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Updates and Argentina Bucket List!

June 11, 2010

Before I get into just blogging for the fun of it, I have a couple of exciting announcements I want to share:

  1. 4 additional Bryant students who will be studying abroad this fall have volunteered their time to blog for this project! Their names and locations are: Sandra Moloney (Queensland, Australia); Emmanuelle Calvet (Beijing, China); Dhara Shah (Athens, Greece), and Ami Shah (Barcelona Spain). You can access their blogs by clicking the location links, or on the Bryant Study Abroad website under Announcements…  Some of the girls have already gotten started and some are still busy with their summers but keep an eye out for some great blog posts coming soon from everyone!
  2. I found out a few days ago that I was selected as a Gilman Scholarship recipient! This is such an honor and a huge relief since I was definitely scrambling trying to figure out how I was going to afford to study abroad. And while I was planning on completing this project either way, it’s definitely nice to know that all of my hard work hasn’t been for nothing (excuse the double-negative!). 🙂
  3. I will be interning with a “green” marketing startup company 15 hours/week for at least 3 months of the time that I am in Buenos Aires. I am really looking forward to this experience and will keep you updated on how it goes!

Alright now on to the fun stuff . . . It is now less than 7 days until I leave for Argentina! 168 hours from now I will be on a plane flying over South America, anticipating the experience ahead. 5 months . . . 5. Months. Wow. In spite of all of the preparations I’ve been doing (you wouldn’t believe how many details there are to handle!) I am still finding it difficult to wrap my mind around this. I am about to leave for a country I’ve never been to, where I don’t know anyone and barely speak the language (2 years of Spanish feels like nothing in the face of full immersion). And I am going to live there for 5 months. Can you think of a more exciting adventure??

I’ve talked to a couple of people who have studied abroad in Argentina, and a few of others who have vacationed there and so far I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about the country and its people. Buenos Aires is supposed to be phenomenal; from the museums and parks to the food and the nightlife. And the countryside is said to be breathtaking; from Iguazu Falls in the north to the vineyards of Mendoza, all the way to Ushaia, the southernmost city it the world.

I’m going to try to write a few times before I leave so that I can share a little bit about my preparations for the trip, my hopes/fears/dreams, and so I can make up for the potential lack of writing when I first arrive as I try to get adjusted and figure out where the best internet cafes are in my area. Tonight I’ll leave you with a short bucket list I’ve come up with of things I would love to do while I am in Argentina. The list is mostly taken from what I’ve read about in travel books; with some silly goals and other quite lofty ones (the bolded words are links to related websites in case you want more info). Bear in mind as you read this that it is just the beginning. From the moment I land in Argentina I intend to ask everyone (alright maybe not everyone, but close enough) what should be on that list. And even as it grows, I hope to begin checking things off, one by one. 🙂

Argentina Bucket List

El Ateneo Bookstore. Source: http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=223013

Visit El Ateneo – an incredibly beautiful old theater that was converted into a bookstore. If this is close enough to where I live I will be spending a lot of time here. Yes, I am a nerd.
Visit Ushuaia, the “southernmost city in the world.”

See the wineries of Mendoza. I’ve been told that it’s imperative that I take a bicycle tour of the wineries, which sounds hilarious and definitely makes my list.

See a show at Teatro Colón. 

Go to a football game. Argentinians are infamously fanatical football (what we refer to as soccer in the U.S.) fans.

Go to Argentina’s Oktoberfest. I’ve still never made it to the one in Munich, so I figure why wait any longer? This is just one of the many ways that Argentinians show their pride at their European roots.

See an Ombú Tree. Just for the heck of it.

Iguazu Falls. Source:

 Visit Iguazu Falls. It’s like Niagara Falls, only better.

See a glacier close up.

Learn the Argentine Tango well enough to dance it socially. This is much easier said than done (believe me).

Learn to speak Spanish fluently (fingers crossed!).

That’s all of the admittedly very touristy things I’ve come up with so far! I am looking forward to learning about some of the more hidden treasures once I arrive. 🙂 Check back often for updates!

Excited and nervous,
Makena

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