home, home on the campo

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…where the gauchos and ponies roam? Today we went to San Antonio de Areco, which is a campo about 2 hours outside of Buenos Aires. The country girl in me forgot how nice it is to be surrounded by trees and breathing in nature instead of smog! We had to be at FLACSO at 9 am this morning, so we got to the campo around 11:15 or so. The first thing I did when I got there was take my camera (which I’ve recently taken to calling Señor Nikon – very appropriate) on a nice long walk around the area. After walking among nature for a while, a few of us went around to the living areas, and we saw 4 adorable black puppies and their mother! They were SO cute and furry and wiggly, it just made our day! Not to mention it was about 63-65 F or so today, so it was a beautiful sunny day to spend outside.

After taking lots of pictures (mostly of the puppies), I waited in a line to ride horses!! Soooo gaucho of me, right? (I’m not really a horse person – I don’t dislike them, but it’s not really one of my favorite things to do. I figured, “when in the campo,” right?) Go figure, I get stuck on (literally, no joke) the TALLEST and BIGGEST horse in the entire lot. Even the gauchos were riding smaller horses than me! Also, this horse was a total alpha male, and insisted on walking in front of the entire group, and wouldn’t stop when I wanted it to. I don’t know if “Whip my hair” was a popular song in Argentina, but there is no doubt that the horse I was on was definitely channeling Willow Smith. Every time I tried to make him stop, he would just throw his head back, and I was terrified that he’d smack me with the back of his head! So as much as I enjoyed the horses, I was relieved to get down and go to lunch. For lunch, which was a nice sit-down in the huge main hall, we had asado, chicken, salad, potatoes, and veggies. For dessert, we had crepes with dulce de leche and chocolate 🙂 Yum!

After eating way too much, there was a dance show! A couple did a few traditional dances, and then taught anyone who wanted to learn! I learned how to zamba (not to be confused with the Brazilian samba) – it was pretty easy, but I did get to do it with the actual guy, which was lucky, so I guess there was no way I could’ve screwed it up too badly! After seeing lots of cool dancing (which finished with a men’s dance that looked like a mix between tap and riverdance), the gauchos put on a show for us! They showed us some traditional gaucho games that are played on horses, and then did some fabulous tricks with them! There was one man who brought out his horse and did all sorts of amazing things, like laying down the horse and laying down next to it, laying under it while it was standing, etc. It was wonderful to see how much trust there is between the horse and the gaucho, since the horses are trained without any sort of blows or pain, so they learn to trust humans and not fear them (SO different from things like the circus and other shows).

The day was not over yet! After the horse show, some of the FLACSO coordinators showed us how to make yerba mate (Argentine bitter tea that is made and drunk in a social context). I tried it! I had it first plain, which was suuuper bitter, and then I put sugar in a different one with the tea, which made it a little better. I want to like it so much that I might just make myself drink it until I do! Haha!

This day totally flew by! It’s probably one of the days that’s gone by the fastest here! It was wonderful to get out of the city – I didn’t realize how much I missed the country. Being away from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires was a nice break for our minds and bodies (and lungs), especially since we got to see another part of Argentine culture. Hopefully I can find another campo or ranch outside the city, maybe to go to for a weekend away!

Tonight, hopefully out to celebrate a friend’s birthday (before which I will drink my Vitamin C water like it’s my job, and lots of tea)!

xoxo,

Genevieve

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2 Comments

Filed under Travel

2 responses to “home, home on the campo

  1. Mom

    Loved the pictures. The puppies are so ccccuuuuutte!!! Some of the photos look like postcards. Beautiful. Senor Nikon is working hard!
    Glad to hear you had a back to natural day. Its good for the body and soul.
    Have a great weekend.
    Love you
    Mom

  2. Jessie

    YES YOU CAN USE YOUR MATE THAT I GAVE YOU!!

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