It’s been an adventure, I’ve seen and done a lot and met so many people in only a week! AND I have yet to arrive in my permanent town.
I had a teary goodbye at the airport last week to embark upon a 6 month internship with Niagara College and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). I’m here to work with Los Guaranies (the name of the aboriginals), in an impoverished aboriginal community in northern Argentina. In the community, called Yyryapu, they have started a school that offers workshops in English and basic business skills. They also are starting a tourism company that offers tours of their community to tourists. I could continue to recite my job posting but it was written 10 years ago so those following will learn (along with me) what my duties and responsibilities will be for the next 6 months!
I first arrived in Buenos Aires. It was so beautiful. It’s a place I could stay for an extended period of time and be very content. In as little as four days I met over 20 people, five or more of which were living in the city for extended time, all of whom are eager to show me around on my return. In Buenos Aires I met with my official host, Carmen Virasoro who runs a company that offers environmental consulting in project management of sustainable development. She set me up with a few meetings that as a Political Science student who also hasn’t spoken Spanish in a year were a little overwhelming, but I learned a lot about the environmental and resource issues in Argentina, which was very interesting.
I also dropped by Corpus. It is a small town where Tulliana, a fellow intern has been working. She works for the college in the town with the fancy title of Tourism Coordinator. Unfortunately by the time I arrived everyone she works with had gone home for the day, but I will return! She showed me the main (well.. only) square of the town. Tulliana and her developed entourage (she is quite the celebrity here) painted a few murals near the square that are very impressive. I hope in my time I can make a similar, noticeable, and positive difference in the Yyryapu community.
I am right now on my way to Iguazu and it is gorgeous. It is a sub tropical selva (jungle) where everything is a rich, lush green. The main road is paved a bit but when we stop to pick up passengers the roads are a red/ brown colour that I recently read is due to degenerated volcanic rock. Oddly there are some pine trees, that remind me of cottage country in Ontario, but with the mixture of the red ground, palm trees and blasting salsa on the bus speakers, it is evident that I’m far from any place I have been before.
My next post will be about my new home and my placement. I have heard mixed reviews of the city, but nothing but good things about my future jefe (boss) and Los Guaranies.
Ah just saw a sign for 10k left! Haha I feel like a child with butterflies in my stomach.