From my perspective – Part 4
September 5, 2008
Another chapter in my life has closed, and with that it’s time for new beginnings. Spending time in another culture has a definite impact on the person that has stepped outside of their comfort zone to experience something new. For me, my month in Argentina changed me in many ways. This is my final installment of my time spent in Argentina and a compilation of my thoughts upon returning to the United States.
After completing a month of studying Spanish in Argentina, I feel more confident in my speaking abilities in the language and am excited to practice my newly found skills in the United States. The past month not only taught me more about Spanish, but a lot more about myself. I think as they say, “I’ve been bitten by the travel bug,” and I’m already planning a trip to Mexico in the spring.
However, my travel experiences and my month of adventures were the farthest thing from my mind when I returned home after 19 hours of travel in flight and by car. As we neared the house, I was anxious to give everyone a hug, see the calves, unpack, start laundry, and take a very, very long nap.
I think God has a sense of humor.
As I was carrying my luggage to the house, my dad pulled up on the four-wheeler, grinning a mile-wide smile. I ran to hug him and tell him about my travels.
As soon as our hugs were exchanged, though, dad turned to me and said, “Well, Mandy, did you have a good vacation? Good to hear it. Ready to stack bales?”
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My vacation was clearly over as I threw bales onto the rack that night, with the sweat dripping down my back and the mosquitoes biting. I realized how ill equipped my month in the city and my Spanish tongue had prepared me for life back on the farm. Soon, I had scratches from the bales, hay in my hair, and I even stepped on a snake. However, despite my exhaustion, the evening turned out to be pretty fun, catching up on the things I had missed with the family I love.
I realized that there truly is no place like home, and that evening, when I laid down to sleep, I could no longer hear dogs barking, alarms blaring, horns honking, and people laughing in the streets. I could only hear the crickets chirping and the wind rustling, and it hit me how lucky I was to have this stretch of land to share with my family in our passions in cattle production.
With the summer coming to a close, it’s a good time to count our many blessings. Despite the hardships and challenges we have to overcome in production agriculture, I truly believe there is reason to feel optimistic about the future of agriculture in this country. After all, there is nothing more special than making a living off the land and sharing it with the people closest to you.