Tuesday, November 21, 2006



El dia de accion de gracia

Oh, God, when I have food,

help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me remember those who suffer;
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency,
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help those who cry out
for what we take for granted.


Thus began our Thanksgiving Meal at Casa Holden on Sunday

With careful planning and everyone's willingness to contribute, our Thanksgiving meal at the Casa was a great success. All of the students helped out in one way or another, from moving furniture to setting the tables to preparing dishes reminiscent of Thanksgiving day in the States to cleaning up. The kitchen at Maru Botana prepared four turkeys, two hams and some appetizers, but the remainder of the cooking and baking was directed masterfully by Ms. Ivy with the assistance of numerous students and Mrs. Rhonda. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, pasta, rice, corn, peas, cornbread, date pudding, pumpkin pie, banana pudding, cookies, red velvet cake, and a last-minute fruit punch concoction - all made for a very satisfied, and thankful, group. Special kudos go to Ms. Ivy for staying up all night on Saturday, cooking and baking for her amigos.

Ms. Ivy
*Prayer attributed to Samuel Pugh.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Andy & Amigo


David and Chaz


Stephani and Britney


PJ - aka - Pato

John and Hayley


Saturday, November 11, 2006


I thought that it might be good to post some pictures of our "family" and thus I will try to get all of our group on the blog sooner or later. Here is the first round, beginning with the "parents" and followed by some of the "children."

Doug and Rhonda

Jen & Jasmine

Andy and Jordan




Tiffany and Jamie

Aaron and Liza


Friday, November 10, 2006


"Watch for the places where the taxi drivers congregate." This was the advice we were given regarding street vendors who daily set up their grills and offer up chorizos, hamburguesas y bife sandwiches. So, on the first walk from the Casa to classes at Universidad Catolica Argentina, http://www.uca.edu.ar/, I noted the taxis gathering at a spot near the UCA Agricultural Campus building. It was not too long before many of the students and I became 'regulars' at street meat - a nice sized choripan for two pesos, or about 65 cents - best deal in town!

You can see that I did not sneak up on Hugo! When I got closer, he jokingly started singing the Star Spangled Banner and wondered if I was going to send his picture to Bush! Te gusta Bush is a fairly common question here, and I will spare you my spanglish response and a political rant!
Here is Hugo at the grill. My first class at UCA is at 9:00, and Hugo is usually at his spot awaiting the delivery of his grill and all of the fixings. He has his charcoal grill fired up with meat ready to serve by around 11:00, and generally closes down by 1:30 or thereabouts. He has a couple of choices of bread and sauces including a mild salsa, chimichuri, mustard and mayonaisse. Since our arrival in Buenos Aires, Hugo has added some facturas, breakfast pastries, to his 'menu.' His amigo Gabriel helps with drinks and odds and ends. I have to wonder if Gabriel is an apprentice, looking to open up his own operation some time!
Hugo and Gabriel - Kings of Street Meat

Monday, November 06, 2006


I am still bummed about not having our camera. And, I just learned that the fine print on the Limited Warranty says "US Only." I do believe that a letter to Sony will be forthcoming. So, as a less-than-satisfactory substitute for personal pictures, take a tour through http://www.operapampa.com.ar/ Last Thursday nights group dinner was at Opera Pampa, which is not so much an opera, but a grand outdoor venue show about Argentine history and culture. There was a pre-show reception, the well-presented show with singing, dancing and horsemanship, and an after-show asado. There is an interesting side-story regarding a person who was a guest of several of our students - the following is lifted directly from Stacey Gallarde's blog on her Junior Year Abroad website - www.nbc4.tv/jya

Boy do I have a story to tell.

Two of my friends and I had lunch with an American actress this weekend. Yes, in Buenos Aires.This is how it happened. So Britney, Stephani and I were at the subte stop just sitting and talking (in English) when a woman walks up to us and asks us (in English) where we were from. Steph says she's from San Jose, and the woman says, "Oh, I'm from LA". Then all three of us tell her that we actually go to school at Pepperdine in Malibu. The woman replies, "I live in Malibu!"

Ok, first off this is crazy enough! Malibu only has a population of roughly 13,000 people. How is it possible its few inhabitants run into each other in Buenos Aires, Argentina?

Back to the story. So we get to talking (her name is Jamie) and she tells us where she lives in Malibu, why she's here in Buenos Aires (for tango dancing) and how long (9 days), etc. Anyway, in the end, Jamie takes us under her wing (even calls us her daughters) and goes on our city outing with us. She takes us out to lunch, and during our conversation we find out that she is an actress! Most of her work was done in the 80's because she is now focusing on being an acting teacher. She was on the show Falcon Crest, had her own TV show for awhile, has worked with Clint Eastwood, Billy Bob Thorton, Johnny Depp, and my favorite, The Olsen Twins (Holiday in the Sun)!

Friday, November 03, 2006


When you are having fun, eh? Much has transpired since our last entry, including the usual, such as classes, convocations, asados and group dinners, and the very special, including the visit of Arlene Cook from Colorado and a weekend spiritual retreat with the students. Arlene and Rhonda are great friends, having first met while teaching elementary school in Colorado Springs. I don't think that I can recount all of the adventures - the six days went by much too quickly. Rhonda and Arlene were out and about while I was teaching, visiting various barrios and the musuem of fine arts, taking a boat across the Rio de la Plata for a day trip to Colonia, Uruguay, and of course shopping! The three of us were able to enjoy an opera at the Teatro Colon, shopping on Florida, the Recoleta cemetery and nearby street fair, and dinners at places like Siga de Vaca, Forrest Gump, Maru Botana and Kansas. Don't let the norteamericano names fool you - each is distinctly Argentine. We introduced Arlene to subte linea d, bus linea 67, and long walks, and she adapted very quickly. I know that all of the students were delighted to meet Arlene, and that Arlene also appreciated the chance to meet and chat with the students. All-in-all, we had a wonderful time, and we look forward to other family and friends visits to Buenos Aires.

A few words about the spiritual retreat. This is an elective event for the students to spend a bit of time away from the city, to reflect, to re-create, and to re-energize for the remaining month of the fall semester. Over forty students participated. We traveled by bus to the Estancia Ternura, the Tenderness Ranch, which is probably a name that I would not have chosen for a country estate - sounds a bit shady :-) Regardless, the estancia was a great place, with nice accommodations, recreational facilities such as a basketball court, soccer field, pool and spa, and stables. I particularly enjoyed playing some basketball and riding along on the tractor with a farmhand who was mowing a hay field. More importantly, there were times for selah, for singing, and for hearing from the student retreat organizers and from Diego, the weekend resource person.