Last week we traveled to Pujato, a small town outside of Rosario, Argentina, where we stayed with host families and learned about the rural lifestyle. Tim and I stayed together with the Biagola’s, a wonderful family with three boys about the same ages as Nate, Joe and I, along with one girl. The father own a farm of 50 acres, and plants mainly soy (there’s big ongoing debate over the “soyination” of Argentina – whether it’s good, bad, etc). The mother is a high school gym teacher.
During our stay we had to interview our family on a topic of our choice. Tim and I chose to analyze the political sentiments of the family and how they differ from urban Argentines. While the family was definitely more conservative (supportive of free trade, anti-government intervention), they clearly supported elements of the welfare state, and like all Argentines, fully backed their public education system. The most interesting thing I learned was that the government currently taxes all agricultural exports, so in the end the family only pockets about 20% of their gross profit per harvest. No wonder they don’t like government intervention!
After saying goodbye to our family in Rosario, we took a twelve hour bus ride to Villa General Belgrano, home to the third largest Oktoberfest in the world (I heard that somewhere, but I’m too lazy to find a citation). Here is a video of some Oktoberfest dancers, along with some other photos taken at la Festival de Cerveza. Fun fact I learned that weekend: Duff beer from the Simpsons T.V. show can not be sold in the U.S. due to copyright restrictions. However, in other countries it’s fair game!! For the festival, they had a strawberry beer available (called “strawbeer”) that was actually quite tasty.