First and foremost, I got accepted to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, my number one choice for Graduate School. I have wanted to attend Scripps since I first heard about it and chose Oceanography as my career path. Even with the distractions afforded to me with traveling, I have had many a sleepless night worrying about this acceptance. I will be in San Diego for the next 5 years as I pursue my Ph.D in Physical Oceanography.
Anyways, other than that, I have been to Iguazu Falls, and crossed in to Paraguay. The falls were incredible, gigantic, powerful, and even scary. My first witness of them as of the Devil's Throat, the largest of the series of falls. It was quite an experience to walk along the platforms and get to a lookout where, because of the thundering water, you had to scream to the person next to you. The mist was incredible, drenching everything.
After the initial adrenalin high, we settled in to a day of amazing waterfall vista after vista. There was a boat ride, too, that took me into and underneath the falls; incredible experience as well. The day ended with a pleasant hike to the only location in the park where you can swim beneath a waterfall.
Since then, I have passed into Paraguay, a country which is the epitome of how I pictured South America; very kind people living happily in small houses built on dusty roads. I spent a night in Asuncion, taking care of some visa stuff and breathing in the sites. From there, I came north to Concepcion and am about to board a boat to spend a few days on Rio Paraguay. I don't expect internet again for awhile.
--In honor of being accepted to Scripps, I have shaved my goatee into a handlebar moustache. While I believe it will grow on me, my initial reaction has been disgust.
--I am far from the standard travel itinerary of backpackers in South America. Here in Paraguay, I have been openly stared at, probably because of my height and clear foreign appearance.
--Traveling for six hours in Paraguay on a bus, I was witness to two separate, very large brush fires. The bus did nothing but keep on driving.