The Experiment in Argentina: Community Service & the Great Outdoors

By | September 5, 2019

I don’t think we could have had a better group. I think we have some sassy kids,
we have some shy kids, we have some talkative people. We have a lot of different perspectives on this trip. I mean, I’ve had a lot of interesting talks
with people that have completely different ideas than me. It teaches me that there’s
something greater than America and that there’s a worldwide community. It helps you view your community in a different way and helps you view the world
from a new perspective. I started riding horses when I was five years old, but I
stopped when I was 13, so I was really excited to get back. Oh honey, let’s not start with that. You get very sore. Horses are like people, to be honest.
They have their own personalities, they all have their own tempers. She’s a bit sassy, like me. I’d never really gotten the freedom that
I got on this trip. It’s probably one of the best feelings
I’ve ever felt before. You’re just going so fast. It feels like you’re flying. It
feels like I just want to do this forever and I never want to stop. And you
have complete faith that the horse is having a ball and that it wants to do it,
too. I would love to be a guacho in the
future. Like who needs to be a nurse? I’m going to be a gaucho. I have to be honest, boo boo, I don’t camp. That’s why I chose the program in the first place. I
only take the train and the bus every day. Okay? That’s the only thing I do. I think that’s been one of the most eye-opening; camping with my other peers. Sharing a tent with other people,
you really learn about people itself; about how they interact with you, about
how they react when they’re sick, they’re cold. Something about being in the
outdoors, you definitely grow a stronger bond. People are more than what they seem
to be. There’s so much behind a person. I was really excited to do community
service. I just wanted to leave a little piece of
myself in whatever country I went to. I like giving back to the community and I
didn’t want it to just be a trip, like a vacation. Well, here in Argentina,
Christianity and Catholicism is a huge part of their culture, and so we got to
help one of these churches. It was really hard to see the end product at the start. They gave us a bunch of sandpaper and they were like, “go sandpaper all of these
walls.” Then we started painting and after you painted everything, it was kind of
really cool because it looked so much better than before, like it was so
beautiful. To help improve it and repaint it, I felt
happy to help someone else especially in Argentina, where the people are so
generous and kind. And then it’s really good to work and get to do a hard
experience that didn’t seem fruitful at the time, but in the end it proved out to
be worth the labor. Yeah, I do love food. Everyone here knows I’m a huge advocate for meat. I think my favorite meal has been the
asado. I’m a carnivore, to the fullest. I was a pescetarian for three months,
didn’t work out. And so to have some meat was really good. Asados are Argentinian barbecue. You can smell all the food getting cooked and you’re really excited to try it because you know, like
you’re just so hungry. Oh, my god. Plenty of food. Even after you’re full, you still want to eat. And the key to it is actually eating slowly, so to your next asado, slow down. Happiness? Mmmhmm. This is so good. I really liked our day in Cafayate. In Cafayate, there’s a really
beautiful ride in a nice valley. So, you have Cafayate on one side and then an incredible rise to mountains. I think the group attitude has rubbed
off on me, and that is of playfulness and like, general happiness. I think I’ve grown as a person by
opening myself up more. I don’t really consider myself to be that open of a
person, but I guess I’ve been talking to a lot of people, and I like to listen to
people’s experiences and kind of learn from them. You just start being really
yourself and everyone starts being themselves, and you really bond over the fact that you just don’t care anymore. You’re gonna be who you are and
everyone’s going to love you for it. On our second day of camping, we got up
earlier and we took the horses up a pretty steep trail. And we’re going through all this thick junglish brush. I kind of thought there would be a
cleared out path for us. I didn’t expect to be going through thorn bushes and dodging trees in the way. Over this month, I’ve been challenged, and
I’ve been out of my comfort zone, and I think when I get back, I’ll definitely be
a lot more independent. And suddenly there was this clearing, and
we got to the top and you can just see for miles, and miles, and miles. It was probably the best month of my life. Everyone started out super open, super
nice. It really has been an adventure. The Experiment is just… fun. It’s kind of hard to put into words because you know that words really won’t do it justice. You really become close to this group of people, and a lot of things end up happening that normally wouldn’t ever happen because when
you’re spending day and night with a whole bunch of people that you never
knew, you just kind of open yourself up in ways that you wouldn’t really expect. It’s the most amazing thing you can possibly do for yourself. It gets you out of your comfort zone, but also makes you feel completely at home. It gives you new
friends. It gives you new experiences. It makes you learn what you really love to
do and what you love in people.

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