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Thomas: Some interesting things

September 13, 2011

As I was eating breakfast I looked out of the kitchen window to see two calabash gourds sitting next to an empty bottle of Spring Grove Pop. I thought the symbolism would make for a great picture. 

The gourds are quite ubiquitous in Argentina and in other Latin American countries. Natives use them to drink Mate (pronounced ma-tay). Mate is a traditional drink that is prepared by steeping special herbs in hot water. It contains a lot of caffeine and many natives drink it throughout the day for an added energy boost. Unfortunately I have yet to try it, but soon I will. Wikipedia for more.

Before my class visited a ranch and enjoyed an asado last Friday to the rural areas in the Province of Buenos Aires, we stopped in the city of Luján to see a very big church. 

La Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Luján, as it’s called, reaches 350 feet into the sky. It has been building up from a small chapel since 1887. In 1630 a terra-cotta statuette of the Virgin Mary was being hauled via ox and cart from Brazil to Peru when it suddenly became stuck in the middle of nowhere. The statue’s curators took it as a divine hint that the statue wasn’t supposed to go any further. So they left it there and build a chapel around it. Today, about 6 million people make a pilgrimage to this site. Many of them walk from the city of Buenos Aires, which takes about 14.5 hours.  IMG_0329 IMG_0330 IMG_0332 IMG_0364 IMG_0365 IMG_0366 IMG_0367 IMG_0368 IMG_0369 

Also, on Saturday, I took a stroll down to the Casa Rosada (the Argentinean President’s workspace) again. On the weekends they open the building for visitors so I walked in and looked around. There wasn’t much to see, but I have some photos.

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