You may wonder what is going on with me. I said I was leading a study abroad program and yet all it’s been so far is me and Mary running around South America. We came early because there was lingering worry that I would need “extra” help with medical supplies. I won’t go into details but those who know me well know that, despite appearing the very picture of health, I’m dependent on some sophisticated meds on a daily basis. So, our paranoid thinking (shared by me, my parents, my employers, support staff, random passersby) is that I may need to make contacts with doctors and arrange prescriptions and whatnot. It also seemed a good idea to settle into the area(s) and get used to navigating in Spanish, etc. Mary came down with me because all involved agreed that I may not be up to it on my own.
There were absolutely no issues of any kind. The meds got sorted, the navigating got done and, so, we poked around a bit.
That is all about to change. Students arrive tomorrow. Hint #1 that we’re not in the United States: orientation is during the Super Bowl. As usual ahead of the first day of class, I’m excited, nervous and cautious all at the same time. The students are in home-stays and there is support staff – great folks – in both Chile and Argentina so my interactions with and responsibility for the students will be significantly less than when I did this in London.
Having some time, we headed to Iguazu Falls for two days. We were just over 48 hours door to door. Like our trip to Punta Arenas, it was strange coming back to a place and feeling like we’d arrived home when we had spent so little time there. As I write, we haven’t yet been in the Buenos Aires apartment for 24 hours. And, yet, it was a great relief to walk in the door. Iguazu was incredible and amazing and we had a great stay in town at the Hotel St. George. We walked every open trail in the park twice and were generally blown away. It’s been a dream of mine to go there for many years and I was not disappointed.
As my phone has reported, there were also some nervous moments, too (see previous entry). I will do a full write up on Iguazu down the road. I really, really, really hope the students can get up there but the Argentina portion of the program is packed, much like a summer course. The time in Chile is arranged more like a normal semester (because, for the Chileans, it is).
For now, here is a photo that does little justice to the falls.
We also walked to Tres Fronteras in Puerto Iguazu. Puerto Iguazu (the town in which we stayed) is at the confluence of the Rio Parana and Rio Iguazu (which flows east and in about 10 miles falls off the world). The confluence also marks the border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. We didn’t cross the border – though you can for a few pesos by ferry) because Brazil charges a steep reciprocity fee and we had missed the last ferry to Paraguay. Alas. In the photo below, Paraguay is across the water to the left, Brazil across the water to the right and we’re standing in Argentine territory.
Mary especially likes this photo because, being shot in panoramic mode, it has distorted her but not so much that it’s hugely obvious. But upon study, she looks very weird. I assure you, she has not been rent asunder by the southern hemisphere. Also, I warned her to move.