Final Thoughts on Argentina

Florianopolis Travel Blog

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JB Boonstra


            Yesterday was my last day in Argentina…for a month. I feel especially lucky that I get to go back to Buenos Aires, if only for a few days. No one else on the trip gets to do that. When the program ends in Sao Paulo, I am taking a bus for 36 hours back to BA. I get there on the 9th of July and fly out for the States on the 13th. I’m excited and nervous about the bus ride at the same time. On one hand, I’ll get to see so much of both the Brazilian and Argentine country side. But on the other hand, it’s 36 hours. That’s a heck of a long time. But the busses are pretty comfortable and they’ll stop every few hours for meals and stuff. I’ve already bought a couple books to read, and I’ll make sure to charge my mp3 player. I think I’ll be ok. Then when I get there, I’ll have 4 days alone with my family. I’m really excited about that. I’ll spend time with them and I’ll call Douglas, my Argentine friend, and hang out with him some. It’ll be a great chance to tie up all the loose ends before I head home.

            I am so glad I had the chance to experience Argentina this summer. It has been something I’ve been dreaming of for a long, long time. Ever since I was a kid, with my dad and my grandparents telling me stories about Argentina, I have wanted very much to visit. Though I only got a small and brief glimpse of Argentine culture and my family’s heritage since I was only there for a month and only in Buenos Aires, I feel very fortunate that I was given this opportunity. My grandfather, the one from Chubut, Argentina, passed away when I was 10 years old. Now, having seen his home country and learning about its history and the events that he experienced firsthand, I feel I know him more than ever. I wish that he was still alive and I could sit down and talk with him about everything that I’ve seen and learned. Someday I want to go to the state of Chubut, in Southern Argentina. I want to see where he lived and talk to the people that knew him. I wish I could have done that on this trip, but Chubut is simply too far for the limited time I had in the country. But I’m ok with that, especially since I was able to meet part of his/my family. My family in Buenos Aires has told me a lot of stories that I had never heard before. My uncle here (he’s really my second cousin since he’s the son of my great uncle, and my dad’s cousin, but I call him uncle) reminds me very much of my grandfather. Though I was only 10 when he died, I still remember his face and his mannerisms and see them very distinctly in my uncle. The time in Argentina has taught me a lot about my grandfather, my family, my heritage, and the world in general that I didn’t know before. This has definitely been a life-changing trip. I think I’ve caught the Argentine bug. I’ve fallen in love with the country and know for a fact that I will return one day. Maybe I’ll even end up living there for a while. Argentina is so rich in culture and history, it would be hard to get bored there. I feel very proud that I can say that I am part Argentine and that my family has passed some of the Latin American customs through me. Now I feel even more connected to the history and spirit of Argentina, having been there and experienced firsthand everything that I was told as a child. Now, I feel very lucky that I will be able to pass everything I know and have experienced on to my children, continuing the Argentine story in my family.

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photo by: Vagabondatheart