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Monday, January 10, 2011

Ay! Ay! Ay! Argentina!

After our scrumptious breakfast at the Melincue Resort, we started our trek back to Argentina’s capital city, Buenos Aires. The windows of our bus gave us the wonderful opportunity to take in the agriculture and industry of the Argentine countryside. Fields of bright yellow sunflowers greeted us along with rolling plains of corn, soybeans and harvested wheat fields. Some of us found a familiar site as we witnessed our first pivot in Argentina. We suppose a land with 44 inches of yearly precipitation does need an artificial rain every once in a while. Along with taking in the beauty of the Argentine countryside, we were either catching up on some sleep, creating and strengthening our friendships, or cultivating our pallets with a cultural mid-morning tea called Mate. It wasn’t the tea we were used to; however, most of us enjoyed it.

Next on our adventure, we saddled up and met the John Wayne’s of Argentina (the gauchos of La Estancia de Santa Susana.) Members mounted caballos (horses) or hopped aboard a horse drawn carriage for a true feel of the gaucho life, before joining citizens from across the world for our asado, (meats cooked on an open flame.) ILSSO participants had the chance to sample Argentine delicacies including a variety of salads, sausages and cuts of beef. A few of us were daring enough to taste the blood sausage, and a collage of meats. During our main course of beef tenderloin, we were entertained by the iconic tango dance, harmonic singing with a guitar accompaniment and bolas dancing. We wrapped up our repast with a dessert of fried pastries. During all of these activities we were able to browse through the ranch gift shop for mementos of Argentina.

After our delicious lunch, we headed back outdoors for a demonstration put on by the ranch’s gauchos. We were in awe of the gaucho’s ability to train and round up work horses by using a lead horse with a bell attached and two dogs. Next we were fascinated by the gaucho’s uncanny ability to capture a dangling ring with a small metal rod while balancing on their cantering horses. Several of us received the rings captured by the gauchos and a ride around the corral. After experiencing the life of a real gaucho, once again we continued our journey to Buenos Aires where we finished up our day with a delightful dinner of pasta and ice cream. Tomorrow we look forward to experiencing the marketing aspect of Argentina’s livestock industry as we visit a large cattle auction and tour the city of 14 million people.

“The Exploring Jaguars”

Jamie, North Carolina
Laura, Tennessee
Rebecca, Virginia
Justin, Minnesota
Michael, Iowa
John, Illinois
Amy, Ohio
Nicole, Florida
Garrett, Kansas
Michelle, Florida
James, Virginia
Johanna, Kansas
Kirby, Minnesota
Brianna, Washington
Reva, Oregon
Debra, Nebraska


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