Fare thee well (until 2011)

The final day of the conference found us all up much earlier than any previous day. So early, the hotel didn’t get the complete breakfast buffet set out before we all dashed off to catch the bus for our tour of the INIDEP library and the final presentation by Dr. Martin Ehrlich on the 200 year history of marine biological research in Argentina. What a fascinating history it was.  So much of Argentina is international, even the scientific history is international. From indigenous populations, Spanish, French and German, the scientific knowledge has been developed by local people, scientists and even the Jesuits to better understand the rich biodiversity of Argentina and the Argentine Sea.

And thus we move on to the 2nd business meeting for 2010.  Blah blah blah. And they let us have a few minutes outside in the sun on the real beach with sand, not rocks, and waves. Yes, I stood in the surf for a few minutes, reacquainting myslef with the Atlantic. Not that I actually did much interaction with the ocean when I lived in Virginia Beach, but I spent time tanning on the beach. Yes, I did tan, it was the 80’s.

So, we all piled back on the bus for a nice drive out to Estancia Santa Isabel for our ‘banquet’. Ok, we were treated to a lovely, traditional Asado.  But first, the show. A few appetizers, some drinks and the gauchos ride up the green. Wow. How cool. Pictures and videos to come. We all cheered during the races of skill and speed. Then the game. Each rider was given a little stick. They were to ride toward this tny ring suspended overhead and put the stick through the ring.  You’ll have to see the pictures, but the ring wasn’t more than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, quite small.  There were a number of misses, but a couple of the gauchos were successful. Then Silverio Ortiz was given a try at the ring and he was successful in spearing the oittle thing. The final bit of fun was the land sled made from some type of hide pulled behind the horses.  A quick demonstration and all were invited to ride. Yes, there are pictures and videos of the various souls brave enough to try this new excitement. No, not me. The poor horse would not have moved a hoof.

After the entertainment, we were taken to the party room where we were delighted with traditional foods including blood sausage and chorizo (I think), a variety of salads (green, coleslaw, & potato). Tinto (red) and blanco (white) wines were offered as well as sodas (gaseosas) and water. We did get to observe the cooking technqigue which involved skewering huge chunks of meat and planting the sticks in the gournd around a fire. The sausages were grilled a bit closer to the fire, but not directly over the fire.  Each different meat was brought around by servers and we selected our own favorite tasty morsel to gnaw on. When the Grupo Latino Americano got rambunctious, the music got turned up and the dancing commenced. For those who have attended a conference, you all know what the dancing is all about. Great variety of music by the DJ and a wonderful time was had by all. Finally, we were all herded back to the bus to head back to our hotels and ready ourselves for further travels or our trip home.  Some folks are heading over to Mendoza for horse back riding and wine tours, some are heading up to Iguazu Falls with a promise of a full moon tour of the falls, some are heading south to Puerto Madryn with hopes of seeing whales and other Patagonian adventures.

I wish you all safe travels and good times. Be well for the next year and see you in Zanzibar.  By the way, my 14 year old son will be traveling with me, so if you have a child of similar age, and feel so inclined, perhaps we can set them up as buddies during the conference.

Alamsiki, kuona mwaka ujao

StreamNet Regional Librarian
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

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