Monday, April 28, 2008

NBC Today Show's Matt Lauer Visits Buenos Aires

On the NBC Today Show there was a special this morning as Part of the segment on "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" focused on Buenos Aires, Argentina. I had known about this ahead of time through a friend who was doing some ghost writing, but it was funny that several people from the US contacted me about it via email throughout today.

Lauer stays mostly in Buenos Aires, but does trek to Bariloche Patagonia. Through the segment they touch on Tango, Argentine Beef, the legacy of Eva Peron, wine, and many travel tips.

NOTE: One inaccuracy was the price of the taxi from the Airport. Its about 20-25 US dollars to get from Ezeiza International Airport to Buenos Aires.

If you missed the segment, I highly recommend you check out their web site. If you have high speed internet, you can watch the whole segment from the internet.

WARNING: You might impulsively want to buy a ticket an visit Argentina.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Milanesa Sandwich!

Since I gave a recipe for milanesa earlier this month, I thought I would show you a real finished product.

This was my great lunch today. I bought a milanesa sandwich and I made a salad with watercress and tomato. Conforming to the Argentine style, I've abandoned all salad dressings (quite good for my waistline, too) in exchange for olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a dash of black pepper and salt. I hope you're hungry, because it was quite tasty.
When I don't make my own lunch, I often will get a milanesa sandwich at the local panadería called Santa Elena (Lafinur 3245). After repeated visits, everyone there knows me as "The America student" or el estudiante americano. Often panadería which sell lunch are called confiterías here, and this place isn't an exception.

Quite a good lunch...usually the sandwiches are about $A6.50, so it doesn't break the bank. However, I try and cook for myself most lunches and only splurge on occasion. I want to make my pennies count this semester!

I also have been making sauteed vegetables quite a bit. today I had some sauteed eggplant with garlic, Tabasco, and balsamic vinegar.
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Ravelry Ticker is Functional!

I'm very excited because I got the Ravelry status ticker to function on my blog. I have seen them on many other blogs and I wanted one for mine since I do occasionally post stuff about my knitting. I'm a little backlogged now...several projects behind.

Take a look...its on the right panel of the blog and has a picture of all of my current knitting projects. I'm on Ravlry, too, if you want to add me my screename is "neagley".


Thursday, April 24, 2008

PA Primary--Part 2

Oh my...primaries are over in Pennsylvania and Hillary won (54.6%) over Obama (45.4%). This was the first election I really had to struggle to decide my candidate. I know that they both have problems, but I also firmly believe that either of the candidates could positively benefit the US. My main concern is that now we run the risk of fragmenting the party and not having enough time and energy to elect a Democrat in the White House.

It's funny because a few Argentines asked me yesterday about my state. I continue to find it interesting that they're all inequitably in favor of Obama. I think it's quite interesting. They all seem to like his youthful vision and feel that it is much more important than experience. However I think Argentine's associate bad things with experience (i.e. corruption) given their tumultuous history.

I called my grandma Tuesday evening to see what happened in my precinct. That was a lot of fun. It's really awesome that with the advent of technology, i.e. Skype, it's possible to keep a sense of normality with family. She told me I sounded like I was in Gettysburg :-P How cute.

I love my grandparents!

...and back on's still a long time until November--and an even longer time until January.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PA Primary--Part 1

It is PA primary day and I'm in Argentina.

My friends have impact all the way around the world, I just received this email:

I will be on Danish news tonight! I would tell everyone to watch it, but since you obviously don't get Danish TV, I will try to find it online.

Denmark covers the US primaries very extensively, so the entire country is talking about the PA primaries. The local news organization knows that DIS is the place for American students to be, so they were looking for PA Democrats this afternoon. I told them that I am a registered Democrat in PA, so I was interviewed for the news! They were excited to find someone who can vote in these primaries. I talked about why I am voting for Obama, and how exciting it is for our state to have this world spotlight today. They asked about issues specifically important to PA, and about the issues important for students and those living abroad.

Happy Voting Day for the Pennsylvanians!
This is my dear friend Rebecca interviewing in Denmark! I'm sooooo excited for her.

I'm watching the polls closely. It's going to be a tight race.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Smoke Filled Aire in Buenos Aires--eeeek!

Sorry I've been lax for posting last week. I had full intentions of writing several things, however with the advent of smoke all over the city I had little energy or desire to do anything other than sleep.

Buenos Aires has been filled with smoke since last Wednesday. I first noticed this foul smelling smoke's arrival after my class at USAL on Wednesday evening. I left USAL and boarded the bus in the midst of the smoky fog. Believe it or not, the colectivo (bus) actually slowed down due to visibility--this is a first for Buenos Aires because the buses never slow down.

This was a complete accident. We are now entering winter in Buenos Aires and the farmers have harvested most of the season cereal crops. Many farmers will burn their land to return ash to the land at the end of the growing season. They also burn the fields to prepare new crop land for plantings for the next year. This year many farmers are turning pasture land into land to plant soybeans and corn since it is economically lucrative.

Usually this isn't a huge problem. The farms start at the perimeter of the Provincia de Buenos Aires outside of the city and move toward the center of the country. The wind generally flows from Buenos Aires Northwest and the smoke generally misses Buenos Aires completely. This year the wind decided to play cruel games on all of us by changing direction to South East, therefore sending all of the smoke directly to Buenos Aires!

I should mention that it could have been a lot worse. I am putting a figure that was in the Clarín (Argentine newspaper/diario) on Friday. You can see that along the left panel there are 3 pictures showing the spread of smoke from 12PM to 4PM. On the larger picture here is a diagram of all of the smoke in the region and Buenos Aires is marked as "Capital Federal". If I was in Tigre or San Pedro the smoke would have been much worse.

None of the Argentines were happy, as you might predict. Anyone with respiratory problems--asthma, allergies, and the like--were suffering. I am included in the allergy group. It felt like being in a Pennsylvania Bar all night with that high concentration of smoke--my eyes itched, it was hard to breathe, and the worst was being tired.

The president, Cristina Kirschner, released a statement. She seems out of touch to me when she mentioned that the smoke ruins clothing--who cares about clothing! What about all of the people with medical conditions?!?! The Argentines gave her no slack on that comment, often just cursing when the comment was mentioned.

I read many articles in the newspapers about the smoke problem, and I was left wondering in the all of the articles the horrible ramifications for Global Warming. It seems like few people care about global warming or conservation here in Argentina, sadly. I tried to talk to María about its impact on global warming and she didn't understand why this was bad for the environment. I think South America really needs some public education on this issue.

These pictures were taken on Plaza de Mayo in the Microcenter on Sunday. The smoke had almost receded at this point--on Thursday you wouldn't have been able to see most of the building. I should have taken pictures then, but I had no energy or motivation to do so since I was quite sick.

Hopefully I'll be posting more this week! However, I have a busy week since I lose time Thursday-Saturday while allergic. Un beso!
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

I want to be a famous blogger!

I guess I have to become famous first, darn.

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Final Classes

This past I finally have confirmed the classes I'm taking this semester. As I mentioned in a previous post about the 13 classes that I was "trying" before I decided on my actual classes for the semester. Finally I have gone through that process and I turned in my class choices for the semester to the program (COPA).

I've decided to take two course at USAL. The first is a sociological seminar on public health and the other is an Introduction to Neurosciences. These two courses will add to the two courses I'm taking through COPA (Independent Study and Castellano/Spanish Culture and Society). I'm happy with my choices.

This semester I seem to have more things to read then I ever had at Gettysburg. I think that it's a mix of the fact that all of my courses are in Spanish and all the reading takes longer. I'm finding it rewarding to do the readings since I can tell that my Spanish reading is improving in result of reading so many texts. I'll save my lament about Spanish literature for a future post :-P

Since I have a ton of reading this week, I hope to work on updating my blog during breaks. I have quite a few new things to share :-D Chau, un abrazo.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Making Milanesa

Mattias, son of María, taught me how to make milanesa this weekend. I thought it might be cool to add a few Argentine recipes to my blog. You could bring Argentina into your home with this traditional Argentine dish. Milanesa is served in almost every cafetería and restaurant in Argentina and there are many variants on this dish that you'll see in every restaurant or confitería (cafeteria to buy lunch) in the city.

Recipe - La receta
3 eggs
2 Tbsp. Red Vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or minced garlic
Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 tsp. parsley or oregano
1/4 tsp. celery salt
Black pepper to taste

Order a chuck roast or sirloin roast (deboned) to be sliced thin. You want the slices between 1/4 and 1/8 of an inch. If you can't get the beef sliced that thin, you can also pound a 1/2 slice into thin slices appropriate for milanesa by putting the beef in between wax paper or seran wrap and beating the meat with a meat hammer. This is a perfect activity to do on a day when you're stressed :-D

It is very important that the meat is very thin so that it flash fries very quickly. This is the important part of a milanesa!

Matias is trimming the fat off of the milanesa. He runs his knife through any flat veins to cut them so the milanesa will stay flat when fried.
Put the meat in the marinade mixture and mix it thoroughly. Refrigerate covered for 1-4 hours before proceeding to the next step.

Matias is mixing the meat with the marinade.

Put plain bread crumbs in a pan and using a fork take one milanesa at a time and coat it with the breadcrumbs.

Matias is breading the Milanesas with bread crumbs. He's careful not to touch the wet milanesa with his dry hands...that way you don't have to get quite as messy.
You can either Freeze the milanesas at this point or fry them until they're golden brown (usually 3-4 mins per side). If you decide to freeze them, I would suggest putting wax paper between them.

Some other ideas:
  • It is very popular to serve this on a sandwhich with lettuce and tomatoe.
  • Milanesas can be eaten as is. To be truly Argentine, drizzle lemon juice, chimi-churri, mayo, or ketchup.
  • Milanesa Napolatina includes a slice of tomato and cheese over the milanesa just after it's fried, sometimes they'll also add a slice of ham or a hard boiled egg, too.
  • It is also common to see Milanesa de Pollo (chicken milanesa) or Milanesa de berenjena (eggplant). For chicken they pound chicken breasts thin and repeat the same process and for Eggplant the key is to slice them very thin before marinating.

Hope to try to make this wonderful Argentine Meal! Buen Provecho! Chau!

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Gettysburg Politics

I am not missing a lot of things from the US. I have a few things I do miss; like real mayonnaise that isn't lemon flavored and perhaps I would also like some real ketchup, too. I also miss getting together with my friends and having random conversations with people on campus. But the one thing I am missing is US POLITICS!

The year that my state is playing the largest role in presidential politics I'm on another continent--figures. I love politics--the analysis, the mud, the policies, talking with people...

I guess it could be worse. I at least can check the NYTimes every day and Washington Post from Argentina. Plus the Argentines all love to talk about politics be it Argentine, US, European, or Asian politics, they generally love to talk about all of them.

This article came through Gettysburg College Democrats alias about Gettysburg and I thought I'd share. It was written for the Philadelphia Daily News by John Baer. I know a lot of the people in the article, so it's very cool for me.

The one thing he indirectly touched upon was the attitude of apathy toward politics at Gettysburg. I'll be anxious to see if the attitude changes when I return in the fall with the presidential race.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Día de la guerra de Malvinas

April 2 in Argentina is a federal holiday in rememberance of the Malvinas War in 1982. The Malvinas Islands are a group of islands off the southeastern coast of Argentina. Historically the islands have been a part of Argentina, but they have been occupied formally by Britain since 1828. The British renamed the islands to the Falkland Islands, and built a large naval base on this group of islands.

Argentina, under direction of a dictator, invaded the Malvinas Islands in 1982. The British took over 10,000 people prisoner, who were later released. Britain lost 236 people, while Argentina suffered 655 deaths. Because Britain was prepared with a naval base, it has been said that they have a large advantage over Argentina. The United Nations issued a resolution for both parties to retract there forces and seek a diplomatic answer. According to my history professor yesterday, a large reason why Argentina invaded them at the time was because Britain had reduced their troop levels. He reported that afterward Britain built the forces back up.

Today, even though Argentina lost this important battle, it is remembered. Strategically Argentina hopes over time that Britain will relinquish control of the Malvinas Islands and return control back to Argentina. President Kirschner has arranged trips, and continues to plan more trips, to convince Britain of the need to return the Malvinas Islands--or British named Falkland Islands--back to Argentina.

I think that the chapter of history on the Malvinas Islands is just beginning to be written...

Here are two links I read and have more information: