Today has been a super long day. We arrived in San Juan this morning around 11:30am local time (9:10 MN time). At this point, we had not showered since we left Minnesota and we felt disgusting. However, we all put on our matching t-shirts and were hauled off to the elementary school we are teaching at this week. When we are arrived, it was so overwhelming. The front of the school was decorated in red, white, and blue balloons, and there was a banner hanging over the street welcoming us. There were teachers and photographers in front of the school and they started taking pictures of us the moment we got off of the bus. We felt a little like celebrities. IT WAS AWESOME. haha.

From there, we proceeded into the school where we were greeted by the rest of the teachers, among other people. After, we went into the schoolyard that was behind the school. There were a lot of people waiting for us there. All of the students from the school, as well as parents, community members, dignitaries, and other faculty members. The students sang some songs to us, there were professional dancers, and another choir. During and after the program, we were asked to be in pictures with the students. I don’t know how many pictures I was in today, but I know that it was hurting to keep a smile on. It was so fun. After the ceremony, we gathered in a room for snacks and drinks to socialize with the teachers at the school.

After the social hour, we got on the buses and arrived at the University of San Juan. We are staying in the dorms there. We were able to shower for the first time since arriving in Argentina, and it felt so great. Haha. Once we were ready, we had about 20 minutes to find a little dinner, but were unable to find a spot that was not a sit-down place.

We then boarded the bus again to meet the Dean of Education at the University of San Juan, where we are staying at this week. We got a tour of the building, and got to talk to a couple of girls who went to school there. It was so fun talking to others our own age who only spoke Spanish. It really was an experience, and was so cool. We got their names so we will be able to facebook them. Unfortunately, facebook is blocked in our dorms so I will not be able to update any photos from our trip until we arrive in our hostel in Buenos Aires.

After meeting the Dean, we met the Governor. This was a super cool experience. We had cameras and news crews around us the whole time. Everything was so formal. After we had some coffee, we went into a courtyard type of place to talk a little bit to each member of the government that was present. This was really neat.

Right now, we are back at the dorms after having dinner in the cafeteria at the university. These dorm rooms are different from what we are used to. There is a bathroom in each room, but that is about it. Some of the rooms have a desk or dresser, but our room has neither. I am rooming with Morgan and Megan E. Tonight, we decorated the walls a little bit with postcards and papers we received during our different activities throughout the day.

This day has been full of adventures, and I have LOVED it! Tomorrow we are going to Sarmineto’s birthplace in the morning, and then observing at the school.

-Alex Edlund