Norway #1 – Disclaimer

Several time a year there are articles that show Norway on top, or near the top, of different lists: quality of life, conditions for mothers, equality, etc etc. And it is true, Norway does score high on a lot of rankings, and the quality of life is indeed very high. The country has made some very good decisions, especially as it relates to the management of natural resources, that has allowed the country to share the wealth and not enter into Dutch Disease.

However, I sometimes feel that these stories should come with a disclaimer: Yes, the rankings are true, yes, things are generally pretty good in Norway, but let’s face it, it is a country with major oil and gas wealth, it is a small and very manageable system, it has long traditions of equality and trust and low levels of corruptions; we really should be able to get it more or less right.

Therefore I find more reason to celebrate big gains in places with much tougher conditions: For instance that polio is almost eradicated, with just 71 cases in 2015 and in only two countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan). Somalia was declared of polio after going 12 months without a single case. Brazil was able to reduce its infant mortality rate by a great deal and reached the Millenium Development Goal of a 73% reduction.

Anyway, just a little disclaimer for when you read about how amazing Norway is. I am fond of this particular ranking though, showing that Norway is the best place in the world to be a mother.

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Posted in Comunidad noruega, Noruega en Argentina, Norway | 4 Comments

Interview with a language school

After my video I got contacted by an online Norwegian course for Spanish speakers and they wrote this nice note.

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Posted in Buenos Aires, Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina, Personal | 5 Comments

Una noruega en Argentina

My blog is three years old now, and what better way to celebrate than with a video about, well, being la noruega en Argentina? (Actually, these two things are not related but it sounds good and the timing works! This was part of an innovation course I took, called El Mundo de las Ideas.) Some anecdotes about life in Argentina and some observations about the weird ways of my people, the Norwegians.

Posted in Argentina en Noruega, Argentina i Norge, Buenos Aires, Comunidad noruega, La noruega en Noruega, Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina | 14 Comments

San Antonio de Areco

Of all the small towns in Buenos Aires province, San Antonio de Areco might be the most famous one, often referred to as the gaucho capital or quintessential Buenos Aires province small town. I finally visited in March of this year, and now, in August, I figured I should get something online! We had horrible weather when we went, it rained all day except for right at the end. But I recommend a visit, it is a beautiful place and great to combine with some estancia tourism. It also made me think that if other small towns, like Cañuelas, had cared a little bit more about preserving the old feel, they could easily have become something similar. (San Antonio does have a river, though.) We visited the Museo Taller Draghi, which exhibits beautiful silver typical of the area, checked out the river area (not so great in pouring rain!) and the Parque Criollo y Museo Gauchesco Ricardo Güiraldes. The park is beautiful and there is an old-school pulpería (tavern) with many cool artefacts. The museum is a tribute to author Ricardo Guiraldes, who wrote the quintessential guacho novel, Don Segundo Sombra. Quoting Wikipedia here: “Don Segundo Sombra does not romanticize the figure of the gaucho, but simply examines the character as a shadow (sombra) cast across Argentine history.”

We had lunch at a completely non-descript place, so I won’t even mention it! But I really want to go back with sunshine to stroll along the river and ride horses at one of the nearby estancias.

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Posted in Buenos Aires, Campo, History, Travel | 4 Comments

YEITE

IMG_2585I finally visited a small restaurant in Villa Crespo that I have been wanting to go to for ages. It is called YEITE. From what I had read, it focused on great raw materials and just tasty, quality food. And that was true! It is a small place on what I call “the other side of Juan B. Justo.” We went for lunch and just had brie sandwhiches and butternut squash salad. It was all delicious! The bread was great, even for  a Scandinavian, and the fillings super tasty. The little salad was very basic but very good. I am looking forward to going back soon! I also got some cookies to go, they were good but next time I will have dessert there I think. Oh, and it is definitely very veggie friendly.

IMG_2583Yeite, Humboldt 293, between Murillo and Padilla. 011 4855-6777. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 8:30 to 19:00.

Posted in Buenos Aires, Daily life, Practical info, Restaurants, Veggies, Villa Crespo | Leave a comment

Noruega en Paraguay

I started this post almost a year ago; time to finish it! While there are not a lot of Norwegians in Argentina, there are definitely some, and there are a few resources available, such as the Embassy (although they don’t organize very many activities), the Swedish Institute, and the Nordic Church. I have some Norwegian friends here, and what I miss most from Norway is really the Swedish things, like H&M and IKEA. So, I can’t really complain! In the smaller neighbouring countries, Paraguay and Uruguay, there is not even any of this, from what I understand. I don’t know that much about Uruguay, but I after getting an email from a woman in Paraguay who had lived in Norway, I decided to do a little research. The woman lives in Juan Pedro Caballero, on the eastern boarder of the country, right next to Brazil, and she told me they have a Norwegian-funded pre-school there, interesting! I am assuming it is funded by Plan or Save the Children or something like that.

As for Norwegians currently in Paraguay, I found a couple of blogs by exchange students, such as this one: Martina i Paraguay.

An interesting bit of Norwegian-Paraguayan history is the town of Fram, in the Departamento of Itapua, in the south of the country. The town was founded by a Norwegian living in Argentina, Pedro Christophensen (not sure if the incorrect spelling was actually how he spelled it) in 1927, together with Paraguayan Mateo Sanchez. The town was named for Fridtjof Nansen’s ship that he used to reach the Arctic ice in 1893. It is a tiny place with only 7,000 inhabitants and there really were no actual Norwegians ever living there except Mr. Christophensen. There are people of European origin there, but from Eastern Europe. It is nicknamed “The Wheat Capital”. Would be fun to visit and see if there are any traces of Norway there!

framThrough the Universidad de Palermo, here in BsAs, I found an interesting publication: Rita Petersen: de Noruega a Paraguay, líder de familia. This is the story of the family of Laura and Haakon Petersen, who arrived in Argentina in 1907 and subsequently settled in Paraguay, and focuses on Rita Petersen, one of their three children. This article references another publication, Los Cinco Petersen, a book written by the daughter of Rita Petersen and published in 2007, telling the story of the family of five arriving in South America, including translations of hand-written letters. How cool! There are not many descendendants of Norwegians in Argentina, and even less in Paraguay, so it is really nice that they have been able to document the family history.

I hope to update this if I find more stuff, and if there are anyone with Paraguay-Norwegian connections reading this, I would love to hear from you.

Posted in History, Paraguay, Travel | 1 Comment

Snapshots from a roadtrip

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Posted in Travel | 7 Comments