Observations regarding driving in Argentina


Six observations regarding the driving habits in Argentina.

Two lanes roads only apply when there is a second car.

On ramps can also be used as exit ramps.

I am glad I cannot convert KM to Miles, I prefer not to know truly how fast we are going.

Argentinas are very polite always keeping eye contact, even while they are driving! They even continue eye contact till they get a response, doesn’t matter if your in the back seat.

Argentina drivers do not slow down for potholes, rather they keep the same speed and swerve around them entirely.

Lastly, Argentinas are very confident in their driving. Absolutely no hesitations at intersections.

A Step Back in Time


One of the most amazing experiences we had in Bolivar is when we headed into the country to visit an original pulperia – essentially a General Store for gauchos back in the day with basic necessities, mail service and a bar. The quintessential gathering place for those who worked the campos.

The one we visited had been in operation since the 1880’s and our hosts were the descendants of the man who first opened it.

It’s a regional historical treasure and has been featured in magazines across Argentina.

What an amazing glimpse back in time.

Goodbyes and Thank Yous

Every time we leave a city, it is tough to say goodbye to our host families and those Rotarians that have been so kind to us.  While we cannot repay them for the meals, lodging, time and memories they have shared with us, we can leave a few small things that represent us and Idaho.

Below are photos of what I am giving to my host families as an example.  I am giving them a photo book about Idaho, a deck of Idaho potato cards, an Idaho potato cork and a special Idaho note card.  We were fortunate that the talented team at www.1canoe2.com made a special run of the Idaho cards just for our trip.  They are so cute!



Krista??s Vocational Experiences ??? Trenque Lauquen

In Trenque Lauquen I had two different vocational experiences.  One of them was to visit the Electric Cooperative, which provides much more than electiricty to the community and the other was to visit the local technical university ???Universidad Tecnolog??a Nacional???.

At the Electric Coop, I met with the General Manager and a few of the engineers.  They showed me the control room and the large map where they can see the status of each of the electrical lines.  They have a team on call at all times to ensure the town has stable power.  What I saw with regards to the electrical distribution was what I expected to see, but the other services the Coop offers surprised me. 

First, they have a store where they sell appliances, electronic equipment and furniture.  Coop customers can purchase items at the store showing their statement, proving they pay their bills on time and they can buy items from the store essentially on credit, adding the payment to their electricity bill.  Additionally all customers pay a small funeral fee every month.  This fee allows all Trenque Lauquen residents to have a basic, but nice funeral and burial, which is paid for.  The Coop has the hall where they have rooms for services and receptions.  Many of the Trenque Lauquen residents told me that the addition of this service really relieved community members as they knew when they passed away they would have services and that their loved ones would not be burdened with a big bill.

I also had the opportunity to talk at the local technical university to students and a couple of professors about my career at HP.  This was actually quite a challenge for me as I had only one day???s notice to think about what I wanted to share and I also got nervous when I saw they had advertised my visit in the local paper.  I spoke in front of about 30-35 people and shared my educational background, described the role that the HP Boise site plays in the company???s business, the variety of roles I have held at the company, then answered their questions.  The audience was mostly interested in how engineers are educated in the US and how the interview process works for a company like HP.

Both experiences were very fun and educational.  Thanks to those who hosted me!


Trenque Lauquen (Espa??ol/English)

El pueblo de Trenque Lauquen fue tan lindo como la gente.  Llegamos en Trenque Lauquen el jueves 10 de junio con una bienvenida en el club de Rotary.  Tomamos un caf?? y conocimos las familias anfitrionas.  Esa noche hicimos la presentaci??n en la reuni??n de Rotary.  Cada vez la presentaci??n es mejor como el equipo se siente m??s c??modo con el contenido.

Tuvimos una visita a la planta industrial de ???La Serenisima??? donde vimos la l??nea donde hacen queso crema.  Fue impresionante ver un parte del proceso de manufactura.  En un d??a usan 150,000 litros de leche! (foto de grupo afuera de la planta). 

Durante la visita en Trenque Lauquen, cada miembro del equipo hizo actividades profesionales.  Jessica visit?? a un peri??dico y la estaci??n del radio.  Krista conoci?? a la Cooperativa El??ctrica que hace mucho m??s que solamente distribuir electricidad y tambi??n habl?? con un grupo de estudiantes en la Universidad Tecnolog??a Nacional.  Caitlin conoci?? a una biblioteca p??blica y tambi??n fue a una reuni??n en el Centro de Escritores donde conoci?? a algunos de los escritores de la comunidad.  Brooke fue a la Municipalidad.  Liz conoci?? muchos lugares como un hospital, cl??nicas y centros de di??lisis y radioterapia.

El s??bado aprendimos m??s de la historia de Trenque Lauquen cuando fuimos a los Museos ???Campanas al Desierto??? y ???Almafuerte???.  En la noche tuvimos otra oportunidad de conocer a los socios de Rotary en una cena donde comimos asado a la parilla y vimos uno de los socios bailar dos tangos muy elegantes con su pareja de baile.

El domingo tuvimos un almuerzo en una quinta (foto de las chicas) donde comimos ???pollo al disco???.  Despu??s del almuerzo fuimos a un tambo donde aprendimos un poquito del proceso. (foto de Krista con una vaca)  Algunos del grupo fueron a servicios religiosos de la iglesia mormona y cat??lica.  Cada evento es una manera de aprender m??s de la cultura y la gente de Argentina.

Much??simas gracias al club de Trenque Lauquen, todas las familias anfitrionas y la gente que organiz?? todo.  Pasamos los d??as muy bien!

The town of Trenque Lauquen was as beautiful as its people were.  We arrived in Trenque Lauquen Thursday, June 10 to a warm welcome at the Rotary house.  We drank coffee while meeting our host families.  That night we gave our presentation to the Rotary club.  Each time we do the presentation it is better as the group becomes more comfortable with the content.

We visited the industrial plant ???La Serenisima??? where we toured the production line where they make cream cheese.  It was impressive to see part of the manufacturing process.  In one day they use 150,000 liters of milk!  (photo of group outside of the plant)

During the time in Trenque Lauquen, each team member participated in professional activities.  Jessica visited a newspaper and a radio station.  Krista got to know the Electric Coop which does much more than just distribute electricity y she also spoke to a group of students at the Universidad Tecnolog??a Nacional.  Caitlin went to a public library and also went to a meeting at the Writer???s Center where she met some of the writers in the community.  Brooke went to the Town Hall.  Liz went several places such as the hospital, clinics, and dialysis and radiography centers.

Saturday we learned more about the history of Trenque Lauquen when we went to the ???Campanas al Desierto??? and ???Almafuerte??? museums.  That night we had another opportunity to get to know the Rotarians at a dinner where we had asado and watched one of the Rotarians perform two beautiful tangos with his dance partner.

Sunday we had lunch at a country house (photo of the girls) where we had ???chicken made on a disk???.  After lunch we went to a dairy where we learned a bit about the process (photo of Krista with a cow).  Some of the team members went to church services at the Mormon and Catholic churches.  Each event is a way to learn more about the culture and people of Argentina.

Many thanks to the Trenque Lauqen club, all of the host families and the people who organized it all.  We enjoyed our days there!


A trip to the supermercado


I keep saying that I am ‘eating my way across Argentina’ because I am so excited to experience the tastes of this country and the role food plays in the culture.

I am writing more about my foodie thoughts on my personal blog http://idahofoodies.com/

This morning, I stopped in a supermarket to see the small differences. Because, while much is familiar and similar here – much is different 🙂

– Carne (meat) is truly king. The meat cases have different cuts of vaca (cow) than in the states. The dark sausages in the back will look familiar to Basques – morcilla (blood sausage) is popular here.
– Items that we usually have in bottles are in plastic bags here – like leche (milk) and mayonnaise. Speaking of which, mayo is big as a condiment.
– The coffee aisle is really the mate aisle for the favorite drink of Argentina – Yerba mate.
– Lunch and dinner always have wine. Your beverage choices are typically coca cola, a citrus soda or wine. When there is water it is ‘con o sin gas’ (with or without gas/soda). Oftentimes at the cafe or in homes you are offered the popular Argentine beer Quilmes
– We’ve also been offered the alcoholic apertif ‘Frenet’ – usually mixed with soda water or coca cola. It doesn’t taste very pleasant but its supposed to help with digestion.

– Jessi

Putting our best foot forward


A glimpse into one of our presentations – front and center at the Trenque Lauquen Rotary meeting.

Lots of socializing with our hosts (and explaining why they are getting pins featuring potatoes :-), the our 30 minute presentation about our individual lives, jobs and families along with information on life in Idaho. In Spanish. And we also sing. I won’t be including that 🙂

After dinner and the presentation we have a mini-ceremony where we exchange banners from our Rotary clubs. It is so cool to see all the banners hanging from all over the world.

Two presentations down. Five or six to go!