Monday, March 28, 2016

Argentina Recap

Well, I've officially been home from Argentina a week and as glad as I was to finally be home after a , I'm actually finding myself missing it! I had such an amazing experience traveling out of the country with my school and learned so much while making a ton of new friends!

I never really got into this much on the blog, but I was in Argentina through a program at USC's business school called LINC, which stands for "Learning about International Commerce." The trip was centered around learning about the global economy and global business practices to help us understand how the US works in relation to foreign countries. Everyday we met with 3-4 different companies and got a chance to learn about their history and specialties as well as ask them as many questions as we wanted. It was such an enriching experience and opened my eyes to so many economic difficulties happening outside of the US that I didn't know about before. It was so interesting for me to see how many of the businesses were actually fourth and fifth generation family owned and see how much history and tradition has been sustained within them. We also saw some tech startups which were really cool and exciting! 

When the meetings were over, we had the evenings free to enjoy together! Luckily I had one of my best friends as my roommate for the trip and we had so much fun absorbing ourselves in the Argentine culture. We ate our dinner between 11:30 and midnight and got to experience some Argentine nightlife afterwards as well! 



There was so much to see as we drove through the city - from small bars and cafes to beautiful european style buildings and balconies, there was just so much to take in. I probably have 50 different pictures in my camera roll of just different balconies on buildings because they were all just so so pretty! I've never been to France, but they felt very Parisian to me! 


We stopped by a fun open air market, which was amazing. Part of what made it so interesting was that it wasn't very "touristy," so we really got to feel as if we were part of the culture. We saw street performers, mimes, and even a live tango demonstration! Street carts were selling popcorn, cotton candy, and other snacks. One even had dulce de leche filled churros! Unfortunately, when we came to the market none of us had had the chance to exchange our money yet, so I didn't get to try one, but let me just tell you - they smelled to. die. for. 



One of my favorite parts of my trip to Buenos Aires was visiting Boca. This neighborhood is known for it's beautifully colored buildings and let me just tell you, it does not disappoint! I was in total awe of it all. Definitely a must see if you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires! 


Our last meal of the night, we got to experience a traditional Argentine "Asado," which is a meal during which you gather with friends and family, talk, and eat all different kinds of grilled meat. We ate at Steaks by Luis (another must if you're in the city) and it might have been one of the best meals I've ever had. Perfect for getting the traditional Argentine experience if you don't actually have your own grill to do it on! The above was our starter, but I didn't get a good shot of the meat! You'll just have to take my word for it. 


Part of what made this trip to Argentina so special was the chance to get to meet some of my family for the first time. My grandparents moved from Argentina to California so that my grandpa could study at the California Institute of Technology and left all of their family behind, so my dad has so many cousins and relatives there that I've never met! I got to meet up with one of my dad's cousins twice while I was there and even met his daughter who is my age! On the last day of the trip, before heading to the airport, they picked me up and drove me about an hour away to their farm where they raise racehorses. I got to pet them and play with the 5 month old ponies and they were all so sweet and friendly! It was so much fun and helped me rekindle my love for (and get over my fear of) horses! 

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