Although all university students in Buenos Aires have summer holidays until March, the Kulturstudier semester follows the rhythm of the northern hemisphere getting the cultural adventure started in February. Before the great kickoff and semester start in the Argentine capital, students have the opportunity to come down some days before and do the “Quinta Esencia experience week” at the stupendous pampas – some five hours by car south.
Arranged by the field manager and horse riding teacher Eduardo, there were three marvellous meals a day prepared by the chef Diego, and every morning the yoga teacher Fer got those bodies stretched at 8 o’clock. He also did some thai massage classes, completely new to many of us, and later on that week, Spanish teacher Camilla joined and made some introduction workshops to the Castilian language.
In between all of this, there were workshops of organic vegetable gardening, tree planting, bioconstruction making a hallway of clay and cal (calium oxide), and beekeeping (also called apiculture). One day was dedicated to horse riding and picnic, another one to a guided tour by the park rangers preserving and protecting the Mar Chiquita Reserve and afterwards a visit to the Sustainable Public School in Mar Chiquita. One night everyone visited the old bar with local gauchos, Argentine cowboys, called Pulpería Esquina de Arguas. At Quinta Esencia there were wood fires at night, with guitar-, drums and mandolin being played by the fire. Singsong, pizza, stars and fireflies. An extraordinary start on the Spring semester.