Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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Argentina 2014

Ave 9 de julio

The 8 months I spent abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina were phenomenal! Not only did I learn more about myself and how to carry myself through different groups of people, I learned more about the importance of establishing an international civil community.

In the first picture, I was fortunate to reunite with one of my friends from high school who had contacted me that he was in Buenos Aires as well. Not only were we excited to catch up but also extremely thrilled to experience the World Cup together. Having acknowledged the small town my friend and I grew up in, we both were very blessed to have the opportunity to travel and live abroad. Being surrounded by literally almost a million people on Ave 9 de Julio (one of the world’s largest/widest streets), due to the victory of a soccer game was such an amazing feeling. Granted that I was a foreigner, the unity and excitement that lingered throughout the crowd created a sense of approval that I was becoming less of a foreigner and adopting Argentine values.

Going abroad to Argentina was my first trip alone were I would be staying longer than three months in a foreign country. I left the US a few months before my program started in order to travel and see the most of Argentina. The second image is of one of the ‘almost’ seven wonders of the world–Iguazu Falls. This was one of my first big trips out of the city of Buenos Aires. This trip was most meaningful to me because it was the first of many successful trips around the country. I traveled on a bus that took 22 hours with a companion I met through school. Upon arriving to Missiones, Argentina not only were we tired, hungry and a bit stressed when finding the hostel we booked the night before leaving; we had managed to have a successful week long stay. The next morning we hiked up to the national park of Iguazu. Our first sight of these tremendous waterfalls: the gorgeous jungle background, tropical birds, the weight of the water and its isolated setting–left us speechless. Our feelings of being homesick and stressed had disappeared. Rejuvenating. Just rejuvenating… I cannot describe what I felt that day when seeing the falls for the first time. It was more than just a breath of fresh air away from the city; the strength of the waterfalls encouraged me to live my trip and life to the fullest because I never knew when I would be coming back.

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