Author Archives: bldobbs

A Day of Polo

By: Ben Dobbs

As someone who does not have much experience riding horses the idea of playing polo does not sound that exciting. In fact when I was told that we were going to be playing polo I slightly shrugged at the idea.

Even though I enjoy riding horses, trying new things and taking on challenges headfirst the idea of running down a field with a stick on a horse did not sound appealing.

However as we were riding in the car to the polo fields I got to hear stories from our professor of how great polo really was. I was still a little bit skeptical but as we pulled up to the fields and saw people practicing I started to change my mind.

Photo By Fernando Nieto

When we met our instructor, he started off telling us some simple safety tips and a quick over view of how to play polo. It seemed easy enough you get on the horse, hold on and hit a ball with a stick. Easier said than done.

When we mounted our horses I suddenly felt that I was ten feet off the ground. I did not feel like my life was in my hands any more.

The instructor led us on to the field and let us ride around to get used to being on the horses. After riding around for a little while I finally felt comfortable on the horse. I started to get a lot more excited thinking this is going to be fun.

I thought to my-self I might actually enjoy this. The instructor said it was time to grab the mallets and start hitting the ball and learn the rules. I thought it was going to be easy. All you have to do is look for the ball, get your horse to go up to the ball, swing and hit the ball. Needless to say I missed the ball quite a few times.

Photo By Fernando Nieto

After playing around for a little while we got ready to start a match. If you have never seen a polo match the beginning of the match looks like two groups about to standoff and go to war. The two teams line up across from each other. The ball is thrown into the middle and the game begins.

Everyone is scrambling around for the ball and it looks like a bunch of ants going for food. But after one team gains possession of the ball the game starts to get more interesting.

The only thing that was on my mind during the match was that I wanted to score a point and I did not want to fall off. Luckily I accomplished both. I didn’t fall and managed to score a point in the last half of the game. It was so invigorating to be riding down the field hitting the ball, as it got closer to the goal. When I made contact with the ball that one last time and it went into the goal the feeling was incredible.

By the time the match was done I did not want to get off. I wanted to keep playing and improving my skills in a game I know found incredible.

Photo By Fernando Nieto

My only piece of advise for polo is that if you do not ride horses often you might want to prepare to be sore. For the next couple of days I was very sore and had to sit in the hot tub at the hotel for quite a few hours.
If you ever get the chance to play polo I highly recommend it. It is a very exhilarating experience. There is no greater felling than scoring a goal in polo.

If you are as skeptical about polo as I was, I can guarantee that if you give the sport a chance you will change you mind in a heartbeat.

So the next time you have an opportunity to play polo, go out and experience all the fun that it has to offer. If you spend one day out on the field you will not regret playing polo.


A Stroll Down Calle Florida

By: Ben Dobbs

The Tango: Argentina’s Dance

By: Ben Dobbs

Uki Goni and The Real Odessa

By: Ben Dobbs and Ryan Riley

World Cup Mania Argentina Style

By: Ben Dobbs and Ryan Riley

U.S. Embassy In Argentina Aims To Bridge Cultural Gap

By: Ben Dobbs

The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina is trying to bridge the gap between the two countries by educating Argentines about the United States.

The Embassy offers many chances for citizens of Argentina to learn about the U.S.  Opportunities such as cultural immersion trips to the U.S. are just one of the many programs that the embassy has to offer.

Because news about the U.S. can sometimes be taken out of context, the Embassy is using innovative forms of news broadcasting to inform Argentines about what is really going on.

With the rise of high-speed media, the Embassy also uses social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to correctly inform Argentines of what is going on in the U.S. and around the world.

Along with the use of social networking sites, traditional media outlets such as newspapers in Argentina are beginning to cater their papers towards the younger generation.

Besides social networking sites, the Embassy offers many hands-on opportunities for Argentines to experience American culture.

“We use our press and cultural programs to enhance foreign affairs and knowledge by offering events in sports, art and music,” U.S. Public Affairs Officer, Robert Howes said.

The Embassy’s Information Resource Center (IRC) provides citizens of Argentina with information on U.S. government and its policies, both foreign and domestic.  The IRC interacts with residents by constantly putting data online and answering personal information requests.

The Public Affairs Department of the Embassy is one of the offices that provide cultural immersion opportunities for Argentines.

Study abroad programs, work exchange visas and employment opportunities are some of the programs that the department offers to increase Argentines’ understanding of the U.S.

Argentines have the chance to go to places such as Washington, D.C., and other cities in the U.S. to experience the actual culture of America.  One of the areas many Argentines like to visit is the South, and Jackson, Miss., is a preferred destination.

The Embassy also provides many job opportunities not only for Argentines but for U.S. citizens as well.

Jobs in public service are popular options for people seeking work in international affairs.

Not only does the Embassy provide chances for Argentines to go to the U.S., but they also provide opportunities for U.S. citizens to study in Argentina.  Every year, over 5,000 U.S. citizens study abroad in universities throughout Argentina.

The Embassy hopes that through these programs a greater understanding will be reached between the United States and Argentina.