Thursday, December 17, 2009

the setup

One of my favorite movies is The Sting. Robert Redford and Paul Newman will always be the most sultry, man-duo of all time. What they have to do with Argentina? Not much. But the plot of the Sting reminds me of my upcoming travels (minus the whole conning millions of dollars out of people). :)

A "sting" is simply a setup. A moment in time that is predetermined, mapped out, formulated... a simple second schemed out ahead of time where the loser loses millions... a sting. BUT! the most important thing about a sting: the choices the person being setup makes.

My trip to Argentina is a "sting" (yet again, minus the being conned out of lots of money).

The Setup: Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina. Jan.2, 2010-April 4, 2010. I will be attending school four hours a day, five days a week at a language learning institute STRICTLY for Spanish. I am living with a family. One cat. One dog. My "mom" is a doctor and she has a son. They live in a quite neighborhood 30 minutes away from escuela.

The setup is made. BUT the most important part: what I choose to do with my time in Bariloche.

Have you ever googled Bariloche? Do it. NOW. I fell in love with Bariloche through the images I googled. The picture perfect green mountains and crystal clear lakes sang to me. The town reminds me of everything that I love about where I grew up, but then again, it truly resembles a magical forest utopia that I had only dreamed about-- let alone a place that I would ever get to travel and explore.

I have fallen in love with a place that I have never set foot in. But I am confident this excitement will allow me to fully enjoy my setup. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

thanks to the Rotary

I would be selfish to say that this trip is anything but a blessing. I have wanted to travel abroad for years. Plane hopping has always been my national pastime as my grandmother has even so gracefully pointed out-- I am the busiest person she knows.

So I have a slight problem with keeping my feet on the ground. I don't know who to blame it on but my mom and dad. They never limited me to staying home. My first BIG trip alone: Panama City with the middle school band. "I will split the price with you" is the travel motto that began then and has let me explore all of my heart and mind's desires.

Entering college, I did not expect this motto to stand. College meant big girl status. I told my mom I wanted to study abroad and I will never forget her words: If you want to study abroad, you will find a way.

Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation have answered my want to study abroad more than I could have EVER imagined. They have provided me with the tools to learn, live and return home to share with others what it means to share "service above self" as a Rotary Ambassador.

Before I leave for Argentina, I have to thank the Rotary. None of this would be possible without them, or without their ongoing mission to empower people to go and live with the intent of furthering global understanding.

Thank you. To the Rotary: in my hometown and the foundation. Thank you to my family, fiance and friends, and mostly-- thank you God for this once in a lifetime trip.