Archive for June, 2011

Noticas de La Plata

Many of us from UNC who were traveling abroad this summer had a few safety training courses beforehand.  There was one about identifying threats before they happened, one about how we react to these threats, and a third where we were required to write a travel safety plan before hand and it was analyzed during the session.  The training was relatively in-depth and run by some fellows who knew what they were talking about.  One of the topics that they touched on was the food in foreign countries and specifically taking food from street vendors.  Now a few days ago Cameron, Emily and I went on a wild goose chase with our program director, Horacio, that led us to a small university, the massive cathedral to the left in the small city of Lujan, and eventually that night to a rough corner of Buenos Aires where our director had to meet up with someone in the city.  To start off our adventure we got chorypans, which are simply homemade sausages on bread (chor->chorizo=sausage, y=and, pan=bread) from a street vendor.  Now our safety guys had told us to be wary about street food.  But I figured I would go for it, and guess what? food poisoning.  Funny how that works.

The elections for Argentina are in October and to say that the country’s citizens are politically active doesn’t quite get the point across.  They have plane’s fly over the city blaring, “Todos con Cristina,” the nation’s current president, which to someone unused to these types of political antics seems like it has a slight touch of propaganda and manipulation.  The graffiti covering the walls, the buildings, and the national monuments of the city don’t reference many gangs or intend to vandalize, their purpose is to push one candidate or to bash another which is an interesting sight to see what seem to be the work of relatively well informed political pundits sprayed across even some of the city’s most symbolic monuments.

Today the forecast is slightly cloudy with a chance of volcanic ash so we’ll see how the eruption of the Puyehue Volcano in Chile that affects things here in La Plata.  Our plans to travel to Bariloche after the internship, which currently has two feet of ash in some areas, may be put on hold for the moment.  The volcano sent a plume of ash 6 miles into the air halting air traffic and forcing the surrounding areas to stop all activity and stay inside.  No ash in La Plata yet but it is predicted to reach here by this afternoon.  But until then, here at the Biosfera Foundation, we’ll be working on saving the world one plastic bottle, one fluorescent light, and one tree at a time.