Michael Andersen’s SA Blog entry #2

So far I have had a blast here in Argentina! So far I have been to:
-Iguazu Falls: one of the seven wonders of the world.
-Bariloche: Chocolate capital of Argentina located in the middle of the Andes mountains and has incredible scenery and great skiing.
-Mendoza: where I did bike riding, paragliding, and sunset horseback riding
-El calafate: a small town in the middle of the Andes mountains known for the Perito Moreno glacier which is the size of Buenos Aires and is still expanding. I did an amazing trek on the glacier and even went into caves under the glacier.
-Ushuaia: The southern most city of the world and where you set sail for Antartica. However I just went for the incredible beauty of the town.

Basically to sum it all up, I have been having the time of my life, learning a lot about Latin American in my studies and travels as well as learning a lot about other countries from other travelers. I would definitely say I am at a mid level of  fluidity with my Spanish.

Thinking about the themes of Act Six one that I would say I am definitely experiencing is diversity. Being in a completely different society that is generally all one race tends to be a bit strange since in the United States we are very mixed. In Buenos Aires, it is very mixed because it is a port city but other places are not like this. Another form of diversity comes from when I stay in hostels. When I stay here there are people from all over the world and it’s great to share our cultures with each other. I learn a lot about the history of other countries, political systems, and cultures. I found this quite interesting and my question that always gets these talks started is when I ask, “So what stereotypes does your country have about the United States?” This generally opens up a good deal of dialogue and the answers are generally pretty interesting. I love getting to experience all of these different cultures because it has greatly expanded my world view. The way I view the world now in comparison to when I left the states on May 23, is completely different. Doing all of this traveling makes it hard to imagine myself in one place for a long amount of time. However this has also prepared me for life because I have had a lot of time to reflect on myself and discover new found confidence. One of my most common thoughts since I have been down here is, “Oh gosh! I can’t wait to be a teacher! My students are going to love me!” Thanks to Act Six, my mom, and my family this experience of a lifetime has been made possible.

Michael at Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Argentina: One of fastest moving glaciers in the world and one of the only ones that is still expanding.

Michael paragliding over the Andes Mountains.

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