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Wednesday
Jul302008

SPAN Argentina


After only 6 weeks in Argentina I can see what has made the SPAN program such a success. The independence and ability to meld with a foreign culture are truly unique opportunities. 


Beyond that, getting to be a part of history in the making here is an incredible experience. Last week there were massive protests regarding the attempt to impose much higher taxes on the nation's farmers. I went to the rally for the farmers where there were over 200,000 people. There, I climbed up a fence and held onto the wrought iron bars for a good hour to gain a vantage point of the demonstration. Staying up that night to watch the vote, it went until 0430 and when it was all over, there were celebrations.

While at a conference on judicial efficacy, I met the head of the Argentine Supreme Court and got to talk with him regarding judicial independence. 


Sitting in on trials, and my whole project here has become more interesting as my Spanish has improved. I’ve got a good grasp of the situation at hand during the proceedings. At the end of some of these trials, I eat lunch down in the holding cell area with the jailers. It’s a good look of the hospitality I have received here as an American student. Not the detail about sitting in jail, rather the openness and welcome to join in the Argentine life.


I have to close with the food in Argentina, it is well worth writing about. Their beef is all grass-fed and tastes fresher than ours in the US. Beyond that, it's incredibly inexpensive compared to most any meat in the states. One can go into a decent restaurant, order a steak, mashed potatoes, a glass of wine and a dessert and expect to pay under U$S 10.00.


I think sticker shock is an appropriate thing to add to my list of what will surprise me being back in my native land come September. 

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