Friday, September 12, 2008

El Campo

So June 27th 2008 was a friday, which meant no class. But La Universidad de San Andres did made plans for our group that day- we were going out to visit "una estancia" an hour or so away from Buenos Aires. The trip to the ranch had a rough start, there was heavy fog on the route we were taking so the authorities were pulling trucks off the road, which led to some extreme congestion. I forget how long it actually took us to get out to the ranch, but I think it was in the range of 3 hours.

It was amazing how quickly the packed roads and high-rise buildings of Buenos Aires gave way to wide open, mostly flat country strecthing out in all directions. It was like two different worlds less than a half hour apart. Once we got to the estancia, which was basically a tourist ranch, we did all kinds of touristy things like watching "traditional" dances while eating delicious asado. Along with tourists from all over, including what looked to be an elementary school group from somewhere else in Argentina, we drank mate, rode horses, and watched horsemen at full gallop attempt to spear little metal rods through the middle of rings that they hung from a magnetic pole like this:

Although spending half a day at a touristy ranch can hardly be considered experiencing "el campo," it was at least cool to catch a glimpse of something other than the city. In class and at my argentine home my teachers and host parents always talked about how life in the country was way different from city livin'. They say that people talk much more slowly, pronounce words differently, and are generally nicer and less stressed. It was ironic that during my time in B.A. most of the people I saw who were from the campo were yelling and protesting against "Las Retenciones" (the export taxes) that Kristina Kirchner had raised (more on this later).
One more thing to note was that estancia had a little dairy themed art gallery, which actually had some pretty cool art. My favorite piece was definitely this one at left. It was life sized!

A good chunk of the group posing in the ranch's lookout tower

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