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Whenever you live in a dorm, you will meet people that you will keep close to you for the rest of your life. I am lucky that I have so many close friends from that one amazing freshman year at the University of Washington. Katherine did live in the same floor as I did, but we didn’t really start getting close until our Sophomore year. After we both made fun of each other’s race, we knew that we would be evil best friends for life. I can’t really be evil with Greg since he is, without at doubt, probably the nicest guy I know. That is a hard title to keep, since I know a lot of nice guys.

After a successful visit in San Francisco and a road trip up to Seattle, Katherine had asked if we could do her engagement session when we were both in Seattle. We picked a day and voila, in true Seattle fashion, it was raining hardcore. It wasn’t going to deter us though, we got some rain gear and stole an umbrella from the University Village (OK Borrowed). There really was no need for it though, because as soon as we got out of the car the rain let up and the sun came down.

It was great. The light was just A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I could go on and on writing about these two, but you can just tell from the pictures that they belong together. I have had the honor to laugh with them, party with them, travel the world with them and basically have been blessed to see their relationship blossom to where it is now.

I can’t wait to see the rest.

Congratulations Katherine and Greg!!


Thank you Uruguay. It was like a food Angel coming down from the heavens and licked the inside of my mouth.

It was also a huge piece of steak. I couldn’t even finish half of it.

Speaking of food, Dalina told me right at the start of our two week adventure in Argentina that Buenos Aires has a high percentage of people with Anorexic and Bullemic  problems. I believe it completely. They are so skinny yet all there is to eat here is carbs galore. Bread, Pizza, Empanadas and Pastas; food with such high calories that no wonder they smoke and throw up all the time.

This also tells you that on this trip. I have NOT lost any weight.

Mucho cardio when I get back home for sure.

Writing about or posting pictures of Iguazu Falls seems silly to me. There is nothing in the world that could possibly explain the wonder of the falls than actually being there yourself. Nothing. Not even the best photographer or videographer in the world could capture the image (and noise) of that cascading water coming from a river that is split between Argentina and Brazil.

I will steal an excerpt from my friend Laura:

“I will happily shell out fistfuls of pesos, trek obediently along well-worn trails with other travelers, stand and wait for trains and busses and shuttles and my turn to come, if the end result is having the massive good fortune to be able to see a wonder of the world like this.”

Every since I saw The Mission in class on day, with the Christ like figure going over the falls, I knew that one day I wanted to see them myself. The 40 hours total we spent on a bus, the frigid temperatures, the massive amount of rain and the outrageous prices did not in any way lesson the experience for me. I felt so lucky, and it was one of those feelings when you should give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment.

Then, I bought a blow dart from a Guaraní warrior.

This song should be required to be played at all times at the “Garganta Del Diablo”.

Being a monkey in the largest street in the world (apparently). It takes approximately 3 million minutes to cross from one side to the other. That is, if cars don’t hit you on the way across of course. Cynthia has become an expert at crossing the street. Meanwhile, you would think that after surviving crossing the streets in China and Southeast Asia, this would be a cakewalk. Yeah, not so much.

At least there are spots where you can cartwheel.

I know I know that I haven’t updated in a long time, but it is really hard when you are in the middle of a trip such as this one. I am super behind, I know, yet it is really hard to care.

Cynthia and I made it to Buenos Aires, but at a price. Cynthia got extremely ill the first two days. We actually blame it on the airplane food. So just a little FYI, if on a pane trip within South America its probably best to not eat the food. We didn’t do much the first two days in BA since Cynthia was in bed trying to recover.

After a couple of days there though I have made some observations that include the following:

– People from Buenos Aires walk around everyday like they are part of a fashion show in Milan, making most backpackers look like ugly versions of trolls that live under bridges.

– They are very passionate people. They try to argue that everything in Buenos Aires is the best and I enjoy arguing that it is not. They think their pizza is the best in the world and I think its probably the worst I have ever tasten. They also think their pasta is better than Italy, so obviously they have never been to Italy because it is definitely not true. Although, they also argue that their gelato is the best in the world, and this I might have to agree with.

– Watching Las Madres De Plaza De Mayo was extremely emotional, reducing Cynthia to tears. Which is what is great about this trip. Without visiting Argentina or Buenos Aires, she probably would have never even known about the country’s “dirty war” and the thousands that had their human rights violated by the government.

– Zero personal space. I have never sat closer to people than I have in Buenos Aires.

– Lots of wine. Me Likey.

– Walking up and down the widest street in the world (Avenida 9 de Julio) is a lesson in pedestrian safety.

– I have no Idea why it is called Buenos Aires, since there is no clean air anywhere in the city.

– I think 80 percent of the worlds cigaretts are consumed in the city alone. They scoff at the idea of having public places ban smoking, but it is definitely one thing I miss in the United States. I don’t smell like a chimney when I leave a restaurant.

– The guys here have the worst haircuts in the history of the world.

– Its amazing.

More posts and pictures to come. We just arrived to Iguazu after an 18 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires. No worries, the busses here are beyond amazing as I will point out later. It is also currently raining more than I have ever seen in my entire life. Its hard to forget you are in a rainforest here.

Oh, and here is a picture of my sisters super black hair (she dyed it in Palermo) that my parents wanted to see.

CIAO!

On our way back from Aguascalientes on the train, our boxcar had a wiring problem so our lights went out. Some people found it annoying since they couldn’t read or see anything, but I did not mind. The other cars illuminated the river next to us with just enough light that it looked amazing.

While listening to The Killers on my iPod, I looked up through the windows and could not believe just how bright the stars were. The only other time I had seen the stars so bright was when I went camping with the Faith family in South Africa.

And with uncanny timing, Brandon Flowers whispered into my earphones;

“The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds, cut out from the sun…”

So many people dream their whole lives of being able to take that train ride back from Machu Picchu; and, I was able to do it with every star in the sky shining bright for me.

Humbled and Grateful.