(This will be part of a series as I help develop Organic Agriculture in Cordoba, Argentina)
By: Shaan Fye
Travelling from Pittsburgh to Cordoba was a pain, to say the least. I had a 5 hour layover in Atlanta (shoutout to the Club at ATL), followed by an 11 hour overnight flight to Buenos Aires. After going through customs and immigration, I had to pick up my bag, leave the airport, and reenter in a different location. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, forgetting that it was winter in the Southern Hemisphere. As I walked outside in 45 degree weather, it dawned on me that after I stepped off the plane, I had only heard Spanish being spoken, save the immigration officer. This was going to be more difficult than I originally expected.
I walked up to the check-in stand, mumbling broken Spanish to the lady while I handed her my overweight bag. I received my ticket and soon after boarded the plane to Cordoba. It was a short 1 hour flight, and I even requested “agua” when the flight attendant asked for my drink request. After I stepped off the plane, I was greeted by signs that only had Spanish on them; if Buenos Aires had a bilingual airport, Cordoba was full-immersion. I got my bags and headed towards the exit, where my guide that would take me to my residence was waiting. After conversing with him in “Spanglish”, I rode to the house that I would be staying at for the next 3 weeks.
I am happy to say that the fear of living in a stranger’s house is overblown, at least in my case. The host-parents, an elderly couple, are wonderful people. They helped, without speaking English, show me where my room was, where my shower was, and how to warm up at night if I couldn’t bear the 50 degree temperature in my room. I unpacked all of my possessions, including my Hemp Hearts and Pro Bars from Whole Foods, and changed into something more appropriate for the weather. My dinner consisted of beets, an egg, and some iceberg lettuce. I realized that this would be a good opportunity to lose some weight, as the food was reasonably nutritious but nothing like the quantity I usually ate. I took some pictures quickly before the sun went down (it is winter), and managed to fall asleep with the excitement of travelling halfway around the world still buzzing within me.
Monday is the beginning of the project to farm, so I will update everyone once this project gets off the ground. I am excited for the upcoming adventure, even though these past 3 days have already felt like a huge one.