fredag 7. mai 2010

Hogar bethel

So, I know I´m slow, SORRY!

I won´t write much, I will let the pictures speak for themselves...

The Sunday dance...

Me and Maria...

Me and Cynthia...

A normal day in the kindergarden...

The charming Santiago...


Milagros on the phone...

Me, Mara and Belen...


The choir...



Another band...


my girls...

I will miss it, this place! I hope I can come back one day. On Monday it´s only 3 weeks left, time is passing very fast. I will write again though, so stay tuned. Just not right now, cause AK is visiting and we have things to do, places to see and songs to sing ;)

søndag 2. mai 2010

"Did you hear?"

Ida and AK got new boyfriends?

Did you also hear: AK doesn't want to write more essays!

PS: yes, dad, I did try to buy his guitar for you, but he didn't want to part from it,
as it was specially made for him.

lørdag 1. mai 2010

A visual summary of the trip to Santiago de Chile and Mendoza

Cool mix of old and new architecture in Santiago.

The view of some of the city from a view point.

The meeting point for the rafting excursion.

Summer meets fall? (at least for people who associate palm trees with summer!)

Mendoza by night (Plaza de Independencia)

A grape plantation belonging to one of the vineyards on our bike-and-wine list!

No comment necessary.

A happy biker.

Rafting in Medoza River!

Word of advice: don't sit down in the front of the boat -
you will be the one getting soooooaked. Learned that lesson the hard (wet?) way.

FUN! :)

tirsdag 20. april 2010

Bus trippin'

I forgot to tell you last time, that while Alejandro & Simon were visiting we did a little travelling too: specifically to Mar del Plata, which is about 5h. south of BsAs. It's the IT-vacation spot for porteños and is known for it's beaches and casinos. We tried both (although the beach was a cold pleasure - the casino was better). I learned (to love) playing poker!

Anyway, that's all old news now, because there is a new trip waiting to happen:
Tomorrow Kjersti & I (AK) will go to Santiago de Chile, check Chile out for a few days,
then go to Mendoza and hopefully rent a few (well..let's start with 2) bikes
and then bike from vinyard to vinyard, untill we fall off the bike (don't worry mum,
I won't actually fall of the bike..probably not anyway).

Hasta la vista babies!!!!!! (that sounded weird...I just wanted to call you baby!)

Ida-we miss u <3

torsdag 15. april 2010


'Hola a todos

AK speaking again (Ida, where are you???? oh, that's right, in Villa General Belgrano close to Cordoba - update us please).

As you can guess, the band has split up : (not due to artistic differences)
Ida is in a town close to Cordoba working at an orphanage
Kjersti is on vacation in Peru, but is returning to BsAs in 2 days
and I'm still in Buenos Aires, studying hard....hard-ish.
When Kjersti gets back we're gonna (hopefully) do some traveling! :)

But untill then I thought I'd give you some pictures from the last travel.
All photo-credit goes to Kjersti, the master photographer of the trip...I think there's only 30 pictures from the last 4months on my camera...this is because a) I'm lazy. b) Kjersti is a better photographer anyway. If you wanna see more pictures, you should visit her blog:

The first picture starting this posting is of Kjersti&I with Thys, who we picked up at the busstation and decided to travel with.
The one below is of me climbing to get to the falls (the guide also was the photographer of the day). And some gorgeous pictures of the nature on our way around the Salta area also follow.

Lamas everywhere!

THANK YOU to the photographer Kjersti!
Some of these are definitely going up on my wall at home when I get back :)

lørdag 27. mars 2010


Hola a todos,
AK speaking! :)

We've been on the road lately, and therefore we now have a lot to tell you!

We've spent some days in Uruguay, passed through Colonia and Montevideo
and ended up in Cabo Polonio which is a peninsula with great beaches, no electricity,
and rarely running water. Thanks to helpful advice from the tourist-information lady at the bus-station in Montevideo we left believing that we'd be able to pay with credit cards at the
restaurants in Cabo Polonio...we were not. Thanks lady. The same lady told us that there were no restaurants close to the we got out we saw more than 3 in the closest street.

Cabo Polonio is about 5 hours from Montevideo along the coast towards the east and in order to get there you have to (after the 5h. busride) take a 4x4 truck to get to the town because you will be driving over sand mountains and beaches. Lovely.
I have never seen so many stars on the sky.

We knew we had to pick up the keys to the 24m2 house we were renting (for 4 people) from a guy called Leo in a blue house close to the lighthouse. However, when we got to Cabo was dark and we had no idea where the blue house was. Neither did we know which house we had rented. This could have gotten tricky, but thanks to a very helpful man who came with the same truck we did (who walked us to Leo's blue house, and then to the house we rented with a flashlight) everything was ok.

During our stay we got to see sea lions (both alive and dead), a huge number of stray dogs,
some cute puppies, got to shower outside in water from the well, and finally managed to scrape together enough money to eat at on of the restaurants (we chose to do so in the dark, as then we would not notice that it was quite dirty). Oh yes...and some of us might have gotten a bit sunburned as well.

From there we went back to BsAs, but just for 1 night, and then we got on a bus to Cordoba.
Cordoba seems like a much smaller city (of course) than BsAs, and also it looks a lot cheaper (of course). It also has an awesome "Museum of memory" for the Dirty War (la guerra sucia)
which I recommend to anyone passing through the city.

The people of Cordoba are also very helpful (whenever you pull up a map 5 people come running to help you figure out where to go) and a special thanks should go out to the 2 old men who stopped me and Kjersti from walking on the "bad side" of the river ("you can't walk there with a purse!").

Ida & Simon stayed in Cordoba and explored the area around, while Kjersti & me took a bus to Salta. At the busstation we met a guy from the Netherlands, Thys, and decided to rent a car and drive from Salta to La Poma through the spectacular scenery with lots of mountains, colors, and kind of crappy roads. We found a very small restaurant there (the town is TINY) and I got to read children's stories to the chef's incredibly cute daugther. From there we went to Catchi where we spent 1 night, and then to Cafayate a lot further south where we took a guided walk to Rio Colorado, a beautiful waterfall where we took a swim. Luckily we opted for going there with a guide, although the Lonely Planet book mentioned nothing of this need, because we suddenly found ourself climbing up 10meters on rocks with a rise of almost 90degrees.

We drove back to Salta for a night, and then up past Jujuy and to Purmamarca, where I might have gone sligthly berserk buying souvenirs. This is also where you'll find the mountains with 7 colors (very pretty!) not to mention countless police controls as it is relatively close to the boarder of Bolivia. We drove back to Salta and spent the last night there, and checked out the Inca Museum and the view over Salta before we said goodbye to Thys and got on a plane back to BsAs.

Salta and the area around definitely has a different feel to it than BsAs, obviously the cities are smaller, but the people also look different, supposedly because of a lot of immigration from Bolivia. And most people are extremely helpful whenever you pull up a map here too.

Today it's Saturday, yesterday we got back from our adventure, and this morning at 6.30 I picked up (read: ambushed) Alejandro at the airport in BsAs, and now we will spend 2 weeks exploring BsAs and enjoying the Easter vacations.

Happy Easter!!!!!!!! :)

lørdag 13. mars 2010

Important Buenos Aires tips!

A word of advice:

If you HAVE to take a taxi in Buenos Aires alone (try to avoid it if you can)
make sure you WRITE DOWN the name of the taxi company (because you
should take a RadioTaxi - that means, a taxi connected to a radio central...they're
easier to track if something should happen, and more accountable because they are
representing a taxi company, and they're not just random independent taxi drivers)
AND also write down the 3 digit number that you will see displayed on the back of each
taxi (and usually also on the side of the taxi) - that way you will be able to
trace the taxi-driver if something should happen.

This is what a taxi that's NOT connected to a radio central looks like

(now you're thinking: wow, that has to be an old picture, because the car is so old!'re wrong..there are a surprising high number of cars driving around here
that haven't been seen in Norway since the 70s).

This is what a radio taxi looks like:

It's a bit hard to see from this picture, but the relevant information here
is the name of the taxi company on the back-door "City Taxi" and the
3 digit number above the front wheel (in this case 387).
So, remember that if you are ever taking a taxi alone in Buenos Aires.
A good idea can also be to send a text to a friend where you write this information
that way, someone else will know that you are in that specific taxi at that
specific time.

Because, sad as it is...things happen.
A friend of ours was just robbed by the taxi-driver (yes, a radio taxi)
on her way home from a tango-show we'd all been too.
All of the sudden, the Buenos Aires that has seemed so safe for so long
doesn't seem as safe anymore.

Note to self: stop taking taxis alone.
and remember your old paranoid-self:
everyone is out to get you, trust no one.
(ok, choose a few people and trust them ;))

mandag 8. mars 2010

Last week

Wow, it's Monday again!

Since we've last spoke we've learned how to make balloon animals (well..a dog) and swords!
I've already added it to my CV. It's quite impressive, don't you think??

These ones are made of the balloon-talented Kjersti! The card in the corner is an example of a very cute card and love declaration one of the kids made to their mum (one of the activities at the birthday parties in March, in addition to facepaint, is to make cards).

A question that might pop up in your head is: WHY have you learned to make balloon animals and swords. Well, it's all in the name of coordinating birthday parties for the kids in the slums. I am happy to rapport that they are now all getting balloon figures at birthday parties.

Every Thursday "Madres de plaza Mayo" (mai-plass mødrene) march in remembrance of their children who strangely disappeared in the Dirty War, and their disapperances are still unaccounted for by the government, which the mothers are trying to show their disapproval of.
The ladies walking in the front line were really old, and they were all wearing scarfs on their heads, and carrying pictures of their loved ones who had gone missing. Looking at them really made me sad, and at the same time impressed, because they STILL march every Thursday at 15.30 so many years after.

On Friday we went to La Viruta, a place to learn/dance tango. We felt quite confident from last time so we had previously decided to go directly to the "intermediate" section. However, as it all started we found ourselfes in the "beginner" section again, not sure why. Luckily, Ida & I were both swept off to the intermediate class by two friends who had tangoed for 2 years (what were THEY doing in the beginners class??). My dancepartner told me "forget everything they just told you, and follow me" - my immediate reaction "OMG, this is a jerk"..however, he turned out quite normal, and quite the tango dancer too.

Saturday was spent in Tigre, where we were last weekend too, enjoying the fresh air and the sun. Sunday we checked out a new park: Parque Norte, that has A LOT of pools, cafeteria, music, water-aerobics etc. A great place to have fun in the sun.

mandag 1. mars 2010


I am officially one year older.

Today was my birthday, and it has been a really nice day!
I was woken up by breakfast on the bed, with champagne and candy
+ 2 gifts from abroad that had been delivered on the door while I was sleeping.
Pancakes with bacon for breakfast (and champagne) followed by a trip to the park
with a gossip magazine, before volunteering teaching English at a soup kitchen,
blowing out candles and eating delicious brownies
and going out for drinks after. NOW I'm 24.

It's been a while since we've blogged, but that doesn't mean we haven't kept busy.
Thursday we went to the movies with a friend and saw Precious. A good, and tragic, happy, horrible, and good movie.
The maid has finally shown up! Since none of us has ever had a maid before we were unsure what to do, so we gave her cake and soda and left so she could clean in peace on Friday.
We've gotten to know Palermo Soho and Palermo Viejo (cool neighbourhoods in BsAs) better (while she was cleaning...and/or eating cake and drinking soda and reading our magazines).
We've discovered that there is a Mate bar (mate is a kind of tea that it appears EVERYBODY in Argentina and sorrounding countries drink) right next door.
We've had choripan (a typical sausage with lots of spices)

with chimichurry (a typical sause/salsa) and now feel more argentine because of it.

We've been to Tigre, which is 1h. outside BsAs..with train it's exactly 4,40ArgPesos/6,60NOK go and come back. It's a nice small city with lots of rivers with boats, and FRESH air, perfect for a Saturday outing. Tigre should be called Buenos Aires instead of Buenos Aires being called Buenos know what I mean, don't you?
There were lots of cool markets, and I was really tempted to buy a carneval costume, but it was a wee bit expensive instead I bought an adidas jacket. It will serve for the same purpose as the carneval costume I thought.

We also went to the Mate museum in Tigre, and learned a lot about the history of mate,
and how to prepare it. We now all have our own mate cup with a special straw (called bombilla).
You have to fill the mate cup 3/4 full with the tea leaves, the tilt the cup so that the leaves will distribute at an upwards angle of 45 degrees to one side. Then you add hot water (75degrees) into the side of the cup where the leaves are lowest, till half of the leaves are covered. Then you drink. Then you add more water. And apperantly you continue that way twelve times, and then you change the placement of the bombilla till the other side (where the leaves are highest) and start sipping again.

We all felt that with this we would be able to make it at home and like it (last time I tried it was a failure)...but it just wasn't the same at home as at the museum! Disappointing. But we anyway have lots of new knowledge about Mate, and therefore feel even more argentine.

We also checked out a new restaurant in BsAs on Sunday, known for it's scandinavian cooking, design, atmosphere etc. It's called Olsen (however, it's actually written Ølsen in the restaurant). We were very curious about what to expect, and what we found was a hell of a lot of wood.
The fasade was of wood, the chairs (not very surprising perhaps), the decorations...the pillows had knitted patterns on them, there was an oven with wood in it, the waiters were not very nice...ergo: it felt like home! ahhh...Norway <3
The food did actually taste scandinavian though..whatever that means. Think white sauce, fish, jam on meat etc.

And that brings us to today, Monday, my birthday.
I hope YOU've had a good 1st of March too.
Tomorrow I'm gonna eat brunost (arrived from Norway) for breakfast. Yey.

onsdag 24. februar 2010

Iguazu Falls

We've been travelling!

Last weekend we got on a bus Friday afternoon at 15.15
(after doing a Pub Crawl the night before) and knew that we wouldn't get off until
18,5 hours later. But it wasn't a bad busride (we went with the company ViaBariloche) at all!

We were served snacks, starters and dinner while movies were playing in the background.
The temperature was relatively well regulated.. although we were prepared for the opposite with lots of clothes and blankets in the luggage. We can't say the same for the Australian boys sitting next to us though..they came in shorts and t-shirts (or actually, even less) and spend the night shivering trying to cover themselves with random pieces of fabric that they found on the bus.
I guess once a "speider" always a "speider" (scout)... 'cause we were ready for anything!

We spent Saturday in the city called Puerto Iguazu and met a very nice lady at the tourist information who helped us plan the rest of our weekend. We went to see the falls, and walked around the park. We got absolutely wet and it was quite comfortable because it was HOT.

We met a cute chilean family of 3 in the park with the cutest little boy who was too shy to talk to us, but we got to practise our Spanish a bit with his parents.
At night we hung out at the pool at the hostel drinking flavoured beer (I had orange), and met a nice dutch girl, and we all went to dinner together...and guess who we met??
The chilean family walked in to the same restaurant! Now that's a coincidence!
And the boy had obviously made plans for what he would do if he met us again because he said "te amo, te amo, te amo!" (I love you)

From there we walked forever (practically) in order to get to a street where there was supposed to be a carneval. And it WAS a carneval. Everybody was wearing glittering and tiny bikinis and dancing in the streets - cool!

And somewhat annoying that everyone had spray-bottles of soap foam that they were spraying us with....but whatever.

Our hostel in Puerto Iguazu:

Sunday we went to the Brazilian side and it was amazing!
First we met a man at the bus-station who was looking for a girlfriend.
He then showed us his bank cards..not sure if that was a part of his strategy in order to find a girlfriend, but either way, we left after a small chat.

When we made it to the falls we got a really good overview over how big the falls really are (A LOT bigger than Niagara Falls).

The falls are a great place for seeing really cool butterflies, and rainbows!

We spent the rest of the day in Foz do Iguaçu and eventhough everything (almost) was closed because it was Sunday (I guess Brazilian people are quite religious) we managed to do some of the musts-when-in-Brazil:
Eat a buffet dinner
Drink SKOL beer
Drink Brazilian coffee

Our waiter was the cutest ever, mostly because of his funny way of speaking English. He greeted us at the door when we arrived: Good night!!!! oh...sorry: good evening!
and proceeded to ask if we wanted joyce to drink.
My de-coding English abilities from living with various people from various countries with various levels of English in Trondheim payed off, and we got some joyce. I mean juice.

Monday we took a bus to Paraguay (Ciudad del Este). We considered walking across the bridge in order to be able to say "we walked from one country to another" but decided that maybe it was a bad idea since our hotel reseptionist informed us that it was "not advisable". So we stayed on the bus, and despite the warning in the Lonely Planet book, that people throw things on to the bus as we pass, nothing was thrown and we made it across safe. We even remembered to be properly stamped OUT and in of the country (very important).

What we saw of Paraguay was completely different from what we've seen in both Argentina & Brasil. It was caotic, without "proper" roads, cars, people, animals, sellers etc. EVERYWHERE and street sellers/street markeds EVERYWHERE. And every store has a personal security officer who is armed with the largest rifles I've seen...randomly thrown over the shoulder. Looks very intimidating. We walked around and looked at the stuff they had to offer, and while a street seller was trying to sell us something a car actually came and hit him! Luckily just on the back of his leg, but his sandal was broken, and it was kind of sad. Mostly for him of course. But we all felt bad. Still didn't buy anything from him though.

Paraguay is really poor, and here is a picture of some homes

Then all of the sudden it started raining like CRAZY and we headed for the bus-station where a 21h. bus trip waited. This time we were going with the company Crucero del Norte.
We felt extremely well prepared as we quickly discovered that we needed both hats, jackets, blankets etc. to keep warm. Our mums (and dads!) would be proud.
We also noticed that the bus looked a bit less well-kept than the one that had brought us to Puerto Iguazu and started worrying about whether or not we would get something to eat.
In stead of a movie we got 5 different songs (90s disco music) played on repeat.
It made us more worried. But luckily, at random stops street-sellers came on the bus to sell different things you need for a long bus ride..I list: football shoes, CDs, towels, blankets...and FOOD! So, we bought lots of empanadas in order to be ready in case there would be no food.
We also made a new friend. And when I say friend I mean slightly-creapy-guy-who-keeps-staring-like-crazy.

Around 23.30 when we'd lost all hope for food the bus stopped and everyone rushed in to what appeared to be a bus-restaurant. It was a "restaurant" run by the buscompany where we got dinner and dessert. All in 15minutes. Max. We had to eat and run, and that was a good thing, because we ended up eating with guy-who-stares-a-lot. The bus ride got a bit better from there, because a movie started (and we fell asleep)...and slowly (!) but surely we made it to Buenos Aires.

Now we've just got back from throwing a birthday party for the kids, and
I can still hear the words "dame un globo!!!!!" (give me a balloon) ringing in my ears.