March Reports: March 15th - 31st
Venezuela: Comida tipica
Mi dieta española
La dieta chilena
Mi dieta en Barcelona - muy a la española
Plaza de toros: Mérida, Venezuela
Protesta contra el atentado terrorista
Impresiones sobre el ataque terrorista
Un día malo para España
Reacciones a los Ataques Terroristas
Gusties ayudan a un perro callejero en Mérida, Venezuela
Venezuela: Comida tipica

La Comida Andina de Mérida.

Para el desayuno, la gente aquí come empanadas, un postre frito que tiene carne o queso. El café aquí es muy fuerte, más que en los Estados Unidos, y lo toman con leche en polvo (powdered milk). El jugo aquí es de fruta fresca, nuestro jugo favorito es el de mora.

El almuerzo es la comida más importante del día. Comemos sopa, carne, arroz o plátanos, una ensalada, y jugo. El plato típico de esta región se llama pabellón criollo. Lleva arroz, sopa con frijoles negros, carne, y plátanos fritos.

Para la cena, comemos arepas de harina de trigo o de maíz. Las comemos con huevos, queso, jamón, mermelada, mantequilla, y algunas veces miel. También hay fruta, sandwiches, o cereal.

¡Buen provecho!

Hannah Julien
Mi dieta española

Mi Dieta Española

In the morning, we normally eat something pretty small and traditional, for example, a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal. The milk comes in little paper boxes. A lot of people drink "cola cao" for breakfast, which is like our hot chocolate. However, hot chocolate is something different in Spain, it is much thicker and you eat it with a spoon.

For lunch, la comida, we have a very traditional Spanish meal: a stew made with pork and potatoes, paella, other rice dishes, onion puree soup, various grilled meats in olive oil, potatoes with seafood, green beans with Ham, eggs with french fries, or pastas with meat in them. In general, tuna, potatoes, olives, olive oil, mayonnaise, and pork are all very common. We have bread with every meal as well. We finish off every comida with fruit.

Dinner is a bit more casual. We have seafood a lot: oysters, fried fish, calamari, octopus, and meats such as veal or hamburger. At dinner, there are more things to choose from, but in smaller quantities (for my family). We only drink water with meals, with the exception of wine or beer on the weekends. At night, we sometimes have pizza, different cheeses, and crunchy bread. Potatoes are also common at dinner. After la cena, we always eat yogurt. Tapas or pinchas are also very popular before dinner, and consist of a very small serving of some traditional Spanish food, like tortilla Española or patatas bravas, and then a drink, like cerveza or café.

There are hundreds of pastelerías, places where pastries, desserts, bolerias, napolitanos, and other pasteles are sold. They are wonderful and cheap! Chocolate con churros is another food that is very popular, and people drink café con leche (more like a latte) all the time. The coffee is so good and cheap! As a whole, they mix food in strange ways here, and I feel like I have a new food adventure every week (rabbit, hen, etc). I eat very well though!

La dieta chilena

¡Hola Gusties!

The food in Chile is great. With it being the end of summer, there are still tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. The meal of almuerzo is usually around 1 or 2 pm and my mother typically makes salad, some kind of meat, and either rice or vegetables. My favorite part of the Chilean cuisine is ¨once,¨ which is basically an excuse to have dessert as a meal. Onces are usually around 6 or 7 pm and consist of cake, ice cream, coffee, crackers with cream de leche, and sometimes a small sandwich. Avocado is also very popular, and homemade guacamole is delicious. Some other popular dishes include empanadas, which are like hot pockets filled with anything you can imagine, and pastel de choclo, which is basically a baked corn dish filled with meat, an egg, one raisin, and one olive and served in a big bowl, weird, huh?

Amanda Cody
Mi dieta en Barcelona - Muy a la Española

¡Hola a todos!

The diet and eating schedule is very, very different than in the U.S. For desayuno, I had "pans," little dried pieces of bread with Nutella, a chocolate/peanut butter spread. I had that the first 2 months I was here, so last week I asked my host mother if I could have fruit and yogurt in addition to the pans, because I was getting pretty hungry going on so little. They have the best yogurt here, it is called Dannissimo. They ultra-pasteurize their dairy products, therefore, it is not necessary to keep yogurt or milk refrigerated--weird!!

El almuerzo, or lunch, is their biggest meal. It is eaten during siesta, anytime between 2 pm and 5 pm. It may consist of pan con tomate (my favorite-bread with tomato and olive oil rubbed on it), carne, verduras, bebidas, y un postre. They have what is called the “Menú del Día,” where they offer a bebida, dos cursos, y un postre, todo por 7 u 8 euros...not a bad deal.

Cena is eaten anytime between 8pm and 10 or 11 pm--so late!! We have to ask our señora if we can eat around 8:30pm because we are not used to eating so late. Their dinners are usually pretty long, starting with salad, or vegetales, then having pasta or carne, drinks and always un postre...their portions are much, much smaller than Americans are used to, which was a big change, but I have gotten used to it now.

Going to the grocery store is another fun thing to do, their stores are so tiny and everything is really cheap. Wine is cheaper than water, at the grocery store, a nice bottle of wine is about 3 Euros and the most expensive top shelf brand is maybe 6 Euros--crazy!!

Stephanie Handahl
Plaza de toros: Mérida, Venezuela

Hola Gusties!

This is a picture of the Plaza de Toros in Mérida, Venezuela. We saw Kiris’
picture on the website and we wanted our plaza on there too! This picture shows the beginning ceremony with the toreros, but no bull, sorry! We can’t look at those pictures...hope you like it!

Tyler, Jon and Hannah
Protesta Contra el Atentado Terrorista

I just returned from a peace manifestation in our Plaza Mayor in Salamanca. After the terrorist attacks in Madrid yesterday, the whole country has been devastated. Classes have been cancelled, trains were shut down, and several times a day people gather in the Plazas for silence. The news is full of sadness, stories, and updates. Almost 200 people were killed and 800 have been injured.

This was the biggest terrorist attack Spain has ever experienced. At the manifestation everyone had anti-terrorist signs and moments of silence would be broken by applause. Every street in the city was packed with people, shoulder to shoulder. Cars could hardly be driven and most places are closed. The Spaniards have reacted very strongly, and most of us can relate to this attack with what we experienced on September 11th. This is a very sad, very bad time for Spain...please keep everyone in your thoughts.

Impresiones sobre el ateque terrorista

Everyone is a bit tense around here. It is a very scary thing since we students take similar trains everyday to work and school. I just had friends in Madrid last weekend, so everyone is a bit shaken. We do not know if the group responsible for this was Al-Qaeda, as there is also speculation about terrorists in the Basque country in northern Spain who want a sovereign nation. Our prayers are with those who lost their lives or were hurt, and we are thankful for our safety. I leave tomorrow with Angie for Amsterdam, and although we are a little nervous about traveling, it will be better to get out of Spain for now.


Stephanie Handahl
Un día malo para España

This is what the people keep saying, “un día muy malo para España...” I just wanted to send out a quick e-mail to let you know that everything is okay here in Spain, with respect to the terrorist bombing in Madrid this morning. I am safe in Salamanca, although the country is in shock. All classes have been canceled, vigils and protests are all over the Plaza Mayor, and the news is full of tragedy (as the Spanish news castings cease to cover up death or blood, which we are often shielded from in the US). This is the biggest terrorist attack that Spain has ever experienced, so you can imagine what it is like here: their respective 9/11. A previously scheduled group trip to Madrid (El Escorial) on Saturday (my birthday!) has now been cancelled and train travel is also at a halt. Please keep Spain in your thoughts and prayers!

Reacciones a los Ataques Terroristas


Well, I was in Madrid three days before the terrorist attacks (Madrid is a wonderful city!), and used the train station Atocha, which was the one that was attacked. The people reacted to the attacks similar to the that of the US after 9/11 in many ways, but I would say that now that it has been nearly a week, it is not in the news nearly as much as 9/11 was after a week. The day after the attacks, the president asked for huge manifestaciones in the streets at 7 pm to protest for peace. In every single city in Spain, there were HUGE turnouts of people. In a country of around 40 million, more than 11 million came out to march. That is an amazing percentage, and in my city there were well over 100,000, including myself.

At first it was believed to be ETA, a terrorist group in Spain that wants El País Basque (in the north of Spain) to be an independent state, but all of the people I talked to, including my political science professor, host family, amigos, and whoever, all felt that it was not ETA´s way to kill so many innocent people, in such an organized way. Whoever did it, they had a HUGE impact on the presidential elections that took place on Sunday. The Partido Popular (PP) was predicted to win by a decent margin before the attacks, but ended up losing by more than 5 % to the PSOE. The Spanish people are strongly against the war in Iraq (more than 90% oppose), and many feel this terrorist attack was due to the country being on the United States’ side and by being involved the war, so they voted out the PP.

I would say that the country has rebounded extremely rapidly after the attacks. It is definitely a very sad situation, but everything seems to be back to normal right now. Spain is an incredible country, and it is not going to let something like this affect its way of life.

Danny Ryan

Gusties ayudan a un perro callejero en Mérida, Venezuela

There is a little dog that is always in our neighborhood. He is very dirty but he’s very happy and friendly so we started bringing him food everyday and calling him Scruffy because of his fur. He got to know us and gets really excited whenever he sees us. We see him every time we walk to school or walk home. One day, we didn’t see him all day and we got really worried; but that night, we found him and he had a big wound on his side. We knew that it would get infected and that he would just die if we didn’t help him. Some guys that work on the corner of our neighborhood that also feed him told us that he got into a fight with another dog.

We started calling veterinarians, but it was late at night and there was nothing we could do. The next day we got him to follow us to a nearby vet office so they could help but the doctor was not there that day. In the afternoon Jon’s teacher told him that she knew of a place called “Defensa Animal” that helped animals that were injured or needed help. The number was nowhere to be found, but eventually we found someone who knew where the office was. We went to the office and told them about the dog and they said they would contact us when they could come help. They didn’t call so we went back and insisted they come. It was about a week later when they finally came and gave the Scruffy several stitches and cleaned out his wound. They even gave us antibiotics to give to him everyday and he got an anti-parasite shot and a vitamin shot. We donated some money to the organization as a thank you and sometimes we go back to play with the dogs there. We also bought several t-shirts.

These pictures are from when the Defensa Animal doctor came to help the dog. Hannah and Tyler are helping hold him down along with two other people. Jon is the photographer. Next, I will send you a picture of the dog that we took yesterday. It is feeling much better and is a lot happier. The wound is almost healed, and as soon as it is, we are going to try to give him a bath. Our little brother here told us that all the kids in the neighborhood call the dog Luigi, that the people who work at the glass factory on the corner call him Lobo, and that across the street from the glass factory they call him Pinto. They tell us that he has lived in the neighborhood for several years and everyone helps take care of him!

Tyler, Hannah y Jon
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