Hi everyone, I’m sorry about the brief delay in posts. Would you believe they make us give presentations and take midterms during study abroad?! How rude! Anyway, I’ve been trying to get caught up with school work and thus am a little behind in posting. So expect a couple this week to make up for the absence.

Two weeks ago, I went with my program to Iguazú Falls for the weekend. At 5:30 am, after being woken by my roommate, Stephanie, since I slept through my alarm, the two of us took a cab to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires, Jorge Newberry.  There, we met the other six students from our program and our site director, Gaby.

The whole ASA gang. I'm the short girl in the middle.

We then took a two-hour, uneventful flight from Buenos Aires to the airport in Iguazú. Did you know? Airlines in Argentina serve meals even for short domestic flights, score!

We were met at the airport by our guide, Bea. She gave us a brief overview of our schedule, gave us some tips for exploring the town and explained that the name “Iguazú” comes from the Guarani words for “big water”.

We arrived at our hotel, the beautiful Jardin de Iguazú, and I immediately grabbed my book (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, loved it!) and went to relax by the pool.  When we left Buenos Aires, the weather was in the upper-50’s, lower-60’s (Fahrenheit), so the 90-degree weather in Iguazú felt like summer break!

The pool at our hotel. I spent a lot of time relaxing here during the weekend.

After a morning of relaxing and exploring the little town of Iguazú, we were picked up by our zip-lining and rappelling guide. Driving by the rickety zip-line platforms in the jungle did nothing to calm my nerves, but I was determined not to miss out on the fun. After getting geared up, we climbed the wooden staircase (the scariest part) to the take-off point. After waiting in line, I clipped in and was on my way.

Zip-lining through the trees. Too fast even for the camera! Thanks to my friend David for the photo.

Upon seeing the first platform, I started slowing down too early and got stuck out on the line. Luckily, one of the guides quickly clipped on, used his arms to “zip” towards me, interlocked my ankles in his feet and pulled me the rest of the way to the platform.  Clearly I’m not the only person that’s done that!

We zipped between 4 different platforms and honestly I was more afraid climbing on the rickety wooden platforms than actually being on the line. It was pretty incredible to be floating above the trees like that. Once I relaxed, I really enjoyed the view from up there.  Definitely an experience I want to repeat!

One of the platforms we zip-lined to.

After zip-lining, we went to another part of the forest to go rappelling. Maybe I was feeling invincible after conquering the zip-line, but I was not afraid at all for the rappelling. Big mistake. The rappelling wasn’t particularly adventurous or scary (I mean, come on, I’ve been skydiving for goodness sake!) but I wasn’t prepared for the drop my stomach took when I first went down the cliff. Was pretty fun though!

Attempting to rappel down a cliff near Iguazú Falls. Scarier than I expected!

Saturday we spent the day hiking through the Iguazú Falls National Park (a UNESCO world heritage site), waved at Brasil from across the river, and enjoyed the many views of the falls. Unfortunately, a recent flood had torn down the pedestrian bridge to the largest waterfall, La Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), but we were still able to view it from afar. Personally,  I was more impressed by the line of 8-10 large waterfalls in a row (there are a total of 275 drops in the park).

Getting sprayed by the Falls.

Being at the falls, I was reminded of something a friend of mine told me before I came to Argentina, “Iguazú Falls makes Niagara look like a faucet!”. I have to agree.

A Coati in Iguazú Falls National Park. This little guy tried to unzip my purse and steal my apple!

I just got back from my third photography class here in Buenos Aires. It can be a bit overwhelming at times. Unlike the university classes I’m taking for credit, I’m the only native English-speaker and the class is not designed around my needs. In addition to a lot of fast Spanish, the discussions often involve technical photography terms which sound nothing like their English counterparts that I am so familiar with. But, I’m not complaining.  The class is fantastic practice for my Spanish (although I don’t think I’ll ever be able to roll those damn R’s) and everyone in the class, professor included, is incredibly patient and helpful with me. I even had a brief conversation about my 24-mm lens today with another student!

This past week, our assignment was to take photos to illustrate the different rules of composition. A pretty typical assignment but it was a fun way to challenge myself. It forced me to look for out of the ordinary situations. These are a few of my favorites – apparently I was particularly drawn to unique lighting this week. Enjoy!

Silhouette of tree branches in a park in Buenos Aires.

Palacio Hirsch in Belgrano "R", Buenos Aires.

A candle glows in the "Rotunda" Cathedral in Belgrano, Buenos Aires.

A drawing of John Lennon in Barrancas Park, Belgrano, Buenos Aires.

A view of the obelisk down a street in El Centro of Buenos Aires.