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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Visiting Buenos Aires and Puerto Iguazu

The weekend before last, I went to see the capital, and I'm glad to say that Buenos Aires and I have reconciled after our rough start. I loved the city, and the place we stayed was incredible. It was an apartment of a couple who rents out rooms, and they were some of the most interesting and kind people I've met! Damian is a carpenter and his wife is an artist, so they had redone their whole apartment themselves. It was in San Telmo, the oldest part of Buenos Aires, where tango was born. If anyone ever plans to go to Buenos Aires, I highly recommend staying there - it really made my trip. I took a tour of Buenos Aires to see all the must-see places like La Boca, Palermo, Puerto Madero, La Recoleta, and of course Avenida 9 de Julio, one of the 3 widest streets in the world. I also went to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the fine arts museum, several markets that are world-famous, and had some excellent steak! But the highlight of the trip was meeting up with Mom for a day when she arrived to study in Buenos Aires. We had a great time together, but I was still glad to return to Cordoba on Monday, which has really begun to feel like my home here in Argentina.

Last weekend was unbelievable. I went to Puerto Iguazu, a town in the province of Misiones at the borders of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brasil. I met up with Mom in Buenos Aires and we flew to Iguazu, and as we approached the airport in Iguazu (which has only 2 gates and looks more like a little hostel from Europe than an airport in the middle of the rainforest) I saw the a dense jungle of the most intense green color that I could have ever imagined. On the ride to our residencia, Mom pointed out that if you walked 10 meters from the road you'd be completely lost - that's how thick the trees and plants were. We spent the whole day Saturday in el Parque Nacional de Iguazu, the national park on the Argentinean side of Iguazu falls. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I had looked at a lot of pictures of the falls before going, but my imagination didn't even begin to do them justice. In addition to the falls, there were more butterflies there than I have seen in all my life put together. We saw coatis, which are animals that look like a cross between a racoon and an anteater. They were not shy at all, those little guys will steal food out of your purse while you are holding it! We also saw enormous iguanas and even a toucan! On Sunday we went to the park on the Brazilian side, which we weren't sure if we would be able to do, since Brasil requires a visa from Americans, which we did not have. However, there weren't any problems, although my passport now has a stamp that says I left Argentina and returned but doesn't say where I went, since you can't technically enter without a visa. So according to that, I disappeared for one day... my teacher is now calling me an illegal immigrant. The falls were amazing, though, and if you ever get the chance to go, it's a must see. Apparently when Eleanor Roosevelt saw them, the first thing she said was, "Poor Niagara."

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