By Chloé Margulis
The days in Argentina were dwindling and we still had so much to see and do. We visited countless flea markets where we bought the most beautiful hand crafted jewelry, shoes, and clothing to bring home to our family and friends. One market we went to was called the Fruit Market, situated along Le Tigre River and Islands.
After the market, we took a boat ride through Le Tigre Islands, which consists of bungalow-style homes. Roads don’t connect the islands, so the only way to access everything is by boat. Island homes cost around $40,000-$100,000, but the cost of living is higher because you can only drink bottled water and all food is delivered to your doorstep by a “supermarket boat.”
We attended two more dinner tango shows at the Esquina Carlos Gardel Tango Club and the Piazzolla Tango House. Both shows were incredible, embellished with American style tango and glitz like you might see on Dancing with the Stars. The costumes were bedazzled and every number was accompanied by an array of breathtaking flips and tricks.
“From all the other delights of the trip, a special one for me was to attend the tango performance at the Piazzolla theatre, where the words of the composer’s famous teacher, Nadia Boulanger, were exhibited on the walls,” Dr. Chinn, a Director and Professor of Music said. “Apart from having also been a student of Boulanger, I could hear her voice as she uttered her advice and words of wisdom.”
One day, we were supposed to go to the Malba Museum. We trekked all the way downtown to the museum just to discover that it was closed for the day. We took that misfortune and turned it around by venturing to the local Japanese Gardens.
“I had scanned my eyes across the beautiful landscape and watched faculty and students enjoy the tranquil atmosphere,” Music Professor Stephanie Watt said about the gardens. “There was a harmony among us that fed our individual souls yet we moved together in a wonderful rhythm that united us all as one entity. It was the most beautifully and serene moment of our tour.”
The last day in Argentina was bittersweet. Our group seized the day by exploring unique shops, finally checking out the Malba Museum, walking around Buenos Aires Fashion District and Polermo Soho, and visiting the Buenos Aires zoo. That night, we celebrated with dinner at our favorite bar/restaurant, a superlatives awards ceremony, and a night dancing in a Milonga Tango Club.
Milonga Tango Clubs are places in Buenos Aires where locals tango to live music. Think of it as Argentina’s version of night clubs —minus the screeching American club music. At the club, we danced among the locals, combining what we learned in the tango lessons with our own freestyle. When alumni Chris Morrison and I tried to dance the tango, a couple approached us and said, “Beginners in center. Pros on outside.” They could tell we were not only amateurs at the tango, but also tourists! After that little exchange, we left the dance floor to the more serious Argentinian locals! It was but another wonderful experience in Argentina.
Overall, I would give LIU Post Honor’s College Argentina Tour a score of 5 out of 5. By the last couple of days, everyone was “broke,” with not even enough pesos to buy coffee. Additionally, we discovered that the food was good, but nothing exceptional. We lived on empanadas and steak because those were the tastiest Argentine delicacies. We went to the famous Café Tortoni, where several American presidents ate, and we were surprised to receive nothing more than ham and cheese slapped onto an untoasted piece of bread.
“I felt energized by the interpersonal connections as each person showed a part of themselves before, during, and after each activity we attended,” said Barry Masten, a professional ballroom dance instructor. “I enjoyed the opportunity to see and hear the reactions to the Tango shows and the desire to learn more, see more, and dance more.”
“I marveled at the cohesiveness of the group, and enjoyed every moment of the trip with everyone,” Trip coordinator Mary Ann Morrison said. “We each came from varied life journeys, and yet we were one during this trip.”
“There was never a dull moment on the tour thanks to the wonderful students, faculty, and friends,” said Chinn. “The itinerary was beautifully thought out and the accommodations were excellent.”
Students who attended the trip shared the same sentiments. “Dancing for 90% of a vacation with people of common interests equates to 110 percent of a FUN vacation,” Alize Margulis, a 2014 International Business major said.
“Going to Argentina was a trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to explore the culture, face my fear of publicly speaking Spanish, and meet great people,” Ashley Arcuri, a junior Psychology major said.
I, for one, enjoyed this trip and the experiences I had with new and fun people. Until next time, Argentina!