We have been back from Iguazù since Monday afternoon. On Monday, we ended up passing on the jungle tour since it was raining and we had already had one complete day of being wet and instead went to the Wanda Mines. It was interesting to see the minerals but the two hour tour was more like a half tour followed by 1.5 hours where they wanted you to shop in their stores and buy jewelry/etc. they had made. Not wanting to disappoint, I found a few pieces of jewelry to buy for family and myself, but wished that I could have seen more of the mines.
Monday night, Jen, Bryan and I had dinner with Jen’s new host family since Miriam had a Jewish Easter celebration to attend. Our dinner was in a pizzeria owned by the brother of Jen’s host mom.
At this point, the days are flying and running together. I honestly just had to check the computer to see what day it is. Today we woke up early and went to a Rotary meeting. This was the first early morning Rotary meeting we have attended here. It was a fun meeting and I talked with a gentleman from the US who has started a business exporting Argentine goods to regional areas in the US. I hope to be able to get together with him later this week to discuss this more because it sounds like he has learned a lot about Argentina in the process. He originally came down here on a Rotary scholarship to study for his masters in something like Latin America Economics.
Before the Rotary meeting had even finished, we packed up and headed to a chocolate factory with Gabby. It was very fun to tour the plant and see how they make various types of chocolate candies (and taste them.) Unfortunately, we were not able to take pictures inside of the factory.
Following the chocolate factory, we had an amazing lunch at a very old restaurant and then went to the famous Book Fair (the largest in Latin America.) I enjoyed wandering around looking at the books and bought about six Argentine books at the 8th grade reading level in Spanish. It is a little embarrassing but the only way I will ever get through a book in Spanish. I bought one “grown up” book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez to read if I can advance to that level. I also bought a book on Argentine slang and then enjoyed saying bad words that mean nothing to me outload and watch Gabby cringe and “shoosh” me. Seeing so many amazing Argentine and Latin American books inspired me to really work on my Spanish when I get back to the states.
Later, we had a couple of hours of “rest” at Miriam’s before our evening Rotary meeting where we ate at 10pm and presented around 11pm. By 11, our Spanish is often in the meltdown mode so we never know how well the late Rotary meetings will go. This one was fun and we had a lot of audience participation.
Two funny quotes came out of the meeting. Jen said that her knife finger (the finger you use to cut with a knife) is sore from so much use, cutting beef and eating such complex meals for every lunch and dinner. Later, Beth was asked by Miriam where she lived (Miriam was trying to find her a ride home) and she responded that she did not know, but would check. This kind of exemplifies the sometimes cluelessness we feel.
Tomorrow, we are going to see some sort of military ceremony, followed by a visit to a commodities trader of grains and then all of us except the new grandfather, Don, have a free afternoon. I think the plan is to exercise. In the evening, we have a going away dinner with all of the people who have spent time with us while we have been here. I better pass on the mascara.
It is approaching 2am, so that is all for now.
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