Dan and Colleen just got back from a wonderful trip to Argentina/Patagonia/Brazil. They were given the trip to Argentina/Patagonia from Builder’s Club. A big shout out to Builder’s Club. The trip was amazing. They put Dan and Colleen, along with 20 others, up in first class hotels both in Argentina and Patagonia. They got to see a portion of South America which were on their lists of places to go. Buenos Aires is a huge city with lots to see and do. It’s a great place to get leather jackets on demand. You order what you want and it is made and to your hotel in 4 hours. Argentina is known for their beef. As residents of Missouri, Dan and Colleen don’t think it quite compares to our own beef, but it was tasty. They did go on a Parilla tour, which means grill. They got to experience local eateries that not many tourist see. It was a delight. Dan and Colleen have a passion for seeing Churches and their architecture. They were able to see the Cathedral where the current Pope was Archbishop of Buenos Aires and presided over Mass and they also got to visit the oldest church in Buenos Aires.
Dan also has a passion for microbreweries. In Patagonia, they were able to find a couple of the many that were there. Dan said the beer was great! The weather was about the same as it was here at the time, but they are in their fall. It was very scenic. Dan and Colleen were able to take a chair lift up a mountain and overlook the area of San Carlos de Bariloche. They took a tour of the Arreyanes Forrest. (pronounced ‘Arussian’) The whole trip was a blast.
While the rest of the Builders went home, Dan and Colleen continued on to Brazil to visit with two of their Rotary exchange students, Pedro and Diogo. The boys, now men, live 12 hours apart. Dan and Colleen met with Diogo, his mom and her friend in Recife first. Diogo is from Aracaju, but made it easier on Dan and Colleen by meeting them in Recife. They were able to spend three days seeing the sights and enjoying the food and culture in Recife. On the third day, Pedro and his mother drove to Recife to pick Dan and Colleen up and take them to Natal, Brazil, where they stayed at the home of Pedro’s grandparents, where the family spoke no English and they spoke no Portuguese. Dan and Colleen were able to go to a Rotary meeting while they visited. Pedro’s family is unique in that all the grandchildren in their family have participated in Rotary exchange. Pedro’s grandparents, aunts and uncles are also very involved in Rotary. Natal has some huge sand dunes and they took a day with Pedro and went dune-buggy riding all day. It was a blast. Seeing their students was the very best part of Dan and Colleen’s trip.