On Sunday morning, we had to depart by 7:30 AM to drive to the province and city of San Luis. Although not one of the largest cities in Argentina, San Luis was perhaps the most proud. Because of gold, San Luis, is perhaps the most affluent province in all of Argentina. To give a sense of the affluence of this city and province, the national highway that spans from Buenos Aires to Santiago de Chile is a two-lane road across the continent with the exception of the 200 kilometers in the San Luis province that boasts a true highway with at least two lanes in each direction. In the town of San Luis, Wi-Fi was provided for the entire capital city of the province.
An exchange was scheduled with choir members of the National University of San Luis at their university in the early afternoon. Due to inaccurate timetables, we arrived an hour-and-a-half late. A huge catered meal was planned for the group featuring many different types of Argentinian meats. During the exchange, the San Luis ensemble performed typical Argentinian songs for the choir. The hosts were very excited to say that our concert was already sold-out, as early as Wednesday! Immediately after the group lunch, we were given a walking tour of the city. At the end of the tour, the minister of tourism met with the choir to welcome and tell us how much he was looking forward to our group’s concert. He gave every member of the group an official gift bag form San Luis, including a huge book in Spanish and English about his city.
We checked in to the hotel called Dos Venados Hotel, which translates to Two Deer Hotel – the region is known for its deer wildlife. The hotel looked like a very old ski resort.
With a very short turnaround time, we had to eat dinner, which came too soon after lunch, and leave shortly for our concert. It appeared that the concerts were getting later and later; this one started at 9:30 PM. The Argentinian culture is used to very late events and start times. The concert was in the city’s principal community auditorium – Auditorio Mauricio López. The auditorium capacity is 440, although I am sure that there were at least 500 in the room. At lunch, the local university faculty warned me that they do not begin their events on time. The concert did not begin until 9:50 PM. An ensemble from the university opened up the concert with three multi-media presentations. We began our set at 10:19, to finish our set concert by 11:30 PM. The principal of the University of San Luis presented two gifts on stage to the group on behalf of the university. He expressed that one day, he hoped that we would perform a joint concert with his choir. We experienced another amazing concert! The San Luis people appreciate our American music in a big way. Once again, I am sure that the choir appeared in many local Facebook webpages, given all the selfies taken with Morgan choir members.
Once again, we had to quickly return to the hotel to leave by 7:30 AM for another city, Mendoza, five hours away. Given the fact that Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world, the long driving distances are expected. Off to bed, to enjoy possibly five hours of sleep!