The cars stopped. I looked at the man standing next to me on the sidewalk, and in an instant we ran into the street.

Tess lay on the pavement, eyes wide in shock saying, “I think I broke my collarbone” Then I looked at her head and saw the gushing blood.

Neither of us had cell phones so I started screaming at the people circling around us to call an ambulance. The man standing next to me pulled out his phone and started dialing.
            Tess’ purse was strewn fifty feet away with her passport and wallet falling out. People could’ve easily stolen it but four older women brought it to me while I held pressure on her head.

I heard the sirens before I saw the ambulance. When they pulled up, I described what happened, and where her head was bleeding. I tried to get in the ambulance  but the police officer told me I had to stay to tell him  what happened. He only spoke Spanish so communicating was difficult. The man who called the ambulance saw me struggling and came over to translate

After speaking to the officer I borrowed the man’s cell phone and called the hotel to inform the teachers what happened. He wrote down the hospital address and helped me get a cab.

 My trip to Argentina was full of beauty, wonder, terror, and life lessons. I saw the splendor of the falls, experienced a different culture, and saw how the kindness of strangers can literally save a life. The people I met in Argentina are some of the most compassionate I’ve ever known. The women on the sidewalk, and the man with the cell phone didn’t know me, yet they helped me. I only knew them for an hour, will never meet them again, yet I will never forget them.

 

             

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