>> Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wow! So many things have happened since my last post, and it is already a new year!!

Right now I am recovering from a big meal at my grandparent's house, back in Texas.
You know, people use that  cheesy quote about how we all smile in the same language, but I think the fact that this whole world has an appetite might be more relevant!

I am missing my friends back home (by which I mean Uruguay) as I am re-adjusting to American culture. It is a bit overwhelming to understand so much of what goes on around me. My ears are Englished out!
And embarrassing to realize that, for instance, people don't greet with a cheek-kiss here..... oops!

Ah, well. One day at a time.

Don't worry, I will fill you in on the adventures of the past few weeks soon!
Meanwhile, live it up!



"La larga noche de los museos"

>> Friday, December 10, 2010

Tonight, the recent tradition of "La larga noche de los museos" will take place in Montevideo. This is an even in which many of the museums (here, and also some in the interior) keep their doors open to the public through the night, with free entry. The idea is an international one that officially began in Berlin in 1997, and the idea is to get the community involved in the arts.
Here is a link to an article in El País about the event!

Well, we've had a lovely day in Atlántida, a small beach town about an hour or so from Montevideo. It was cloudy, but we still had a great time- and Mandy, Bev, and I all braved the cold water!

Off we go to conquer the museums!


One Semester Done

>> Thursday, December 9, 2010

Well, there it went in the blink of an eye!
We finished our finals last week and the semester for this group is officially closed. The rest of the group arrived back home safely yesterday, and I am missing them already!
We had a good last week which consisted of playing pool (our bi-weekly tradition), Diego and Andrea cooking Indian food for us, a night out dancing (literally- 2:00 am to 6:00 am), frantically finishing assignments, sleeping in the courtyard, and enjoying the hospitality of the Rodriguez family. We spent our last evening as a group on the Rambla, watching the symbolic sunset together.



Rocha Weekend

>> Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This weekend we took a group trip to the department of Rocha, where I have now been several times! Rocha is known for its beaches, so we spent our time between the beaches of La Paloma and isolated Cabo Polonio.  On the way up, we stopped at Punta Ballena to visit Vilaro’s Casapueblo, which was really neat. We also got to visit the Ombú forrest, which was like being in a Dr. Seuss land.
Oh, and I saw my first CARPINCHO! Finalmente!
It has been great having Bev, Meg, and Mandy along... it just makes sense!
Here are some trip shots:


Punta Ballena

Our boat being saved by the Gaucho guide

Me and and an Ombú ("hey guys, it's not actually a tree...")

The ride to Cabo Polonio

Casi Cabo Polonio
I also had a horse-back riding adventure (not documented), in which my death was highly expected. In summary, my horse was angry and the brakes weren't working. Fortunately, my clamp-hands held me on and eventually my horse was taken back and traded out for a blue rone! (My favorite!)

It was a restful weekend; the calm before the storm. Now papers, exams, and final projects are spinning around our brains and causing me to procrastinate. It is hard to believe the semester is already almost over! Glad I will be here some extra time!



>> Monday, November 22, 2010

God is so good.

He keeps teaching me important things, giving and taking, watching and showing. My independent mentality makes me feel like I should be able to do anything within the realms of ability myself. When things work, I am responsible, and when things fail, I am responsible. (This mentality is why I never liked team sports... a sore spot in my memory! Ha!)

Well, it seems like every time I start to settle back into that mentality, I am slapped upside the face with a change that holds me so accountable I could punch myself! Even though it isn't the nicest way to learn a lesson, it gets the job done. It's like pruning a plant.
And you know what? Discipline is a sign of love.

...God really loves me.


Short Stories

Today I am sick to my stomach with the things wrapped up in my mind and heart.

Today everything is full of the sadness it takes to write a Uruguayan short story.

Maybe I will write one, or maybe two, or maybe I already have.


Di que me quede y me quedo

>> Saturday, November 20, 2010

It is going by too fast.
I feel too attached to this place to leave so soon.

I know it sounds dumb, but there's this deep, deep connection I feel in the soil here, as if there is a heart beating beneath the surface and it is the same as my heart and it pounds in my brain in a painful and wonderful way. All the nostalgia and history, the pain of wandering and emotion that come with this place are all packed into this rhythm, and it is the rhythm of life here. The way things are slower, the way things are just harder, the way things are more simple. It's something that can't be explained without being a part of it. This strong, sensual, wrenching attachment I have to this place. This place where layers of meaning are behind everything you see. The great city of politics and controversy, the vast countryside of rolling hills that crash on the banks of the Río de la Plata and Pacific. The wild passion of the hardworking gauchos, the love squished in homemade alfajores, the broken families that cry out in the tangos of old. 

How am I to tear myself away from this? I have only been grafted in for a short time, and yet we have grown together as one. I do not want to return. I feel a different kind of freedom here.

Perfume de la alta noche,
pequeña flor constelada,
en el patio con aljibe
y en mi corazón, guardada.


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