Day 3!

Today is the third day in Rosario and we are exhausted…and covered in green paint.  Our day was composed of two main parts—a city tour and a continuation of our service—broken up by lunch at USAR, a local community organization similar to JCC in the states. 

Despite being an urban center, Rosario is loaded with parks that were filled with people running, walking their dog, or most commonly, drinking Yerba Mate, essentially Argentina’s national tea drink. First, we stopped at the Flag’s Monument, where we ascended the tower and experienced a panoramic view of the city and the Paraná River that borders it. Afterwards, we made our way to a church in a nearby park, but not before crossing a treacherous bridge and a looming pot of fire (to clarify, it was just a stone pathway and candle-like statue, both of which symbolize the determination of Argentinian soldiers). 

Overall, our tour showed us how the city visually reflects the culture and national pride of its people.  The coolest aspect of the tour was how divided the people are over fútbol (soccer, to us Americans). We were lucky enough to be in town on the day of el clásico, the name for a soccer game between two rival teams in Spanish-speaking countries. The divide between fans was so strong that buildings and traffic lights were painted team colors, and we heard a celebratory yell outside of our hotel when a team scored a goal. It was a great, spontaneous way to experience the local culture firsthand.

After the tour, we continued our service project.

We made great progress and worked really cohesively; we all got straight to work and had a great time doing it. Unlike yesterday, though, some of us took some time to speak with a local resident about his life. It was so meaningful to hear the man’s story and interact with the person who is going to be living behind the walls that we painted.

We then took an hour break for (VERY) necessary showers before our second reflection session, where we talked about what it means to be a part of a community. Although we may each have different definitions of “community,” we came to a consensus that being part of a community, whether Jewish-related or not, is a dynamic relationship of both giving and receiving.  After our deep discussion, we went to dinner at a restaurant similar to a Hard-Rock Café, where we chatted with local peers we met yesterday over what seemed to be an eight course meal.  As we leave Rosario tomorrow, still with a full stomach, we look forward to culminating our service project here and starting a new one in Buenos Aires!

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April 3, 2014 at 5:29 PM




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