Saturday’s article in the Winona Daily News was absolutely wonderful! Jerome Christenson had it completely right that Winona has all but forgotten the amazing legacy of the first wave of Winona teachers while Argentina has never stopped forgetting or celebrating. Just recently I was using to start learning the “vos” form that is customarily used in Argentina and I became acquainted with a fellow living in Buenos Aires. On a whim I asked if he was familiar with Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and the American Teachers. To my surprise not only did he know who they were, he had also attended a Mary. O. Graham school as a child. This was a complete stranger! How cool. What an awesome legacy to be a part of.

I can honestly say that this is the most wonderful opportunity I have ever been given. The past ten hours have already been completely life changing in that I know that I am a forever traveler. Currently we are flying high above Latin America and all I can think is how hard I have worked since my junior year of high school learning Spanish and the various cultures that are a part. I have dreamt of a trip like this since I have become proficient in Spanish. I don’t think the trips of my dreams can even compare to this opportunity.

Since high school I have devoted much of my time to learning the language and the cultures of the people who speak Spanish and I have never looked back. I absolutely love every single piece of information I can get my mind wrapped around. Argentina is a culture I unfortunately do not know a whole lot about but I think that’s a good thing! I have so much to look forward to and so much to learn. For a culture and language junkie like me it doesn’t get much better than this. Solo espero que me hablen en Español.

I want to learn EVERYTHING I can while in Argentina. What do they eat? What music do they listen to? What types of things do they talk about? What do they think of us coming? What do they do for work? What is their city like? My list of questions is endless but I don’t even know where to begin! I am going to drink this whole experience in like a growing plant that has not been given water in a few days. I can’t even sleep!

I have my music turned up, all of it Spanish. Each Spanish speaking country is represented in my extensive iTunes library… The more Spanish I am exposed to now, the more ready I will be to forget my English for the few days I am away. Honestly though, I really don’t need music to be ready to speak only Spanish for any given amount of time. I have been waiting for this. Porfavor hablame en español!

Looking at the lights far below make me think of the people living beneath them. What are they like? Who are they? What are they doing now? Probably sleeping considering it’s close to 2:00am (12:00pm Winona, MN time.) All I wish is that I could be there… experiencing the life in their towns. I can hold out though, for Argentina. I will just have to make sure to start planning my next adventure immediately. But to which place? So many questions and I feel that 12 days (now 11) will not be nearly enough to answer all of them or even to scratch the surface of everything I want to know.

I have never traveled internationally before. Many people cannot believe this because of my strong love for the cultures and experiences of all the people I meet. Each new opportunity for me to learn about someone new is a way for me to feel more at peace with the world and myself. I love everything I have ever learned about my international friends and each and every one of them has convinced me to travel abroad, whether they realize that or not.

The world is a beautiful place because of all the cultural diversity that it holds. All I have ever known is the U.S. ways and I am extremely excited to be able to start learning, first hand, the culture of another. Who knows, maybe I won’t return. I’ve already warned my mother. I think she is expecting it from me.

Halfway there… halfway! 

I don’t even want to sleep. I might miss something. I understand that we are super high above the world and nothing too interesting can happen on this flight but the people I have the potential of meeting! Why waste ever opportunity to get to know someone new? If I don’t sleep now, I will be too tired to pay attention to anything later. We are in the air now and I am excited about the lights below me… what am I going to be going to do when we are in a bus and the culture is going to be surrounding me? I am going to drown in the only substance that makes me happy. I cannot wait!

I started this out as a blog post, but clearly it has turned into something very, very different. I will just have to pick and choose the best passages of what I have written here. But how? I can’t even think of figuring out how to choose a picture or media file that perfectly fits what I am feeling right now. Or at all. Since Minneapolis I have been in a daze. In Atlanta, GA I still didn’t realize what was happening to me. Even still after seeing the lights in the distance I have no idea what to expect. My level of excitement is steadily growing.

I don’t even think I will be all that excited leaving the plane, or walking around the airport. Hasta que puedo ver el paisaje y mirar todo que hay en Argentina no voy a saber como estoy emocionada.

– Amanda Glunz