Last weekend I visited Iguazu Falls, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world! It lies in the northern province of Misiones, which is bordered by Brazil on the right and Paraguay on the left.
I went with Kristen, one of my housemates, with a program that offeres different trips and activities to international students living in Buenos Aires. We took a bus there which took about 16 hours on the way there, and about 18/19 on the way back (when in reality it should have only been about 12/13 hours but when you're travelling with 200+ people, time constraints cannot exist).
Iguazu Falls in by far the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life, and makes Niagara Falls look like a little creek.
Words cannot even begin to describe the views, so I will let the pictures do the talking:
Kristen and I at the enterance to the park
Toucan in the jungle!
The teaser: Dos Hermanas waterfalls
Just one section of the falls!
View from on top of some of the falls
Yes this is real
We went on a boat that went underneath these, like the maid of the mist but way closer and way more intense. It was terrifying, given that I'm afraid of being under water but hey, at least we got to see the falls from this close up.
We also visited the Triple Fronteras which is where you can see Paraguay and Brazil from Argentina.
We got really lucky because while we were there the weather was in the mid 70's the whole time and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. But the weekend before, and the one after it has been in the 40's and 50's there, dreary and rainy. So glad we went when we did.
The beauty of Iguazu Falls was just breathtaking. Every single day I spend in this country and every new experience I have just makes me so much more grateful for this opportunity. I never want to leave, and I know this won't be my only experience living in Argentina in my life.
As far as general life updates go:
- School is fine. I feel like I'm rarely there though because I only have 1 class on Monday's, Wednesdday's, and Thursday's, no classes on Friday's, and 3 classes on Tuesday's (all of which are ridiculously easy). I'm taking advanced Spanish which is easy, Advanced Oral Production which is just talking for an hour and a half, Tango Dancing, and a literature class.
- Soccer is still amazing. We finally start games again next Saturday! Also I'm going to join another team, a club one separate from school.
- I started guitar lessons, and they're going so well! My professor is so sweet and talented, and his English is my favorite thing ever, he's the only person I let speak English to me--haha.
- My Spanish has REALLY improved. I feel pretty comfortable in the language, and can pretty much express myself in most situations. I definitely have a lot of room to improve though.
- 5 people from our house have left to go back home in the past few weeks, and another person is leaving this Saturday, which I really just am dreading.
Lastly, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do after I graduate and my plans have changed quite a bit after only being here for 2 months. I've come to realize that maybe a Ph.D. isn't exactly what I want to pursue. I've finally started to enjoy living my life, without being so concerned about perfection. I'm learning to stop stressing about things that don't matter. The difference between and A- and an A is nothing that determines anything about my worth, capabilities, or intelligence. It says more about work ethic than it does about anything else, but stressing about grades is something that takes away from my ability to relax and enjoy myself.
I like research but I don't think it's something that I want to spend the majority of my 20's on. I've always had the end goal of becoming a counselor, and that hasn't changed, but I don't need a Ph.D. to do that. I figure that I can get my master's in mental health counseling in 2/3 years, and then just go into counseling from there. I want to travel more before I start my career though. Once I start counseling I can't just tell my clients, "Yeah well I'm going to teach English in Argentina for the next 6 months so I'll see you when I get back, seeya." I don't think it really works that way. I'm really interested in coming back down here, to maybe live in the north and teach English. There are month long courses you can take to become certified to teach, which would give me the perfect opportunity to come back.
So the end goal is the same, just how and when I'm going to get there is changing a bit. There's no point in being so hardcore about studies if you're not enjoying yourself and making the most out of every dream you have in the meantime.
We will see what happens, but right now, that's where my thought process is.
Oh and p.s. I'm not coming back in November, I'm changing my plane ticket to stay almost a month longer. I'm sorry, I just love it too much to leave!