Category Archives: Argentina

visits with friends


We had a visit yesterday with our friends Rachel Tucker and Gustavo Albanese, and their twin boys, Max and Luca. Rachel and I have been friends since 1988 when we lived together for a year in Lisbon (Portugal), both fellow English teachers. The boys are delightfully energetic 20-month-old sweethearts, and I marvel at Rachel’s ability to keep up with them! On Saturday we’ll visit the whole family (15-yr-old daughter Jessica was in school yesterday) at their home in Buenos Aires.

Argentina 2, Day 18 – birthday party


Today is a national holiday – Dia de las Malvinas (Falkland Islands). So no school for the kids, no work for Chris, and little quiet at home. We spent the afternoon with friends (Barbara and Daniel; Barbara works with Chris at CETMIC); two of their daughters were celebrating birthdays. It’s the Argentine custom to invite your entire class to your party – no hurt feelings here – so this is what a gathering of 25+ 12-yr-olds looks like. The velcro jump suits (that’s Julia on the left) were second in popularity only to the spray cans of soapy foam, labeled “artificial snow.” The 7th grade girls enjoyed combining the foam with the trampoline, while the 7th grade boys preferred to slick down their hair.
We can nominate Chris for the “white men can’t jump” award. hee hee.

Past Their Glory Days

When I walk past these cars I’m reminded of the story of when the Chevy Nova* was first imported into some Latin American country. Sales were remarkably low, until they changed its name.
* for the handful of you who don’t speak Spanish, “no va” means “it doesn’t go” or “it doesn’t run.”

Argentina 2, Day 10


So what’s Emily doing when Eric and Julia are off at Colegio Patris? She’s doing an “independent study” to finish 8th grade. It’s a very structured form of home schooling that involves weekly assignments, emails, and phone calls with a teacher back in Redlands. It simply wasn’t feasbible to find a handicapped-accessible school for Emily, especially since the hassle of sorting it out isn’t worth the trouble for this 2.5-month-stay. Though we did manage it during Argentina 1 (back in 2003, when she was in 4th grade), we were in a much larger city and, frankly, we lucked out back then.

We haven’t established much of a routine yet, but now that the other kids leave for school each day by 8 am, we’ll get better. Since my colleagues in California don’t wake up for 4 hours after me, I sometimes do errands in the morning hours and work more in afternoons. Today Em and I walked into town to change money at the bank, buy vegetables and a battery charger (I fried our other one by not paying attention to voltage), and make photocopies. Her wheelchair works well for hauling our loot.

Nostalgia for Argentina I

Yesterday in Buenos Aires we also took the train up to Martinez, the suburb of Buenos Aires where we lived from January – June 2003 (hence the Argentina I monicker). It was yet another mild and sunny day and we reveled in the nostalgia of visiting our old haunts. The house we lived in on Calle Emilio Mitre, the Riverside School that the children attended (too bad someone has recently graffiteed a large W on the wall). Nobody was around to talk with (it was Easter Sunday, after all), but the places themselves were filled with memories. What a great time we had.

Argentina 2, Day 4


So – this is home. A three-bedroom, two-bath bungalow on Calle 467, between 17th and 19th. Usually rented during the summer months when rich folks flee the urban heat of Buenos Aires and seek respite in a mellower town. Comes complete with furniture, cable TV, pool, large parilla/grill, lime and avocado trees, and one large cucaracha (or perhaps more than one, but I try not to notice).
Parillas (pronounced “parijhaz” in Argentine Spanish) are mainstay elements in Argentine backyards. Used to cook meat (beef, and an occasional chicken for diversity’s sake) during the rite of grilling, often on Sunday afternoons but sometimes every day. Ours is particularly large and situated in its own small house; here’s Chris getting the charcoal started. Also some other pics of our kid-friendly yard.