Two weeks ago I hopped on an airplane with about 25 other ISA students and saw the wonderful world of Misiones, Argentina. That includes the ruins of the Jesuit Mission, the Guarani community and rain forest, and the magical Iguazu Falls themselves. Though the entire trip was memorable and certainly nothing I’ll soon forget, there was one event that really stood out for me: the asado (or roast).
As part of this trip, ISA takes us to a lovely little estancia (like a farm) wherein we get to visit an actual working yerba mate (Argentine tea) factory and spend an entire afternoon relaxing in hammocks or swimming in the pool after gorging ourselves on an asado feast. I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat much meat. Also, when I eat steak or chicken or any meat really, I always like it just a little soft on the inside. Here in Argentina, it’s fully cooked or nothing at all. Having experienced this a number of times already, I really wasn’t much looking forward to the meal. Then came the surprise!
In order to not confuse any meat-eaters with vegetarians, the lovely folks at the estancia set up a separate table just for them. Unfortunately, that meant that none of the 4 vegetarians could eat with their friends. Not having any real desire to eat meat anyway, I sat with them along with one other omnivore and we had a real feast. It just goes to show how even the most random and unexpected situation can turn into something spectacular. I may not be a vegetarian, but being an honorary vegetarian for a day is pretty cool to me. Especially if it means that I get to make some great new friends!
Liz De Luca
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Buenos Aires, Argentina